Teen Has Friend Involved in Cutting

How can I help a friend at high school who told me that she's started cutting herself. I don't know why she's doing it or how to help. What should I do?

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We’re sorry to hear that your friend has been cutting herself. Though it’s hard to understand, sometimes this behavior is a response to overwhelming feelings of anxiety and depression.

Your friend might be under a lot of stress at home right now. Or, maybe something traumatic happened in the past, and cutting has become a way for her to cope with painful memories and emotions.

If your friend is open to your suggestions, encourage her to seek help. As a starting point, she could try talking to a school counselor. If she doesn’t want to do this alone, offer to go with her. If she is unwilling to go, let her know that you’ll need to talk to the counselor yourself because you care about her and don’t want her to harm herself.

Though it may not seem like it, this is the most loving thing you can do because this could be a matter of life and death. Sometimes kids will accidentally cut themselves too deeply and risk bleeding to death. That’s why it’s crucial for you to let a pastor, parent, counselor, or psychologist know what’s going on so that they can make sure your friend gets the help she needs.

As another option, we invite you to discuss your friend’s situation with one of the licensed Christian counselors on our staff. Don’t hesitate to call us.

 

Resources
If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

Hope and Healing for Kids Who Cut

Inside a Cutter’s Mind

Referrals
FindingBalance.com

Articles
Cutting and Self-Injury

Confessions of a Cutter

Copyright © 2010, Focus on the Family.

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