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Cutting

Question:

I am a 17 year old female that suffers from PTSD. I have been doing on and off good with my past and dealing with it. But when I get upset, I want to hurt myself. I have done so for so many years and I have been in treatment for that and suicide. I want to live, cutting is not a suicide attempt for me, but I can’t seem to get over this cutting thing. I was on various medication, but nothing worked, my sadness is from experiences not from a chemical imbalance. A friend of mine has a cutting problem and her doctor put her on roveria. She said it helps her with the cutting and her depression. I guess it is new cause I have never heard anything about it. Do you know what it does? Could it possibly help me with my desire to cut? I want to stop, but I don’t know how so I will do anything or try anything that might work.

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Answer:

Cutting (on the wrist usually), burning or otherwise harming ones self without the intention of suicide is referred to as “parasucidal behavior” by mental health professionals. People who engage in this bewildering behavior often report that in some way it makes their experiences seem more real again (when things feel numb), that it brings with it a feeling of control (when other things seem out of control), or that it is even a form of self-punishment. Cutting IS dangerous because although persons who cut will usually report they have no intention of suicide, it is a form of suicide rehearsal. Also – there is serious risk of making a “mistake” and actually killing ones self, not to mention the risk of infection, the feelings of shame that get associated with the cutting (which is usually experienced as an uncontrollable compulsion to cut), etc. There are a variety of therapies that can help with cutting and the disorders associated with cutting behavior (frequently Borderline Personality Disorder and disorders involving emotion regulation difficulties). I’m not familiar with any medicine by the name “roveria”. However, there are some medications that psychiatrists use which can help somewhat with the urges to cut and the feelings that underlie this urge. I will recommend that you consult with a psychiatrist if you have not done so already. Also – there is a well studied therapy known as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (or DBT) that has been shown helpful for helping people to keep a more even emotional keel and thus avoid the need to cut in the first place. A psychologist or other therapist with DBT training should be available in your community – you can call local psychologists and ask if they know of anyone who has worked in this mode. You will be best off with both psychiatric and psychotherapeutic care at the same time.

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Comments
  • shania

    i understand im only 13 and cut myself more than you could imagine i have suicide thought but dont want to end my life 2

  • raff gardner

    my names raff im as open as i can be im 17 iv been cutting since i was 12 i want to get rid of it i dont regret them at all but it has changed my life badly iv though of suicde i have tried im not looking for attention iv tried to talk to people but it scares them thinking about what i do they think im a freak i can even have a girl friend because of all my scars and i cant tell people always how i feel cuz the words wont come out i drink and then cut i cut wen ever even if i get bord i will cut i want help im scared of a treatment place but i guess i would try it but how do i stop i dont have the will power to stop please help me

  • No Name :]

    Hello to anyone that's reading this, ha ha. Well I'm sixteen. I've been cutting for about two and a half years now. I don't have a therapist nor do I have the courage or money to get one. I realize I need help I just don't even know where to start. Both of my arms are covered atleast fifty on each arm, and my legs have plenty too. No one knows about this but whom ever is reading this right now. I don't know how no one has noticed. I guess I just don't look like the person that cuts, I do not do it for attention otherwise people would know..I do not live with my parents by the way, I live with my grandma who is clueless on this cutting stuff. Anyone, please help me?

  • Anya

    Hi everyone, I am 26 and I started cutting about 2 years ago. I cut when I feel overwhelmed and depressed, I don t cut as much, as some of you guys do, but I still thought I needed help. My friends know that I cut, even my family, and it is hard for them to understand. Two weeks ago, I had a nervous breakdown, and I grabed a knife and almost committed suicide, well I don t think I really wanted to die, but I was drunk and it just seemed so easy. Thank god my best friend was close. Well, I have been seeing a counselor the past year and a half, and with his help I kind of managed to control it, until recently. Now I am seeing my counselor, and a psychologist twice a week, and tomorrow I will go see a psychiatrist and they are going to put me on anxiety medication. I hope that this will help, but I also recommend to talk to someone, if not a counselor, a friend that you can trust. Talking helps, especially if you have regular meetings, because you know someone checks up on you. We can do this!!!

  • Sara

    My daughter would cut herself when she was 15 or so. Now she has done it again at the age of 21. I would like to find a group that supports the stopping of cutting by discissing the problem openly with people who understand.

    Dr. Dombeck's Note: We have a self-harm forum in our community where people talk about this sort of thing in a fairly safe manner. We do not allow graphic discussion of the act of cutting, but instead focus discussion on the emotions and motivations that are involved.

  • holl

    I am a 16 year od female.Ive been cutting since i was 12.ive been in counseing for years and have been sent to a hospital for suicide attempts. i dont know what to do anymore.Ive tried everything.

  • Anonymous-1

    i been cutting since i was 17 and i still cut once in awile and it make me feel better and im on respirdone

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