The thing about cutting is that it is not the problem. Cutting is a coping mechanism. The real problem is some sort of stressor in your life causing you to feel so overwhelmed and crazy that you need to resort to something drastic to ground yourself. From the sounds of it, perhaps your parents religious views and yours don’t match up, combined with their expectations of you and the expectations of school, as well as all the other crap (friend stuff, future stuff, etc). You may have clinical depression, especially if your life observations and feelings don’t line up (i.e. “but my life is good…I just feel like crap anyway”). Either way it is a good idea to see a doctor and figure out what you need to reduce the stress in your life.
Cutting won’t necessarily get worse, but the point is people that talk about that are obliquely telling you they don’t want it to get worse because they care about you. Hang on to that part and remember how many people care about you.
I mean, I don’t want to make light of the situation but I think there’s a bit too much stigma attached to self-harm. You’re not a bad person for doing it. You’re not some “problem”. You’re not a spoiled attention-seeker. It reminds you that you’re alive. But it’s just not the way most people cope with their problems, so they’re scared, frightened, and don’t understand more often than not.
I know what it’s like. The emotions will hurt so much that you physically start to feel it in your chest. You just want to bang your head against the wall and scream to make it all stop. It’s hard when you’re a kid because you don’t have the autonomy and choices adults do - you can’t just go to the spa, or go on a drive, get a gym membership, or get a new video game whenever you want if that’s what you need to de-stress.
Anyway, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. A lack of sleep does crazy things to your brain and body. And talk to a professional.
I am glad to hear that they care about you. And it is hard for them to know that you aren’t OK like they thought you were, and who knows if they don’t feel guilty or wonder what they did wrong. All the more reason to have a specialist in this area discuss it with all of you so they know how to help you.
You need an adult. Either an adult trained to work with self-harming people or an adult who can get you in touch with such a person. If your parents are not going to be that help, you need to find someone who can, whether that’s a grandparent, an aunt, or another trusted adult.
I strongly strongly recommend telling your parents and if your reticence is due to the previous experience with the pastor, tell them, “we tried it your way and I’m in the same place as before. I need a medical professional and not a pastor.” Most of the time, parents do love their kids and want to help but in some instances they just don’t know how. A good therapist would be able to work with you to find effective coping strategies that aren’t detrimental to your health as well as give your parents some guidelines on forming an effective support system.
Are you saying you attempted suicide twice last year? And that they are aware of this?
This coupled with the fact that upon learning of your cutting they went only to the church authorities, who also did not take the steps to get you ongoing counseling does indicate that telling them may not be effective or useful at this point.
The important part is that you tell someone who will get you help. Maybe you can stop the cutting behavior without help, but that won’t address why you are doing it in the first place. Your school counselor, a teacher, a friend’s parent, a suicide hotline, a community mental health services clinic… Try to figure out which of these won’t just lead back to the church and go about trying to get into counseling.
If you post your location, maybe someone here will know what specific services are available in your area. Don’t be too specific, because this is the internet, but country/state should be enough to go on.
MetalMaster, weren’t you the one who wanted to share metal music with your parents? Why would you be eager to share that with them but frightened to share this aspect with them? You may not want them to know, understandably, but ultimately, there’s no one better positioned to get you the help you need. It may help you to talk to a third party first, like your school counselor or teacher, a clergyman possibly even if you’re not religious, or maybe some other sort of external help like the suicide hotline, but in the end you need help that you won’t be able to get without your parents. I don’t know the treatments are for cutting or self-harm, but I could imagine it involves at least some sort of talk therapy if not testing and medication and other life-style changes. So, in the end, your parents need to know to get you the profession help you need.
Think more about your own health and worry less about how your parents will feel. Your foremost concern needs to be addressing the problems that have lead you to this point. I hope your parents will understand, but even if they don’t, you still need help.
I agree with all the advice here, and want to reiterate that it’s not just ‘stopping cutting’, it’s identifying and helping you with why you do it in the first place. An addict generally won’t be successful unless they address the reason why they’re an addict (I speak from years of experience).
You need to talk to a therapist that specializes in addiction, or more specifically, with cutting. I’m glad you realize you need help and want to stop, and I hope your parents support you appropriately. But if not, suggestions to talk to another close adult or your school counsellor are good.
You’re not doing anything you should be ashamed about and your parents shouldn’t treat you as bad if you tell them. This is a compulsion, a psychological issue, not a behavior problem.
I was 40 years old when I developed the compulsion, and it was part of some dissociative episodes I had after my child was raped. I was just trying on my own to fight with the compulsion but I wasn’t actually addressing the reason behind it so I couldn’t stop. Getting trauma therapy helped me feel better about myself and my reasons for starting it but I still had the compulsion until I was medicated with anti-psychotics. The desire left almost immediately and I haven’t cut since the month after I started taking the meds. I stopped taking them about two months ago after about a year of therapy and I’m still feeling pretty good, but it’s taken a lot of work.
Fake being ill. Tell your folks that you have a sinus infection and earache and that you’re horking up green snot. The green snot is key. No one will ask to look at it and the doctors will see you right away.
Once you’re at the doctors, you have a choice:
Take your Mom in the room, and when the doctor gets there, explain that it was a dodge about how you really aren’t sick but you need a doctor for this cutting problem. Hopefully, the doctor will help explain to your Mom that this is not something to be ashamed of. It’s not a moral failing on your part, or anything stupid like that. Then your doctor can refer you to a specialist for the matter.
The other choice is to tell your Mom to park it in the waiting room since you’re a big boy now and speak to the doctor privately. He’ll almost certainly want to explain things to your Mom, since you’re going to need your family’s support, but this way he can help break the news to her.
You really need help. It’s not something you should be embarassed about. It’s not your fault you developed this condition. And you’re certainly not alone! Thousands of people have been where you are. Fortunately, certain drugs and types of therapy (cognitive or dialectical behavior therapy) that focus on behavior modification can be helpful.
I’ve been reading this book and finding it very insightful.
Freedom from Self-Harm
And this is my favorite book about cognitive behavior therapy in general, if you’d like to read more about it - It’s called “Feeling Good, the New Mood Therapy”, which, I know, sounds super dopey but the first edition came out in the 70’s so what can you do. It’s a classic though and for good reason.
I would really recommend telling your parents and telling them that you want to stop and would like to see someone (a professional, meaning a doctor NOT a religious leader) about it. It probably won’t be easy, but it is the best thing to do as long as you trust your parents. I’m sure they care a lot about you. I had a very bad eating disorder for ten years and might still be sick if I hadn’t stopped lying about it to my mom. The secrets were a big part of it, and I imagine they’re a big part of any sort of self injury.
Someone in another Dope thread recently mentioned the use of an acupressure mat and how relaxing it is, although the spikes hurt at first. I had never heard of such a thing before but upon reading about it, lot of people use them every day and find them very relaxing. Maybe trying one of these could replace your urge to cut?