N.J. asks from Sanger, TX on June 06, 2008
Advice on Cutting
I am a sister of a 15 year old boy. He has been living with me for about 6 months. I have notice that he has been cutting himself. It has been twice that I have seen the cuts on his arms. He is now getting help and goes to counseling weekly. I was wondering if there was anyone that experienced this and how they were able to deal with this. I am very compassionate about this and dont critized him for what he had done.
I just need some more information to guide me through helping him. Thank you so much.
I just dont want to add any presser to him.
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
I just wanted to tell everyone thank you so much for your replies. Most all of the things that you all told me is what the counselor has suggested that I do. I am trying to get involved in some things that interest him. I try to talk to him about his feelings and he is non-reponsive. That is why I got him into counseling. Thanks so much for all of the insight. I really didn't understand why he was doing it. I thought at first it was because he didn't want to live anymore. But I understand now that he is in alot of pain and that this is another way for him to feel a different way. This whole experience has made me remember that I did kind of the same thing when I was much younger and even as being an adult. Sometimes when I was hurting or in emotional pain I would hit myself. Because I was angry with myself and I wanted to punish myself for what I had done. WOW!!! I truly love this site and all of the people who are involved in the helping of each other. Thank you for all of your prayers and caring.
May GOD bless each and everyone of you for your caring.
M.G. answers from Dallas on June 06, 2008
I teach 8th graders, am a youth leader in our church and have gotten very close to a lot of my kids. This is such a common thing. It's completely psychological. It's not that they like hurting themselves. They do it for several reasons depending on the person: *it's a control issue much like an eating disorder, and it's the only thing they feel they can control themselves *when they are hurt by someone or angry, they haven't really learned what to do with those feelings. They feel a relief from that hurt, pain, stress, anger by cutting *very rarely do they do it for attention purposes, but it still is a slight possibility.
You need to just be there for him. Talk to him every day and not always about cutting. Talk to him about his feelings and help him understand them and how to handle them. If you see him get angry or upset, etc, be with him! He needs someone to help him figure out how to handle his feelings because that is the most common reason for doing this.
Don't even talk to him about the cutting unless you can tell he's wanting to talk about it. You'll get to where you can figure that out. You can also eventually find ways to get him to talk about it without you ever even bringing it up. Pay attention to what you do when you have those types of feelings and let him see your reactions (which means you really do need to pay attention to what you do).
It's a very sensitive issue, but he needs help from those close to him. Be a friend to him so he will come to you and talk to you about his feelings more. More than likely he has friends who do this too, so they are the influence he sees on how to react to the feelings he has. He needs someone more positive who knows how to handle the feelings. Don't bottle yours up. Show him how you really react when you get frustrated at mom or stressed about school or work. People handle things differently. Some journal, some listen to music really loud, some run, some scream (if you do that, you may want to make sure you aren't screaming AT someone :o). Be positive, and the most important thing you can do is love him through it all. Good luck.
2 moms found this helpful
J.A. answers from Dallas on June 07, 2008
Please talk with his counselor. Get the best way of supporting him possible. It's so good to hear that your love is unconditional.
My prayers are with you and your brother.
C.E. answers from Dallas on June 10, 2008
All you can do is pray for him and always be there for him. Makesure you let him know that you love him and it really hurts you to see him going through this hard times. Always be there for him to just want to talk. Let him know that he is special and that he means the world to you.
H.B. answers from Dallas on June 06, 2008
When I taught high school, I saw this quite a bit with children this age. It is a physical way of expressing their inner pain. You are already on the right track by getting him counseling and by not judging him.
The parent of one of my students who did this found something for his daughter to take interest in outside the school and family, something that was all her own. She picked the activity and she chose horseback riding. She told me that she loved doing it and that it made her feel better. You might try to find something for your brother to get involved in like this. Let him come up with it but some ideas are martial arts, music lessons, art classes, volunteering, rock climbing, etc. He can make some new friends who don't know about whatever it is that has caused him to do this in the first place and he might meet a good mentor or role model.
Whatever he chooses, it should be something that lets him blow off steam and rid himself of stress. If he finds some other way to deal with his pain, he won't feel the need to cut himself anymore.
God bless you for caring for your brother and I hope he finds the peace he is looking for.
K.N. answers from Beaumont on June 07, 2008
If/when it ever recurs, in spite of the counseling, UBH (University Behavioral Health) in Denton is a good treatment center. My 14 year old just spent 9 days there, and she's in a good place now, very motivated to healing.
Check into Spirit Horse in Corinth. There's a valuable source of empowerment to be gained there that doesn't involve self-harm.
H.T. answers from Dallas on June 07, 2008
First let me praise you on taking your little brother in. I am the oldest of 4 little brothers and all but one has come to live with me at some point.. I am kind of like the transitioning period after High School when they are trying to figure out what to do with their lives as well as the 3 month long summer fun get away! As hard as this time is try to enjoy having him. Most big sisters do not have the blessed opportunity to have the one on one time to bond with their little bro's. So.. now on to cutting.. I assume something traumatic has happened to him?? People who cut are doing it because they feel an immense amount of emotional pain (which literally feels like it is coming from inside your heart and head) your little brother does not know how to escape or "release" that "inside" pain so the cutting cause's an actual pain and the bleeding symbolizes the release of the pain. A physical injury is much less painful and much more manageable then an emotional injury. Cutting is his way of dealing with the emotional pain and also a way of diverting his own attention from the emotional hurt. Make sure that he has a good counselor and goes on a consistent basis. It is not likely that you will find the right counselor on the first try.. you might have to try a few before finding the right fit for your little brother. Are your parents around to help or any other family members? How much older are you then your brother? You two will be in our prayers! Good Luck! If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me.
J.H. answers from Amarillo on June 07, 2008
The counseling sounds like you areon theright path. I've heard that when kids are in so much pain emotionally about something, that they do this sometimes as the pain of the cut takes it away from the hurt they feel otherwise. I don't really know anyone, but heard this, so hope the counseling helps soon.
E.C. answers from Dallas on June 07, 2008
You are a great sister. Please understand that it is in no way your responsibility to make your brother "better".
With that being said, you can try to introduce POSITIVE things into his life. I am sure so many people are talking to him about the cutting and what is wrong in his life and his past. I bet somebody being positive with him would make a world of difference.
Something that his is good at (like if he is good at poetry, encourage him to write his poetry and send it in to contests.)
Stay strong with him, I am sure he will have his up and down days. But, remember, it is not your responsibility to make him "OKAY" again.