son's gf is cutter, I don't understand... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 09-27-2011, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't understand why cutters cut.  Can anyone help me understand?  Can anyone give me some insights to possibly living with her?  She and my son are 18 yrs old and she's 6.5 weeks pregnant and diagnosed as bi-polar and manic depressant also.  She's had a difficult upbringing and she's using marijuana right now to "control" the above mentioned symptoms...  There is a possibility that they'll keep the baby and if they do, they'll be moving in with me for a matter of a couple of months.  I'm wanting to do the right thing and wanting to offer her the best support and offer the pregnancy the best chance too...  I'm just looking for advice in case they do keep and move in...  Please chime in as much as possible.

 

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#2 of 14 Old 09-28-2011, 04:25 AM
 
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http://www.bpdfamily.com/

 

This is about support page for families of those with a condition called borderline personality disorder where many of the afflicted cut.

 

 


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#3 of 14 Old 09-28-2011, 05:45 AM
 
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There are so many reasons why someone might cut themselves. She might be in pain, anxious, or depressed. It can be a reaction to past trauma or current stress. It is a way to control psychological pain, or to escape, or to make her feel 'real'... For some people it is a cry for help & they want others to see what they've done, and for others it's something very private that they go to great lengths to hide. I don't think it's as simple as 'cutters cut because XYZ' because everyone has different reasons for doing it and I can't tell you why she might choose that method of dealing with things because it's unique to her. So for the same reason, it's hard to say how best to support her. Is she relatively open about it? Does she want to talk about it? Does she want help with it? Is she seeing a therapist? How did you come to find out that she cuts?

It's hard for me to give any real advice here because I'm on the other side of things (I was... am... a cutter). What helps me might make things even worse for her. I guess I just want to encourage you to treat her like an individual, not as 'a cutter', and to talk to her to find out how you can best support her.

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#4 of 14 Old 09-28-2011, 05:45 AM
 
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She needs to know that if she is tested after the baby is born and they find MJ in her system she will lose the baby immediately. MJ for those suffering BP can help with the anxiety aspect as long as they are not suffering from severe depression when they start using it.  That being said, it's very difficult to know weather she's masking her symptoms this way, controlling them or just not dealing with the real issues at hand.  I would suggest she get into therapy.  Being pregnant can make things worse for her, especially after the baby is born. 

 

Good luck and hugs

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#5 of 14 Old 09-28-2011, 06:18 AM
 
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My dh was a cutter when I met him.  He has worked out a lot of things...crunchy_mommy says a lot of good stuff

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#6 of 14 Old 09-28-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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I am a child and youth worker at a residential treatment home for youth. I have worked with many youth who self mutilate. There r two types of 'cutters'-those who make superficial cuts on noticable parts of their body for attention (this us the type that can sometimes go hand in hand with a personality disorder) the other type is those who cut in private as a means of coping with emotional distress. They typically have deeper more significant wounds but hide them with clorhing, excuses about how they got there etc. Either way it is very hard to deal with and often requires some form of therapy/treatment. Is she open to help? I think in your situation it is important to build a positive relationship with her in hopes of her trusting and being able to come to u. Lecturing etc will not help at all.
As far as self medicating with marijuana, obviously that is nit good for her or the baby. This can actually further affect her brain and be detrimental to her already existent mental health issues! It soynds like there r a number of issues that need to be addressed prior to parenting a child, and sooner rather than later since she is putting them both at risk!
Good luck and if there is anything i can help u with more specifically, don't hesitate to ask!
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#7 of 14 Old 09-28-2011, 09:38 AM
 
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I´ve been a cutter in my teens (and tweens as well) and did for two main reasons. One was unbearable emotional pain, when the inner pain was so much, that I could not tolerate it at all any more, so what I did was something like "making the pain physical", it calmed me down, and made the inner pain get better. It worked basically like a sedative for me, and is was, in fact, a way to not do anything worse. 

At other times I had this intense feeling of having lost myself, like not being grounded to the earth below me anymore, it is difficult to explain how that feels, it´s called dissociation, and that was very frightening, like I was loosing myself and going mad. In this situations intense physical stimulation, like the pain caused by the knife was "bringing me back to earth". 

 

The pain does release hormones which work like sedatives. 

I never selfharmed to gain attention, or threaten anybody or as a failed suicide attempt. 

Actually, I am now a doctor, a pediatrician, have two kids waiting for the third. I still have the scars, and I do not cover them up, since this was such a big part of my biography, and maybe made me to the person I am now.  I even tell people what they are from if they ask, and if I know them at least a bit. Obviously not the little patients :) 

 

There is a wealth of information online, http://www.selfinjury.org/indexnet.html might be a starting point for you. 

 

Good luck! And it is really nice to see that you actually care about that girl, that is really rare. 

 

Feel free to ask questions, if I can help you, I will!

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#8 of 14 Old 09-30-2011, 04:12 PM
 
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Quote:
diagnosed as bi-polar and manic depressant also.

 

Just wanted to clarify that these are the same thing.  Bipolar disorder is the proper term for what used to be called manic depression.   So she has a bipolar disorder.

 

Hugs to you, Grandma.  You're going to help them get through this.  They're both so young, they'll need you to be very adult about it, the calming, stabilising influence.

 

 

 

 


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#9 of 14 Old 09-30-2011, 05:39 PM
 
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It seems to me that if I were this gf, I'd be pretty annoyed at my partner's mom thinking she needed to be so involved in my choice.  And, ultimately, it is- and should be!- her decision.

 

The best thing you can do is very simply to say repeatedly, that no matter what choice she makes you will be supportive and help in any way you can. If she decided to have the child, you can be supportive of that.  If she decides to terminate, you can offer your support in that decision. If she decides to have the child and place him/her for adoption, while you can say you are willig to parent this baby, it would be important for her to know that it is also ok if she chose a closed adoption or to place it with someone else. 

 

You need to largely remove yourself from the picture for now.  

 

As for the cutting, imo she needs to be seeing someone- particularly if she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It sounds like she's not got very good control of that, and perhaps this isn't the best time for her to follow a pregnancy to term.  Ultimately, that is her decision to make, since she has to live with the decision for the rest of her life. If she does choose to continue the pregnancy a safety plan needs to be in place to ensure that she has support throughout and after the pregnancy, and she needs to be aware of the toll it will take on her mental health, and she'll need to work out a way to create safety for herself. I can't imagine  much more toxic environment for her than moving in with someone who passes judgment on her life choices (premarital sex, religion etc.. ) and I really can't see that as a positive decision for her unless you are willing to do a LOT of work to expand your views. 

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#10 of 14 Old 10-01-2011, 12:13 AM
 
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mmh, insidevoice, maybe you have more informations than this thread, but how do you know that op is judgmental? to me it looks like someone who cares about this girl (and her son and her grandchild) and maybe she could be the stabilizing factor that this girl needs. 

We don´t know anything about the relationship of this two, and cutting is very, very frightening for people who don´t know anything about it! 

 

I really don´t understand the tone of your post headscratch.gif


Trin with DH , DD(7) dust.gif and DS(5) jumpers.gif,  DD(2) energy.gifdog2.gifbelly.gif(due 5/14)

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#11 of 14 Old 10-01-2011, 07:22 AM
 
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It follows her other thread, and I probably should hve responded there instead of here.  

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1330968/raising-grandchild-hiv-positive-mother-was-on-pot#post_16682293

 

She may care, and I certainly won't dispute that, but there is a big difference between simply caring and caring and accepting the person as she is. I bristle whenever people think they should be able to tell an adult what her choices in life ought to be. 

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#12 of 14 Old 10-01-2011, 08:05 AM
 
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Yeah thought this looked familiar.
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#13 of 14 Old 10-05-2011, 06:02 PM
 
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First of all, she needs REAL bipolar meds not marijuana (I am pro legalization even though I don't smoke myself but drugs are not a way to self medicate).

 

As for the cutting thing...

 

Have you ever taken a pain pill?  Or felt the amazing feelings you get after exercising or having sex or eating a lot of chocolate?  The feeling you get from those things is endorphins.  Endorphins make you feel great and super happy.

 

Endorphins also release when we are in pain.  

Cutting releases endorphins.  She feels better every time she cuts because the endorphins being released are making her feel good.

 

Also, some people cut because the physical pain distracts them from the emotional pain.  Others cut because the sight of their own blood makes them feel more alive.

 

For me, when I would cut myself and those endorphins would rush through me, all the anger and anxiety and frustration I felt would just go away.  It really does make you feel better physically and emotionally.

 

Unfortunately, it's not a great way to deal with your issues.  Also unfortunately, it's really hard to stop as it IS an addiction.  It took me years to stop.  I relapsed a lot.  It's a hard road and she needs support.  People telling her she's psycho or they don't get it or shaming her is just going to make it worse.  

 


I also want to mention:  be careful when she has the baby that you watch her and her pain pills carefully.  People who cut for the endorphin rush tend to become dependent on pain pills easily as well.

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#14 of 14 Old 10-12-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonlessNightx View Post

First of all, she needs REAL bipolar meds not marijuana (I am pro legalization even though I don't smoke myself but drugs are not a way to self medicate).

 

As for the cutting thing...

 

Have you ever taken a pain pill?  Or felt the amazing feelings you get after exercising or having sex or eating a lot of chocolate?  The feeling you get from those things is endorphins.  Endorphins make you feel great and super happy.

 

Endorphins also release when we are in pain.  

Cutting releases endorphins.  She feels better every time she cuts because the endorphins being released are making her feel good.

 

Also, some people cut because the physical pain distracts them from the emotional pain.  Others cut because the sight of their own blood makes them feel more alive.

 

For me, when I would cut myself and those endorphins would rush through me, all the anger and anxiety and frustration I felt would just go away.  It really does make you feel better physically and emotionally.

 

Unfortunately, it's not a great way to deal with your issues.  Also unfortunately, it's really hard to stop as it IS an addiction.  It took me years to stop.  I relapsed a lot.  It's a hard road and she needs support.  People telling her she's psycho or they don't get it or shaming her is just going to make it worse.  

 

I also want to mention:  be careful when she has the baby that you watch her and her pain pills carefully.  People who cut for the endorphin rush tend to become dependent on pain pills easily as well.



I agree with everything said here.  Cutting is very addictive, and even when you want to stop it is hard to do so.  I was a cutter for most of my teen years.  I did not handle emotional pain very well at all, and still do not sometimes.  So finding a way to turn the emotional pain into physical pain and then get the endorphin rush was very nice.  It took me several years and lots of support and patience from my DH to finally stop and there are still days that I really want to go back and it has been over 10 years since I last cut.


oAlisha- eternal companion to mike:, mother to three energetic boys (02):, (05), and (07) and one sweet little girl 3/13.  Two in heaven.7/21/2010, 11/05/2011 mecry.gif.

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