cutting, other self-destructive behaviour - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-23-2003, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi-

i have known a few people struggling with cutting, eating disorders, etc over the years. At the moment I have an acquaintance whose 14 year old daughter has been acting out for a few months (strong rebellion, disobedience, inappropriate dress and actions with boys, etc) and is now in the hospital after she started cutting. Anyone else here have some experience with this, or referrals for resources? A friend once lent me an excellent book by *the* doctor working with cutting and eating disorders up in Massachusets, but I've forgotten the name. Anything like that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!
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#2 of 10 Old 06-24-2003, 09:31 AM
 
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Try www.somethingfishy.org

It is a great website, with tons of resources (mainly geared towards eating disorders) and a message board with lots of support.

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#3 of 10 Old 06-24-2003, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Amelia- I also found a few interesting things on the web. I hope they help my friends. It is also frightening to me because there seems to be no reason for it; when it's blamed on abuse or whatever, or is about someone on tv, you speculate about all kinds of causes, mostly resting with the parents. This must be very hard for my friends; they are AP parents, homeschooling, very involved (hopefully they caught this early enough to intervene). It worries me for my own dd, 9, because it seems there's no guarantee things will be ok in your child's life no matter your enlightened principles and how much immunity you think your family has to such problems.
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#4 of 10 Old 06-25-2003, 02:49 PM
 
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I don't know if I can help in any way, but I wanted to share with you that when I was 18 I began cutting myself and now have scarred arms, and chest as a result. I am now 30 but haven't cut for a while. If I can find anything that will help I will pass it on xxxx

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#5 of 10 Old 06-29-2003, 05:13 PM
 
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I started cutting at 14 and stopped at 22. I tried to quit several times and have seriously scarred arms. Some books I found helpful are "A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain" and "The Scarred Soul: Understanding and Ending Self-Inflicted Violence."

I was never hospitalized, and today I take no medication. I have not cut for over 2 years. I can't say exactly how I quit, but what really helped is not having people breathing down my neck about it and trying to make me quit.

Basically, I was able to quit when I gave myself full permission to cut whenever I wanted to. That sounds paradoxical, but many people understand.

Cutting, like eating disorders and the other behaviors described in the OP, is often a sign of current or past sexual abuse. If the person has never been abused in any way, it's still a sign that something is not right in her life.
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#6 of 10 Old 06-30-2003, 03:50 PM
 
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Thanks for the book titles- never read them but will...

Also like to second what Greaseball said, often cutting is a sign of sexual/abuse- inward anger projected out. I was abused as a child and have had therapy for a while now. My therapist has treated many females who have cut and also said how cutting is often done by people who have been abused.

I hope she can get the help that she so desparately needs, and it may also help her to know that other people do cut and can recover from it. I never knew that others did it, thought I was the only one, and it was such a relief to know there are other scarred survivors out there who are now living their lives. Will find some web sites for you and post them xxxxxxxxxx

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#7 of 10 Old 06-30-2003, 04:00 PM
 
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2 web sites with information re cutting xxxxxxx

http://www.palace.net/~llama/psych/injury.html

http://www.healthyplace.com/Communit...jury/bloodred/

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#8 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 03:37 AM
 
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Our 14 year old ds has an eating disorder. He lost over 30 lbs last year. He just gained ten pounds back and is at 105, so I think we are doing o.k. in the eating department for the moment. I think he got down to the seriously low weight and then realized that he needed to start eating. He is eating and drinking everyday now.
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#9 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 04:03 AM
 
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bestbirths- that is such great news about your ds. Is he in therapy?

LizD- I also cut as a teenager. I started cutting one day when I was 14 (seems a common age). I ended my cutting career when I was hospitilized for being suicidal when I was 18 (almost 19). I would have continued cutting, I'm pretty sure, had it not been for the fact that I met my husband the week I got out and fell in love and were engaged in two weeks and married two months later and had a baby right away. The reason I started (and continued) was becasue I just had so much pain and anger inside...there was no way to tell anyone about it and there was no way to prove it was there. I was not sexually abused as a child, but believe I came to earth with a lot of anger and more and more anger piled onto that through my childhood because of various things. I felt so different than my friends who were genuinly happy inside. I needed some way to prove I was different and that I was not happy, as I so succesfully portrayed. I started out cutting on my foot, then my arms. But then people started asking questions about the cuts. I made up really convincing excuses. Then I started cutting in places (mostly upper thighs) where no one would ask me questions. so the proof was for ME to know what was inside...not others. Like Mand, I did not know this was something other people did. I did not even find out it was something other people did until I was 18.
I think one thing that would've helped me would have been having a counselor/therapist that could create a really emotionally safe, SAFE environment for me in which to REALLY express my anger and hurt and get it all out for reals...not just through seeping blood on a cut I created.
With my own children, I let them be angry when they feel angry. I let them feel their own feelings and express them the way they need to (as long as it does not cause damage or harm to anyone or anything or themselves) and get it all out. I try and talk to them after the fact about what happend and guess with them about why they had such strong feelings, etc. I always tell them it is okay to feel the feelings they are feeling and it is good to get it out and talk about it when they are ready. I hope we will be able to continue with this as they grow older. I just feel so strongly that I want our home to be a safe place for ANY feeling to be expressed and want my kids to know I am a safe person to share those feelings with...that I will not judge them for having "negative" feelings and that I will always be available for them.
I hope your friends daughter can get the help she needs to begin her journey to healing. I still have an urge from time to time to cut. And probably if I were not married with children I would. I also have given myself more ways to cope with feelings of depression and the desperation that ensues with those feelings...but it has been a long journey. I'm so glad she is getting help now rather than years from now.

Heidi : Married for 15 years, expecting our 8th baby in July!

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#10 of 10 Old 07-23-2003, 11:32 AM
 
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No, he's not in therapy....but if he gets worse he will be.
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