For decades, teenagers have found ways to express their uniqueness, rebellion, and angst.

While no certain expression can be attributed to only one time, there are definitely memorable concepts. The 60s were a time of “free love,” going against the norm, and outsider “unity.” The 70s continued the drug trend, pushing it into more experimentation, while the 80s and 90s saw more protests and—of course—still more drugs.

What Is Cutting?

Self-harm or “cutting” has been around for a long time—there’s no telling when the first teen or young adult decided that their emotional pain could be relieved by the physical. Sadly, this “trend” has grown exponentially in 21st century. As the awareness over cutting grew, so did its distressing popularity.

Cutting consists of a person taking a sharp object—razor blade, knife, even glass—and cutting the skin open. Depending on the person or even the severity of their emotions at the time, the cut may barely go through the skin, or can be deep enough to cause excessive bleeding and scarring.

Why Would My Child Do That?

The cutting is used as an outlet—a way of lessening whatever mental and emotional anguish that the teen is feeling. The physical pain distracts them, if only for a few moments. According to an article for Sedona Sky, a therapeutic boarding school for young girls, teens “may begin [cutting] by watching others do it or by hearing about it from peers or online (like on websites or social media platforms), but it if it ultimately ends up providing some sense of relief, it will continue. Yet, regardless of the reason self-harm starts, the base behind it remains the same: it is a coping mechanism.”

Regardless of their reasons for starting, there is no argument that it needs to stop. The only way to do that, however, is to get to the root of the problem, to find what is truly torturing the teen internally. This will take talking, love, and therapy.
Open (and non-judgmental) communication with the parents is vital, along with extensive therapy. Cutting is no small thing, and indicates intense emotions. There are a variety of therapies that could help, including cognitive behavioral therapy and equine therapy. Do not hesitate to find the best way to initiate healing in your daughter. Together, you can find the peace that she needs and deserves.

Sedona Sky Academy is an all-girls residential treatment center that specializes in helping traumatized teens to recover, in a variety of treatment solutions. To find out more, call us today at (855) 290-9680.

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