I’m not cutting, but I’m doing other stuff…

Lots of teens use dangerous behaviors or substances to help themselves feel better. This is usually because they don’t have any caring adults in their lives that they trust enough to talk about their pain. Cutting or burning (or other self-injury) is one way teens calm themselves down, and it’s not weird or shameful. Neither are some of the other ways:

  • Picking scabs
  • Pulling out hair
  • Banging head, arms, or legs
  • Punching holes in walls or windows
  • Scratching
  • Not eating
  • Only eating one or two kinds of food
  • Throwing up on purpose
  • Bingeing
  • Drugs
  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Lying all the time
  • Stealing
  • Having sex with strangers
  • Having too much sex
  • Zoning out
  • Ditching

There are tons more. If you are doing any of these things, or even something that’s not on the list, don’t be afraid to tell a therapist. It’s not weird, and you’re not crazy. Most people in the world have some pretty interesting ways of coping with tough life stuff, and if more people talked about it, you might find out that you’re not alone. A therapist will never make you feel dumb for what you’re doing, and will be more than happy to hear all about it and give you ideas for ways to get better.

© 2017 Angela Kahn. All Rights Reserved.

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