How can I help my teen stop cutting themselves?
The best way to stop cutting yourself is to focus on something else, says psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein. Find out how to take your mind off the urge to cut by watching this video.
So in order to stop cutting-- and it's great that it's something you might want to consider doing-- you have to be able to wait out the emotion.
As a team, you know that cutting or engaging in any other self-injurious behavior-- burning, picking at your skin, punching walls, anything that can be unhealthy--
it works. It provides relief immediately. So in order to stop cutting, and it's great that it's something you might want to consider doing,
you have to be able to wait out the emotion. The truth of the matter is is that no intense emotion
can stay at a level 10 indefinitely. It does come down on its own, but what you need to do
is provide yourself with distractions while it is coming down, and those distractions can't make the situation worse.
So figure out the things you like to do during the day-- listen to music, watch TV, talk to a friend, play on Facebook,
play on Tumblr, any of those things. Those are the things you forget to do when you're feeling really disregulated. So start to make a list of what the things you enjoy doing
are, and start doing them when you feel upset. So when you have the urge to cut, rather than cut, jump on the computer.
Or if you have the urge to cut, get into a hot shower or hold an ice cube or call a friend, but do something that will allow you to distract yourself
in that moment so that you don't make the moment worse and your emotions will come down on their own. If that doesn't work, ask for help.
That's the most important thing you can do. If you can't do it on your own, ask someone to help you get some professional help.
Seek a way to get the support that you need so you can stop the behaviors that are causing tissue damage and could really create bigger problems down
teen health development
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