I used to cut but then I stopped. I was really good for a few months, but lately I’ve felt like cutting again — and then tonight I actually did. Now what do I do?
It's tough to find yourself going back to cutting when you worked so hard to overcome your struggle. Falling back into a bad habit is known as a relapse, and relapses are pretty common when people are trying to make a major change. If you relapse, it might seem like you're back where you started. But change is a learning experience, and a relapse is part of learning a new way of doing things.
You can get back on track.
Then remind yourself why you decided to stop cutting before. How did you do it then? Write down what worked for you. Reach out to someone who cares about you. Think about how to express powerful emotions in ways that don't cause harm. Some people turn to painting, dance, athletics, music, poetry, or keeping a journal as ways to get through the pain. Others find they need more support from a counselor or therapist — everyone is different and different people cut for different reasons.
It can also help to remember that you're not really back where you started — this time you've got previous success on your side. You know how it's done and, more important, you have done it. You can find the inner strength to do it again.
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: July 2015
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|Reach Out Reach Out helps teens and young adults facing tough times and struggling with mental health issues. All content is written by teens and young adults, for teens and young adults.|
|American Psychological Association (APA) The APA provides information and education about a variety of mental health issues for people of all ages.|
|SAFE-Alternatives.com This website is dedicated to ending self-abuse and offers resources and information.|
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|Teens Talk About Cutting We get lots of emails about our cutting articles. Because many of our readers' suggestions and comments are so helpful, we decided to put a few on our site.|
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|Stress & Coping Center Visit our stress and coping center for advice on how to handle stress, including different stressful situations.|
|How Can I Help a Friend Who Cuts? Some people cope by cutting themselves. This article helps friends understand why people cut and gives some tips on what you can to help your friend — and yourself.|
|How Can I Stop Cutting? If you've been cutting and you want to stop, here are some approaches that might help you.|
|Cutting It can be hard to understand, but people who cut themselves sometimes do it because it actually makes them feel better. They are overflowing with emotions - like sadness, depression, or anger - that they have trouble expressing.|
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