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Cutting: Reasons for the addiction

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Risk factors
By Mayo Clinic staff

Certain factors may increase the risk of self-injury, including:

Being female. Females are at greater risk of self-injuring than males are.

Having friends who self-injure. People who have friends who intentionally harm themselves are more likely to begin self-injuring.

Feeling in control:
For people that are actively cutting, in some instances, feel that he or she do not have control. They think that the people in their lives control them. This out of control feeling initiates the desire to cut. The feeling “ this gives me control” or “that I have control” is like an aphrodisiac to them.

An unconscious cry for help
People, who refuse to talk, or seek help are not able to take that first step and ask for help, do not realize they’re internalizing and compounding their panic, pain and anxiety over their problems. It may be impossible for them to discuss something so personal, even to those closest to them. All this builds to a breaking point of panic inside. Not knowing what to do. So they mark their bodies in one form or another of cutting, burning, starving, to get recognition from others that something is truly wrong.

Release of emotional pain
This reason is one that can be most addictive. Cutters are tense anxious, agonizing over something until they see the blood from the cut and how the act of cutting makes them feel, when the cut is made. When this is done (usually unknown to the cutter) the body’s survival instincts kick in and the cutter is flooded with endorphins. Therefore, the cutting is the release of pain. The temporary “ feel good” high from endorphins is the recipe for addiction. This can be as bad as a heroine junkie craving that next fix. The high they crave is never satisfied.

How to stop:
Change your thought process.
Every time the urge is there, find something else to do that will take your mind off of cutting.

Contact a support group of cutters that can be your support system.
Then it is only a select few that know about it.

Seek professional therapist.

Find someone who can be a sponsor for you. Someone you can call day or night and say, “Hey I’m about to cut. I need you to talk to me so I don’t do it.”



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