General Question

BBawlight's avatar

How can I help my friend stop cutting?

Asked by BBawlight (2187 points ) October 30th, 2013

My best friend cuts on a regular basis. He told me not to tell anyone about it, but I don’t want him to keep feeling like he needs to continue this.
I can’t do a lot from where I’m at because I live almost another state away, but I want to help him feel happy.

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20 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

How old is he?

BBawlight's avatar

@JLeslie He’s 13–15 years old.

Valerie111's avatar

You need to tell someone. Can you get in contact with his family? You might feel like you are betraying him but you really are helping him. If not, beg him to get help. He could talk to his family about it or a school counselor.

JLeslie's avatar

@BBawlight I know he told you not to tell, but his parents need to know. Is there any reason for you to think his parents are abusive? That they would hurt him?

My advice to you is tell your mom and let her decide whether to call his parents. He probably needs to talk to a therapist so he can talk about what is upsetting him.

BBawlight's avatar

@JLeslie I’m not sure how his parents would react, I haven’t actually met them. I don’t know if they already noticed and just aren’t saying anything. But that’s not likely.

I think I’ll tell my parents… And maybe they can help help him out…

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

This problem will only get worse until he is referred for help from a behavioural psychologist. Based on my experience, that treatment will be the fastest and most effective for getting that problem under control. The parents or school have both have to become involved. This is inevitable and waiting until someone in a position of authority notices is the wrong approach. Speak up and do what is necessary, even if it threatens your friendship.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You can’t influence the cause and affect. He needs some help, and he needs a friend. Try to get him to consider counseling. I would hesitate to tell his family now, I’m guessing they might be part of the problem. What state is he in?

JLeslie's avatar

@BBawlight I think it is great that you want to do something to help. Let us know how it goes with your parents. I’m sure they will want to help you. You can tell them you don’t want him to know you told. His parents can act like they discovered it on their own or someone else told them.

Pachy's avatar

Your friend needs professional help and you will be doing him a great service to talk to his parents, even though you promised not to. I urge you to do so.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I agree with what everyone has said. Let his parents know. @JLeslie has a good take on it; see if the parents will go along with discovering it on their own.

My own daughter is in the same age range, and I found out about her cutting in her FB posts. I wasn’t spying, just monitoring what she was posting, as I feel is my parental duty. She posted some remarks about cutting. She didn’t say she was doing it, but when I asked her about, she confessed. We then had a loving pow-wow with her, Mom and me, and now she seems have it under control. Please give your friend the opportunity to get help from his folks.

Tiabaailey's avatar

Tell someone, that’s the best help. I understand that’s your friend, but he is gonna hurt himself one day.

ibstubro's avatar

@BBawlight @Valerie111 is right,
TELL someone.

Smitha's avatar

The best thing you can do is to encourage him to get professional help.This could not be more serious.You can also ask him to talk to a school couseler/teacher or another adult he trustsfor the time being try to be as supportive as you can,and tell him that help is out there.There are people he can talk to and people who can help him break the habit and find better forms of coping with how he feels.Help him by caring,loving and staying with him.He can also call helplines.Self Injury Helpline: 1–800-DONT CUT (1–800-366–8288)
Read this article

BBawlight's avatar

So, I told my parents the other day, they plan on breaking the news when his family comes to visit us in a few days to a week. If they tell his parents now, they might cancel the trip down here and that would devastate him because we haven’t been face to face in two years.

My parents said I don’t have to worry and that none of the blame will be directed towards me and it will be like they noticed instead of me.

Smitha's avatar

That’s great! He might never be ready to tell his parents, but they need to know. Don’t worry, they will deal it and you will not be blamed. In case he blames you then let him be because he will thank you later on when he matures and grows up and at least he will be alive. If you had not said this to anyone, probably you would have lost your friend entirely. Then you would have the guilt of his death on you.

BBawlight's avatar

@Smitha I would feel extremely guilty if he died and it would follow me for the rest of my life. I’m willing to give up our friendship if it means that he’s happy in the end.

ibstubro's avatar

Ya done great, kid!

I was the ‘Great Answer” votes for you and @Smitha. I thought Smith expressed my sentiments exactly, and I didn’t want to step on her heels. I see now that I probably should have added my sixth two cents worth.

You, @BBawlight, have the makings of one hell of an adult.

Thanks, and never stop caring.

BBawlight's avatar

I was over at his house this weekend and it was quite enjoyable. I decided not to let his parents know… I thought it was the best decision for now because he hasn’t cut in over a month now and he’s happier than ever… I’m afraid that his parents will freak out and cause him to start cutting again. I met them when I was over there, and I just didn’t feel like it was alright to tell them.

BBawlight's avatar

Another update… His parents found out about his cutting a week ago because he had some pictures of it on his phone. Before that, though, he promised me he wouldn’t cut anymore and has lived up to his promise so far. He said that he wants nothing to do with it anymore since it only hurts the people around him.
He didn’t have any professional help; he only had my love and support the whole way through. I’m really proud of him, and will continue to watch him carefully just in case.

Smitha's avatar

That’s great! Finally he realized it. Your support and caring has borne fruit!

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