A Painful Addiction

Cutting is the most common method of self-harm where a person hurts himself on purpose by making scratches or cuts on his body with a sharp object.  People who cut themselves are called cutters and they injure themselves intentionally because of bad feelings, extreme tension, or to feel “control” over their problems.  Cutters try to express feelings such as depression, anger, loneliness, or confusion; or it may also be that they have pain bottled up inside of them and cutting is their way of venting that out. They try to overshadow their emotional pain with physical pain.  Another reason is that they may be victims of physical or emotional abuse which causes them to shut themselves off from the world and become reclusive. Although people may find this helpful to relieve pain, the relief is only temporary.

The largest group of people who cut themselves is between the ages of 13 to 19.  Most people who cut start in their teens, and some people may continue this habit into adulthood.  Mostly girls cut themselves, but guys cut also though it’s hard to tell how many cut themselves because they are very private about it and do not like share it with others. Teenage cutting is a growing problem today because of all the dysfunctional families and negative messages bombarded through the media.  Through the media, there is a pressure to be “perfect” and when those standards are not reached, people resolve to things like cutting.  Also, in some cases, peers can influence teens to experiment with cutting.  They may see people around them doing it that will give them the idea to try it themselves.

Although people may think that cutting is their way of “relieving” themselves, in the end, it will leave permanent scars that are often very difficult to remove. If you cut too deep, you may cut a nerve and begin to lose feeling and it may become a habit and can be very hard to stop.  People will start to cut themselves whenever they have a problem and it may be feel “normal” to them after a while.

Cutting is a painful addiction that is popular among teenagers. But let’s remember that popularity does not equate to the “right-ness” of the act and neither will it be a solution to problems. God did not create us to harm ourselves but to become conduits of love to other people. Proverbs 8:36 makes a strong statement about those who inflict self-harm, “But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.” Cutting is a selfish act because it directs attention towards ourselves instead of finding rest in God. God doesn’t want us to pity ourselves and try to overcome these hard situations on our own. Instead, he wants us to cast our cares on him and overcome evil with good. Let’s get out of our self-pity kick and fervently seek the God richly described in Psalm 34:

18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Guest post by Sunday Ross, TLW Volunteer.