What is Cutting?

First of all, it is important to understand that cutting is not an attempt at suicide. Cutting is a form of self-harm. It is an unhealthy coping strategy developed by those who want to curb the intensity of emotional pain.

Typically, cutting is a symptom of a greater issue involving depression, anxiety, abuse or other trauma, or another mental disorder. Those who cut may have a desire to calm the painful emotions raging inside of them, or they may feel numb and turn to cutting as a means of feeling something.

Unfortunately, once the cycle begins, cutting often becomes the coping mechanism of choice, making it very difficult to stop without outside help.

Why Do People Cut?

One of the first things we help our clients and families understand is that all self-harm, including cutting, is a form of self-medicating because of what is going on inside the body. When brainwaves are out of balance, it can cause a host of negative symptoms. For instance, if the high beta waves are overactive, it leads to an excess of cortisol and adrenaline production. The surge of these chemicals in the body may cause someone to experience anxiety, rage, an inability to complete tasks, and/or depression. Sometimes our clients describe feeling restless or like they want to crawl out of their skin.

When people experience these symptoms on an ongoing basis, they develop strategies to cope with the associated discomfort and pain. Sometimes, they may develop healthy coping strategies, but most often, people turn to drugs or alcohol, eating, pornography, gambling, cutting, or other unhealthy means of self-medicating. Physiologically, these people have to do something to ease the pain and/or discomfort. Self-medicating, including cutting, allows for a rush or surge of the built-up adrenaline and cortisol, followed by a temporary depletion; thus, clients experience a temporary “high” followed by a period of relaxation and feeling better.

Unfortunately, though, much of the reason they cut is physiological; it is because they are trying to find relief for what they are feeling in their body. This means that even though they may find temporary relief when they cut, the chemicals immediately begin to build in the body again and the cycle continues. Additionally, those caught in this cycle feel badly for their poor choices and their inability to stop, and this adds to the negative feelings they experience.

How Can Brain Changers Help?

Brain Changers works with the client and the family toward finding healthier coping strategies to deal with the anxiety, depression, and other feelings that lead people to choose self-harm. Through neurofeedback, we retrain the brainwaves to improve relaxation, and that can help with symptoms, and in counseling, we work on learning and practicing healthier coping strategies.

Please contact us for more information to find out how we can help!