My Friend’s a Cutter

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

My best friend’s a cutter. We’re ten.

She’s beautiful, but she doesn’t think so. She’s bullied because she looks older than 10.

Bullies at our school are the popular girls. They ignore her, push, shove, and bump into her on purpose.

My friend goes into the bathroom at school and cuts herself on her thigh.

I cried and she laughed. She said cutting makes her pain stop from the bullies. I said we need to tell someone. She said her mom knows and tells her to stop, but she doesn’t.

I told my mom what was happening and she called the school.

My friend brought the razors to school and stole her mom’s pain pills.

I can’t tell my mom again, and no one did anything anyway.

I try to help her. Help!

Signed,

Friend’s a Cutter

Dear Friend,

You’re a true friend, however, people who try to make their friends change may become codependent.

Codependent means one person may have an addictive problem, like cutting, and doesn’t want to change, but wants you to support her neediness and problem.

Cutting most often requires a professional therapist to help. Please tell a trusted adult, maybe a teacher. Make sure to show this column to your mom.

A cutting disorder is a form of self-harm that involves a deliberate decision to mutilate or hurt oneself.

This method of harm affects mostly young girls ages 10-24 years old. Cutting is the most common method.

Some other methods include:
• burning
• scratching
• hair-pulling

Some facts:

• One out of 12 kids deliberately hurt themselves with cutting
• Seventy percent are girls. Girls as young as 9 have started cutting.

Although cutting disorders are not necessarily a suicide attempt, many who don’t receive help may eventually commit suicide because cutting doesn’t stop the pain anymore. It also may accidentally cause suicide.

You might help her by replacing cutting conversations and switching them to talking about an uplifting movie, or running or playing soccer together. It will help you, too.

Talk to your mom about professional help for you. Your friend’s situation is a lot for anyone to carry on their shoulders.

Remember your friend’s issue isn’t about you and others that care. It could be caused by self-hatred, usually from deep and severe trauma.

Cutting is not for attention-seeking purposes. Cutters usually try to keep it hidden.

Your friend wants and needs your love and acceptance. Please continue to include her in your activities.

Stand up (literally standing tall and having direct eye contact) to the bullies and be genuinely happy. Bullies hate when their victims are happy.

Signed,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri