HELP NUMBERS, & Helpful Web Sites
Disclaimer: Online information found here is made available so that individuals may find out whether consultation with a counselor or doctor may be helpful. This is a help site and is not intended to provide treatment, diagnosis, or consultation. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.
What are the warning signs of cutting?*
David Rosen, MD, MPH, is professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan and director of the Section for Teenage and Young Adult Health at the University of Michigan Health Systems in Ann Arbor. He offers parents tips on what to watch for:
--Small, linear cuts. "The most typical cuts are very linear, straight line, often parallel like railroad ties carved into forearm, the upper arm, sometimes the legs," Rosen tells WebMD. "Some people cut words into themselves. If they're having body image issues, they may cut the word 'fat.' If they're having trouble at school, it may be 'stupid,' 'loser,' 'failure,' or a big 'L.' Those are the things we see pretty regularly.
--Unexplained cuts and scratches, particularly when they appear regularly. "I wish I had a nickel for every time someone says, 'The cat did it,'" says Rosen.
--Mood changes like depression or anxiety, out-of-control behavior, changes in relationships, communication, and school performance. Kids who are unable to manage day-to-day stresses of life are vulnerable to cutting, says Rosen.
Over time, the cutting typically escalates -- occurring more often, with more and more cuts each time, Rosen tells WebMD. "It takes less provocation for them to cut. It takes more cutting to get the same relief -- much like drug addiction. And, for reasons I can't explain but have heard often enough, the more blood the better. Most of the cutting I see is quite superficial, and looks more like scratches than cuts. It's the sort that when you put pressure on it, it stops the bleeding."
For help or more information contact any of the following individuals, groups, or agencies:
--Family physician or local/area clinic--Mental Health Center of North Iowa— 641-424-2075, 1-800-700-4692
--Family services, social agencies, or clergy
--Check the phone book under “mental health”, “health”, “social services”, “hotlines” or “physicians” for phone numbers and addresses.
An emergency room doctor also can provide temporary help and can tell you where and how to get further help.
FOR AFTER HOURS HELP CALL:
24 Hours Daily—Confidential--Free
National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Teen Help Line: 1-800-443-8336
Teen Help Line is not a crisis or “hotline”. The line provides health information & referral services for Iowa teens.
If you are thinking of harming yourself or know someone who is, tell someone who can help immediately.
--Call your doctor.
--Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room to get immediate help or ask a friend or family member to help you do these things.
--Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline number for the
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
--Make sure you or the suicidal person is not left alone.
Helpful Links for More Information On Cutting