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Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#1 Apr 12, 2013
Dear Amy: I am 12 years old. I have three friends who cut. One of them, "Jane," was a cutter until her parents found out about it and got her a therapist.

Jane has shown much improvement and no longer cuts. She is much happier and doesn't miss cutting at all.

My other two friends have kept it a secret from everybody but me. They do not seem to find it a problem, and they don't believe what they are doing is wrong. I feel strongly against it. I want to help them, but I'm not sure how. Every time I try to talk about it with them, they shut down.

One of my friends says that getting a therapist or other form of help can be incredibly traumatizing, and that it doesn't usually help.

I don't know whether that is true because I do not cut and do not understand the reasoning (or lack thereof) behind it.

How should I approach this situation? Worried

Dear Worried: "Cutting" is the practice of self-scratching or cutting the skin until it bleeds. There is evidence that people who cut do so when they are experiencing stress or anxiety. They say that feeling the pain of cutting gives them a sort of release. This is a dangerous practice unless this cycle is interrupted, cutting can accelerate.

I share your concern about your friends. You sound like a very good and concerned friend, but this is way beyond your ability to manage it.

You have proof that "Jane" has been helped
by her parents and a therapist. This is definitely the way to go.

Tell your folks and also your school's counselor what is going on with your friends. They need professional, adult intervention, and you are being a fantastic friend by helping them get it.

Dear Amy: My son, who is 45, left my laptop on, and when I opened it, his Facebook page was up. When I looked at it, I saw a message from my niece that has me really upset. It said, "What you did to me when we were younger was wrong."

She says it has taken her a long time to forgive those people that have hurt her. She's currently in an alcohol/drug rehab program.

I sent her a message and asked her to call me because I want to know what he did to her. Should I leave this alone?

For some reason, I want him to know that I know what he did, even though it was a long time ago and they were teens. Conflicted Mom

Dear Mom: It will be very challenging to tackle this compassionately without knowing what transpired all those years ago. You should approach this with an attitude of openness and concern (not an attitude of "I know what you did..."). You will have to disclose how you saw this message if your son accuses you of snooping, remind him that the message was housed on your laptop.

Ask your son to tell you the story, but be aware that you may not receive an accurate (or any) account. Contact your niece again by phone, by Facebook message or mail and offer her your compassion and a supportive ear.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#2 Apr 12, 2013
L1: THREE friends who cut? Geez kiddo, get new friends.

L2: Butt out. It was probably just two cousins acting like typical teenagers and he pissed her off.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#3 Apr 12, 2013
L1: Cutting actually is more about control (shows what Amy knows -- which is next to nothing about most things). Tell your parents and tell teachers or your friends' parents. They need therapy. There is special therapy that can work wonders with cutters.

L2: CALL HER. Don't "send emails" or anything else lame like that. Call or visit her. And don't assume the worst. IT may be sexual molestation (or worse), but it also could be something much more tame.

L3: I've never smoked, but anti-smokers are far more obnoxious than most smokers I know (who are polite and considerate about their vice).

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#4 Apr 12, 2013
The Denver Post didn't have L3. Here it is:

DEAR AMY: Responding to "The New Minority," the "classy" smoker whose boyfriend is irritated by her occasional smoking, I was also a smoker, and there is nothing classy about smoking except for the perception of the smoker.

Although I'd only smoke outdoors, my wife and kids were upset by it. They asked me to quit for a few years. I fought it for a long while, but finally I quit smoking. Not only are they happier, but so am I. I feel better physically and mentally, and we all spend much more time together because I'm not sitting out on the deck puffing by myself.-- Ex-Smoker

DEAR EX: To be fair, this writer was being sardonic when she described her three-cigarette a week habit as "classy."

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#5 Apr 12, 2013
L1: Actually, I was told that cutting is one of the easier things to correct. It's more in the range of OCD than anything.

Tell your friends that you will no longer keep this secret, they need help, and talk about your friend that has overcome it. Then spill the beans if they do not. Give it a very short time span.

L2: I'd call her and I'd confront him. That's not something you keep secret. And if it's something minor you can leave in the past (molestation is not one of them), then you will. Find out.

L3: Where did Red get L3?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#6 Apr 12, 2013
1 Lets cut to the quick here, Nark them out.

2 Unless it was rape, they probably both played doctor willingly.

3 Yay for you, but she only smokes 3 a week, not an hour.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#7 Apr 12, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: Cutting actually is more about control (shows what Amy knows -- which is next to nothing about most things). Tell your parents and tell teachers or your friends' parents. They need therapy. There is special therapy that can work wonders with cutters.
Agreed.
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L2: CALL HER. Don't "send emails" or anything else lame like that. Call or visit her. And don't assume the worst. IT may be sexual molestation (or worse), but it also could be something much more tame.
IDK, using email could give the niece time to think about what she wants to say, time to pick the right words, or repsond with an "I don't want to discuss it" without the pressure of having someone pestering them on the other end of a phone call. I know *I'd* be more comfortable doing it that way. <mimishrug>
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L3: I've never smoked, but anti-smokers are far more obnoxious than most smokers I know (who are polite and considerate about their vice).
There was a third letter?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#8 Apr 12, 2013
L3: Also, Amy, try looking up the definition of "sardonic" before throwing it into your column.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#9 Apr 12, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L3: Also, Amy, try looking up the definition of "sardonic" before throwing it into your column.
Ha!*I* looked it up because I felt like telling Amy, to quote Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, "I do not think it means what you think it means."

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#10 Apr 12, 2013
Has anyone here ever met a 12 year old who writes the phrase "or lack there of" ?

The advice isn't bad, but I doubt the letter was written by the 12 year old

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#11 Apr 12, 2013
1- I never understood cutting, maybe I'm just too much of a wuss when it comes to pain. Anyway, do nothing, it's just a phase they'll grow out of. How many adults "cut" themselves?

2- Lady, for all you know he pushed her into a mud puddle. Contact her if you're concerned, but assume nothing.

3- Adverse effects from smoking has never actually been proven.

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

Knoxville, TN

#12 Apr 12, 2013
1. Um, time to dropout of the local goth club and start over. BTW, I am guessing that seeing a therapist would not be as traumatizing as whatever it is that is making them cut.

2. Depends, are you north or south of the Mason-Dixon line?

3. News flash: Tere is nothing "classy" about smoking.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#13 Apr 12, 2013
squishymama wrote:
<quoted text>
Agreed.
<quoted text>
IDK, using email could give the niece time to think about what she wants to say, time to pick the right words, or repsond with an "I don't want to discuss it" without the pressure of having someone pestering them on the other end of a phone call. I know *I'd* be more comfortable doing it that way. <mimishrug>
<quoted text>
There was a third letter?
L3: Yes. I copied and pasted my reswponses from the WaPo without re-reading the amy column here.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#14 Apr 12, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
L3: Yes. I copied and pasted my reswponses from the WaPo without re-reading the amy column here.
I forget you cheat on us with them.
:D

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#15 Apr 12, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
1- I never understood cutting, maybe I'm just too much of a wuss when it comes to pain. Anyway, do nothing, it's just a phase they'll grow out of. How many adults "cut" themselves?
Wrong:
http://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/self-injury...

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#16 Apr 12, 2013
Toj wrote:
Nice try, but that's an article about adults with "mental illness," so it's an invalid argument.

“Colorful Beyond Words”

Since: May 11

"True Love Never Ends "

#17 Apr 12, 2013
L1 Your friends need therapy. Tell an adult.

L2 Probably something silly, just ask.

L3 Three cigs a week... where is the problem?

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

Knoxville, TN

#18 Apr 12, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Nice try, but that's an article about adults with "mental illness," so it's an invalid argument.
Um, no it's not, dum dum. Mental illness is one possible component of self-mutilation. Did you read the article? Wait, can you read?

Go back to bed, you're still sick.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#19 Apr 12, 2013
LW1: I think some kids cut because it really is an expression of inner turmoil, but a lot do it for attention, too. Either way, it's dangerous. Tell someone.

And Pelly, I would have used "lack thereof" at 12. But I am a genius!:D

LW2: I'm just curious as to why so many people who have a whole lot to hide are ALWAYS leaving their FB page, e-mail accounts, etc. opened on computers where everyone can see???

The mom should ask theniece, but I agree an e-mail may be better to give the niece a chance to gether her thoughts.

LW3: This reminds me of a conversation between 2 trendy girls at the state fair recently (probably late teens/early 20s). They were trying to figure out what age smoking stopped being "cute". Yes, they were using the word "cute". I almost turned around and told them they were at that point. But I was nice.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#20 Apr 12, 2013
Sam I Am GEAM wrote:
<quoted text>
Um, no it's not, dum dum. Mental illness is one possible component of self-mutilation. Did you read the article? Wait, can you read?
Did you? The author was a mental health professional. She also said self mutilation includes repeatedly banging one's head against the wall. Do sane people do that?

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