What can I do if my friend won't stop cutting?

30 Answers
Last Updated: 07/23/2018 at 3:25pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jill Kapil, PsyD

Psychologist

I have experience working in University College counseling centers, and am passionate about working with young adults. My work with clients is collaborative and supportive.

Top Rated Answers
Watermelon123
January 3rd, 2015 2:07pm
Talk to him/her about it. Try to find out more about why your friend does it. Self-harm can be a way of dealing with your emotions. When you are feeling a lot of anxiety or distress, cutting yourself may be a way to distract yourself from these overwhelming emotions. Another reason for doing it might be that when you self-harm, that might be the only time people actually show their worry or care for you. If people otherwise ignore you, but only show that they care when you hurt yourself, it is no wonder that you cut yourself. This might be the only strategy you know to get warmth and care from other people. I would say you should discuss this with your friend, show understanding, and together try to work out other strategies for her to deal with her emotions or to get close to other people.
lovelyCaramel14
March 15th, 2015 12:40pm
I myself cut and i know that if i had a friend that knew of my problem i would want them to be there for me and make me feel better. I would want them to be someone to turn to if i ever felt the need.
Normaaeb
December 21st, 2014 9:41am
You have to show them you are really for them but give them their space, they will appreciate it. Talk to them, hang with them, make sure they forget the problem that lead them to start cutting. They will thank you for that.
Puffin
November 25th, 2014 5:29pm
You can't stop her, unfortunately... She can only make herself stop. The best and the only thing you can do for her is being there for her and give her your support.
KindnessCounts
July 21st, 2015 5:49am
You cannot control the actions of others. What you can do, is let them know that you do care about them. Ask them what they are thinking about when they decide to harm themselves, allow them to express thier fears and feelings and simply listen or ask open ended questions if it seems there is something more they need to say. Being there for them will go a long way, try not to judge them or make hurtful threats. Ultimately, if it persists, you may need to help them find a mental health professional. However, do not allow yourself to feel guilty or discouraged if you cannot help them stop. You are a great friend for trying!
Blueangelz
December 17th, 2014 10:16pm
Talk to them about what's making them want to cut. Show that you're there for your friend and that you care about their well being.
Anonymous
May 21st, 2015 8:50am
A good start is to check out internet resources for your friend. Share the results with him or her and see what can be helpful. Most importantly, see that your friend receives appropriate treatment for their injuries.
Anonymous
November 28th, 2014 6:49pm
Understand that it's not your responsibility. Once you have that, it becomes easier for you to seek help from outside sources for example a counselor if they are not already seeing one.
CarpeDiem123
May 10th, 2015 8:20pm
Be there for them and support them (however always put you first, if it gets too much reach out) See if they will seek professional help Distract them, e.g. invite them to go shopping, cinema, ice skating, movie night The most important thing is that they don't feel alone. There are lots of good organisations who specialise in helping those suffering with self harm. It is not something to be ashamed of.
Spiderman93
November 24th, 2014 11:53pm
Be there for your friend. Let them know you love them and will be there for them. If you know why they cut, maybe help them to work on the issue.
LucyNightingale
November 25th, 2014 3:07am
Try letting her know that there are other ways. Sitting down with her and deeply discussing how she feels can help a lot. Let her know you are listening.
TheComedyTragedy
November 25th, 2014 11:11pm
Sometimes its hard to face up to the things people we love are doing to themselves. What we cannot do is control the lives of others, if you've already asked said friend to stop and they've said no, it might be helpful to give them the lines for samaritans and other help services in a friendly and gentle way - whilst offering your own support to be there if they ever need to talk. If you are under the age of 16, it might be useful to let a teacher, a tutor or another adult know that your friend is self harming (after telling your friend you're going to have to tell an adult about the way they are behaving.)
Anonymous
December 7th, 2014 9:15am
Be there for them, speak to them and advise them to seek help immediately because it could get worse and we don't want that.
Vilechylde
December 29th, 2014 7:47pm
No matter what another person does, the first thing you got to realize is that sometimes you can't help people. They refuse to get help for themselves. Dangerous things like cutting may require intervention beyond your help, and that's when voicing your concern to someone in authority becomes important. Yeah... you might lose that friend. To stand and do nothing when your friend is hurting yourself is not being a friend.
Anonymous
May 10th, 2015 1:42am
Try to understand why they feel like they need to cut, and try to accept that they are responsible for their actions and that they will change when they feel ready.
puppylove
November 3rd, 2015 3:15pm
I think you should talk to her about it. Always be there for her and help her open up to you. Let her know that she isn't alone and that she has someone to talk to when she wants to. If you help her feel better and safe then she'll stop cutting. Also try convincing her that cutting herself won't help and in fact make the problem worse. I know these are pretty basic and obvious stuff but there's not much to it. You should just be there for her and be a good friend.
Anonymous
December 22nd, 2015 6:03pm
tell an adult
patientLove57
July 10th, 2017 9:33pm
People cut for two reasons. The first reason is they are looking for someone to pay attention to them (you will see the cuts on their arms and in other visible places), in which case you are only able to let them know that you are there for them and is someone they can rely on. At the same time you can encourage them to seek professional help to address the reason they are cutting. The other reason individuals cut is because they feel a rush when they cut and it helps alleviate some emotional pain they are experiencing in their life. In this instance the only thing you can do is try to get them to seek out counseling and therapy to address the emotional trauma they are experiencing. In either case, try to be there for your friend and let them know about other resources
sweetCooch
December 12th, 2017 12:59pm
Tell her how concerned you are and urge her to seek professional help. There’s only so much help you can give her and until she decides she needs help, your options are limited. If she reaches a point where she is going to commit suicide, contact the police immediately. Otherwise, try giving her the national suicide prevention hot line
Anonymous
July 23rd, 2018 3:25pm
You can't FORCE her to stop cutting, but you can try to talk in a way only a friend can, by saying how much she means, and trying to help her with her emotions. Maybe you could invite her onto 7cups to talk with some of us.
RobynCares
December 24th, 2014 9:39pm
If your friend is not seeking any form of help, such as therapy, then it may be best to go to a trusted adult that would be able to find your friend help.
InnocentCookies
November 2nd, 2015 6:29pm
Just be there for them, let them know that your friendship will not change and that you care for them.
Anonymous
December 22nd, 2015 7:41am
Rather than focusing on the cutting itself, focus on the cause of it. Let them know that when they feel like cutting that they can talk to you. Sometimes having someone to vent about whatever is causing them to cut is enough to stop them doing it.
Anonymous
January 12th, 2016 12:41pm
Try to give them hope for the future, male them participate in different hobbies and socialise alot more
Anonymous
May 10th, 2016 7:44pm
talk to them about it. tell them how much you care about them and it hurts you. offer help for them.
Anonymous
January 31st, 2017 2:28am
You can remind them that you'll always be there for them, and tell them you'll always help until the end. Because you love them (as friends or not) and they are worth everything. Try making them forget about sad things and try avoiding that subject a bit. But it's sometimes necessary to speak about it. You'll have to try to make them get help, and/or talk about it and let some things off their chest
Anonymous
February 6th, 2017 6:36am
Do your best to relate to them, and do not stop trying to get them help. Ask them what they would do if a close friend of theirs hurt themselves, how terrible they would feel. Never act like they're being accused but just put everything into perspective.
Anonymous
August 28th, 2017 9:36am
Let them know you are there for them to talk to, support them as much as you can. When they are ready to stop they will, they know themselves best.
Anonymous
November 21st, 2017 4:59am
Ask them to seek help. It is imperative that they get help from a crisis hotline or seek serious professional help. Talk to a trusted adult, if you're a minor. If not, then talk to your friend directly.
Anonymous
February 22nd, 2018 2:40pm
Let them know you are there for them and you are here to support them, be a listening ear for them. If they want to stop but can't you can always ask them if they need to see a therapist or what you can do to help