It is not news to anyone I have bipolar disorder. I do not hide it and I have mentioned it more than once here on my blog.I don’t know if many people are aware, but some folks who have bipolar and other disorders of the mental variety are or have been cutters. Just in case you don’t know, cutters cut themselves for one specific reason,which I will explain. I was a cutter for a certain amount of time and I feel qualified to speak out.
First, one may wonder why a person would cut themselves. Well, people cut to feel something.Even if it is pain,it helps. It stings and stinging is to feel something. Medication, although wonderful these days,can leave you flat- like- having no feelings. For example, I tend to become terribly depressed, but also at times, very manic. I used to stay up for days during my manic periods- sleeping only a couple of hours a night. Once medication is prescribed, the depression and the mania meld into a non mood. One is not manic, not depressed, just blah. No one likes being blah. There is a feeling of nothingness deep inside that is difficult to deal with. That is why it is so important to let your doctor know when this happens. Then, the medication can be adjusted to allow feelings to come through- not necessarily the moods, but feelings of pleasure, pain, happiness, sadness.
Sometimes, with the lack of feelings- if I was alone or I had a run-in with someone, I might cut myself. I never cut deeply, as some do, and I only cut my hands- the palms to be exact. Because I had young children at that time, I reasoned, my hands were the safest place to cut since they wouldn’t see it. But, they did.
People have different triggers that lead them to cut, but it all hinges on trying to feel something, somehow- anyhow. Their doctor needs to know. Encourage them to tell their doctor. They may or may not hospitalize them-but, more than likely, they will prescribe medicine that curbs the need to cut. Cutting can be very dangerous. Some people cut deeply and are transported to the hospital frequently to stitch up their wounds. I was not one of them.
I have not had the need to cut myself in a very long time. The doctor put me on the medication Risperdal which helped me stop. I hope this little missive gives an insight on what it is and what it means to be a cutter. The cutter is already ashamed of what they do. Gently help them . The next time they go to the doctor, offer to go with and tell the doctor or urge them to tell so they can get the help they need. Whatever you do, please don’t judge ,don ‘t nag, don’t yell. These things do not help-it only increases the need to cut.Should you know someone who cuts and you are not sure how to help, call a doctor, or a mental help line. Suicide is not what they are attempting in most cases- just a need to feel something.