Consequences of Cutting

Cutting is an addiction that is hard to overcome. There is nothing quite like it. Most cutters would say they don't want to kill themselves, they just like the sight of their blood, and the high it brings. Andi said she's been cutting for a year and a half, even though she doesn't remember why she started:

Hours locked in the bathroom at home, or on the floor of a dirty bathroom stall, the cutter carries her precious tools with her wherever she goes ready at any time to take matters into her own hands. To relieve the emotional pressure and pain she can't describe, she resorts to slicing into her own skin. The dripping blood reminds her she's still alive. No one to talk to, she settles for self-injury. The blade is her fake friend. The shame and the scars, her constant companions. Just trying to find her way through the rocky road of life, she can't help but turn inward.  I don't want to be anything but compassionate toward someone caught in the struggle of cutting. But I also want to expose the destructive consequences of cutting.

Paralyzing, Emotional Pain

No one cuts to end up paralyzed in her own emotional pain. But somewhere down the road, that's where she finds herself.

Someone wrote and told me that after the high of cutting wears off, you are left with even more pain. "I quit the cutting because someone once told me the truth, that you only forget about your emotional pain for a moment. It's like a drug you come down from it and you feel much worse than you did before because you have to deal with the emotional pain that comes from cutting on top of whatever emotional pain you were already feeling."

Dara said she cut for two years, but still carries the weight of the emotional pain with her. "A couple of minutes of relief are not worth the months of hiding and uncomfortable situations when people find out."

People who begin cutting are convinced their self-medication works. It is a shattering experience to find out later on, not only does it not work, but it is extremely emotionally destructive.

A Body Full of Scars

One has to wonder how many countless hours and strategic ways cutters use to hide their physical scars...permanent reminders of their tragic mistakes. Eddie started cutting when he was twelve. "I thought it was for me to take all my anger and frustrations out on myself, but I noticed the scars it leaves will always remind me of my mistakes."

Sidney is 14 and has been cutting since she was nine. "Those scars are there forever and every time I see them, I'm going to be so sad about why I [cut]." 

Not only are you left with scars for the rest of your life, but it's also very possible to get infections from cutting with something that is dirty or not sterile. It is also extremely possible to misjudge the depth of a cut, actually requiring stitches or even hospitalization. You can pass out or even bleed to death. You don't want to die, I'm sure of that. Let's face it, cutting is a scar-giving enemy, who will constantly remind you of a dark past no one would want to repeat or remember.

A Sick Web of Addiction

Most cutters never intend to become addicted to it. Liz said, for her, cutting was worse than drugs because she wanted to do it all the time. You don't care where you's almost like you can't go on without it.

Cutting can easily become a compulsive behavior, meaning the more you do it, the more you feel the need to do it. Your brain starts to connect the false sense of relief with cutting. The next time you feel the pressure building, your brain craves this relief.

The urge to cut can seem too hard to resist. Your attempt to feel a sense of control over your life has ended up controlling you.

JS commented about how all through high school she would try to stop, but then would go back to it shortly after. "Then I would feel horrible when I finished cutting. The highs weren't lasting as long and the crash was even worse. So, I began cutting more, deeper, and more frequently. Being very interested in psychology I knew the chemical reasons, but I was already hooked and couldn't stop."

You know I care about you very much...enough to tell you the truth. But let's get down to it. If you are a cutter, it's time for you step back and take a good look at what you're doing to yourself. It's time to tell yourself the truth. It's also time to figure out how to resist your urge to cut.

Are you addicted to cutting?

  • Does the cutting actually help you deal with the emotional pain you're going through, or does it just cover it up?
  • Do you feel more worthless the more scars you see on your body?
  • Are your friends worried about your cutting?
  • Do you spend large amounts of time trying to hide your cutting?
  • Have you told yourself you want to quit, but can't?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you or someone you know, needs to read, How to Quit Cutting for Good.  It could be a life-changer.

For help with cutting and information about our partner that specializes in self-harm recovery read: 5 Things to Know About Door of Hope

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24 comments on “Consequences of Cutting”

  1. I started cutting myself again this year. I became so overwhelmed and stressed with life I was on the verge of just slitting my wrist and ending it all. Now I just hate looking in the mirror because I feel so weak and useless. I want to cut my face and body to match how ugly I feel on the inside. I’m seeing someone to help me through my problems but the urge is still there.

  2. What are the consequences of when you cut. I cut the other day and now im very worried about the consequences of what might happen. I only did it once and im not going to do it again. Just to let you know

  3. Hello, I started cutting around the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. Even though I have been to a psychiatric hospital and had many counselors, I still struggle with cutting sometimes. Although I don't do it as often as I had before, I still have the urges and thoughts of cutting. It's hard for me to be open about it to my family and friends because they tell me I've come so far since the beginning of my recovery. I'm afraid to let them down and more importantly, afraid to admit to them that I let myself down. My fear of this is so great that I can't even tell my counselor about how I really feel... I know that it's good to tell my loved ones so that I can receive help but, I'm afraid of disappointing everyone. I don't want to become a burden and worry anyone. What can I do?

    1. Charlie Grace, You are not a burden nor are you a disappointment. You are struggling and you are only human. Recovery is tough and relapse is real. Maybe you've seen this quote:
      "You are not alone, and you're not a failure. Be proud that you've tried. Just because you slipped, doesn't mean you can't recover. Keep trying, and don't give up. Find out how to learn from your relapse to succeed the next time!" It's important that you talk to your family and friends. You are not letting anyone down. You are being proactive by letting them know you are still having urges and thoughts of cutting. By admitting this and getting some help again you are learning to succeed in your recovery. You may already have the resources you need...just in case you want a place to find help...we have a partner organization that specializes in self-harm and they have recovery coaches that can help you.
      • You can text them at 1-803-570-2061 (Alternative No. 914-393-1904) Texting is available Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday 8:30 – 10:30 EST.
      • Their website is
      • You can email them to (answered in 24/48 hrs)

  4. definetly tell someone. your friend needs help, and they will thank you when you get older. i wish i had someone who could get me help..

    1. We have a partner that can help you help your friend that is self-harming or if your friend is open to it, give him this information for help.
      You can text them at at 1-803-570-2061 (Alternative No. 914-393-1904) Texting is available Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday 8:30 – 10:30 EST.
      Their website is
      You can email them to (answered in 24/48 hrs)
      They have helped many we have sent them overcome self harm.

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