“My friend is cutting and I don’t know how to help them. I don’t know what to do.”
I think the first thing we need to do is to understand WHY people cut. We must see it from their perspective FIRST, in order to help them. We have to understand.
Why people cut
People cut because they are going through something so traumatic and something so painful that they want to take the focus off their pain, even momentarily, and put it onto something else.
When they cut, the pain from their emotional pain is not the focus. The pain of the cut or physical ailment becomes the focus and it helps them to get through whatever it is they are dealing with.
It’s a lot like someone drinking to escape pain or watching TV to escape their life. People use different methods as a way of escape. Cutting, getting drunk, doing drugs, watching TV to escape, overeating, it’s all a symptom of the same problem: they want to escape the pain they feel in their life.
Another reason people cut is because they feel like they deserve it. They feel guilt and whatever guilt they feel, they feel like they must be punished and so cutting is a way of punishing themselves and exacting their own punishment upon themselves.
How to help someone who’s cutting
Being a friend
There are some very simple things you can do to help someone who is cutting. Mostly, it’s about being a friend, listening, and understanding. Often times, we conceal our pain, our failures, the things we struggle with. Mostly because when we DO share hard things, it makes people leave. People leaving is the exact OPPOSITE of what they need.
It is very similar to dealing with helping someone with depression. They are struggling with GREAT inner turmoil and if you can help them, talk things through with them, really and genuinely BE there for them, being a friend to them, letting them know when they want to cut, day or night to call you, you can really make a huge impact.
I remember when I was living in the homeless shelter and was in Christian counseling with my Pastor’s wife. She told me I could call her anytime, even if it was in the middle of the night, if things got bad with my depression. One time, I called her at 3 o’ clock in the morning and she was right there with me, talking me through it. THAT’S the kind of friend we need to be for others!
Other things you can do is to give them essential oils. A small little sample is all it takes. When they are feeling especially depressed, they can smell Melissa oil or Deep Blue essential oil. Just be sure it’s medical grade quality, but those two oils are designed to help with depression and combat it very easily.
Suicidal people should smell Melissa oil. It works within 30 seconds! It helps a person who is tempted to take their life, to be able to handle and cope with those temporary, though extremely painful feelings.
It takes the “edge” off just enough to be able to get through the situation. It doesn’t make you stop being sad, although, you can take oils for sadness and deep grief as well (like Deep Blue or Peppermint essential oil, for example).
Giving them the gospel
You can be an amazing friend and help them through this and you can give them oils for those times when they want to end it all, but the HEALING of the actual PAIN, only comes from Jesus Christ. There is no substitute. Everything else just carries them along and gets them though: survival mode type of thing.
Jesus Christ is the true HEALER.
He’s the only One who can genuinely heal their hurts, make them feel like they are UNDERSTOOD. He knows their pain. He cares about their pain and He loves them in a way that no other human can, no matter how loving and understanding they are. Jesus Christ’s love far surpasses any other type of love and that’s what EVERYONE needs.
Give them the gospel. Give them a Bible. Give them a tract. Maybe they are already saved, maybe they are not.
Yes, Christian people go through depression too. Christian people are tempted to commit suicide as well. It’s just that the PATTERN of a Christian’s life is not marked by those things all the time, but Christians are not exempt from pain and suffering. If you don’t believe that, do a deep dive study on Paul in the Bible.
Maybe they have a Bible already, encourage them to read it. Find some verses that really apply to their situation and encourage them to pray asking God to help. Have them memorize those verses and say them over and over and over when the bad times hit.
Listen, point blank, God is near to those who are suffering and in pain MORE than He is to those where everything is going well for them. Why? Because Jesus WANTS to help. He wants to redeem and sometimes, He uses bad experiences to get people’s attention.
When I was in the homeless shelter, going through all that I was going though, the most horrific time in my life (prior to my trial with Kyle), it was extremely painful. But God USED those experiences to draw me closer to Him and ultimately win me to Him! After I got out of the homeless shelter, I gave my life to Christ!!!!!!!! 👈
Ask John MacArthur how he became a Pastor?! God allowed him to be thrown out of a car in a terrible car accident and in the hospital he laid there unable to move and finally accepted his call to be a Pastor and look how the Lord has used him all these years!!!
God used my homelessness to get my attention and God can use their brokenness, their hurts, their emotional pain, all to draw them to Himself as well. They need Him more than anything else right now.
Maybe they are mad at Him, maybe they don’t want Him, be an encouragement to them that God doesn’t hate them. God loves them. He’s been tempted and testing in all the things we go through as a human, so He understands how they are feeling. Of course! He made them! He knows what pain they are struggling with. He feels it. He knows. He understands and sometimes, He’s the only One who DOES understand. 💯 He’s there for them. He wants to help!