Q&A with Dr. Drew:
Teens Who Cut Themselves
EW: What if you find out your child is cutting?
Dr. Drew: If you have a child who is cutting, you have to get professional help. It is a gigantic mistake to try to do this alone. This is a sign of severe psychiatric pathology. The cutting may settle down, but that child is going have further problems going forward. It is a sign that you need help now. You will pay now or pay later, and it will be worse later.
EW: You talk with kids who cut all the time on your radio show. What do you say to them?
Dr. Drew: I tell them, "You've got to tell an adult!" Because no one is aware of it. And I tell them, "This is a sign that there is something very wrong, you need help immediately, you've got to tell an adult, someone at school, tell your doctor, tell somebody so help can be brought to you so you can get some ongoing care, because this is not going to get better in a couple of days."
EW: Are adults cutting themselves too?
Dr. Drew: It is primitive, so kids who are not fully developed are more prone to it. It is something people grow out of—the cutting gets better. It is rare in only the most severe cases that somebody cuts well into adulthood, but it is a sign that you are in real trouble. It might be as simple as an evaluation that you figure out the child is severely depressed and the depression is treated. Whatever it is, something is very wrong, and you need treatment.