I think my least favorite discussions are ones about cutters. I've heard people say that cutters are just those who are crying for attention or are suicidal but can't bring themselves to do it. As an almost cutter (I would have been a cutter if I hadn't have received help when I did), I didn't feel like I was crying out for attention. I didn't feel suicidal. I have a beautiful little girl that I feel I need to be here for. I just felt like I had too much inside of me and something needed to be let out. Somehow cutting my wrists just to bleed some sounded strangely like it would help me feel at peace and calm. And the biggest reason I didn't cut myself was I hadn't figured out how I would hide it. I didn't want people looking at my wrists and thinking I was some desperate loser who is begging for attention. I just wanted a release. I know, it's not healthy. That's why I sought treatment.
But not all people do. Some people feel these kinds of emotions and feel ashamed of them for one reason or another and don't ask for help. Some people feel that they either can or should be able to handle their emotions on their own and don't ask for help. Some people have other reasons that don't fall in these realms. But no matter what, when they decide it's time to receive help, they need support not judgement.
Cutters are sometimes hard to spot. Some cutters who do want someone to notice and help them may have visible cut marks on their body. Some cutters who don't want people to know will do it on a place on their body where it can't easily be seen. Some cutters will openly admit that they cut if you ask them. Some won't. And sometimes they can seem to be harming themselves in a very subtle way in a very harmful situation like scratching at their favorite cut spot or trying to scratch their skin harder than normal to try to get a little release. Just remember to love them, and also, if you know that they are currently cutting, try to get them to the ER for help. After that, just remain supportive of their recovery as they work through it. It's not an easy process and it takes time. I know that I haven't fully recovered from my thoughts of cutting.