Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cut - the book, the movie, the reality

A few days ago, I received the following book review from Zoe, age 12.

"I'm reviewing a fantastic book called Cut by Patricia Mcormick. It is a wonderfully descriptive novel about a girl named Callie who cuts herself. She is a 'guest' at a psychiatric hospital called Sea Pines, and she doesn't understand why she should be there. She goes through emotional difficulties with her family, environment, and friends. Her mother is paranoid about everything that could possibly endanger Callie's brother, and Callie struggles with the fact that the attention is always on him.

Patricia Mcormick's ability to develop characters and emotions draws you so far into the book, you can't stop reading. In Cut the writer puts you in the perspective of Callie's therapist, which makes you feel her different attitudes as if you are actually talking to her. The book is so detailed that when Callie cuts herself you feel the stress being released within your body, too. This book takes you on a journey through the depression and the troubles of a 15-year-old girl. I highly reccomend this book to whoever is interested in novels with this particular feel to it--sad but great. This book is one I will definitely read again. Don't miss out on it."

This review reminds me of the most important things books can do for us: they can help us understand others, or they can show us that others have the same struggles that we do. I read Cut when it was first published about 5 years ago because I was trying to understand self-harm. I've learned so much since then, mostly because more people are talking about it. There's even a new documentary about teens and self-harm coming out. If you see it, I suggest going with parents so you can have a conversation about it afterwards.

Self-harm is when someone hurts herself on purpose. There are a lot of myths about self-harm, such as that people who do it want to commit suicide or that it's a "cry for help." Thankfully, most people who do it don't want to commit suicide. It can be a cry for help, but it's also a coping mechanism. That means people do it to help them deal with stress or emotional pain in their lives. For some people, physical pain distracts them from emotional pain.

Some people don't take self-harm seriously because they think girls do it "just to get attention," "to be cool," or "to fit in." But if a girl needs to hurt herself to get attention, be cool, or fit in, that's a sign that she needs help. If someone self-harms, it doesn't mean she's sick or crazy. It just means she needs to find healthier, less dangerous coping mechanisms.

Even though it's scary to talk about, I'm glad self-harm has been getting so much attention, because that means self-harmers are less likely to suffer alone. If you have ever self-harmed or thought about self-harming, talk to an adult right away. If you're not sure who to tell, your school counselor is a good place to start. She'll likely understand self-harm and help you find ways to talk about it with other people who can help, like your parents. I also hope you will check out these websites: http://www.kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/problems/resisting_cutting.html and http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/si.html. The more we understand, the stronger we'll be.

10 comments:

A. Grey said...

When I was maybe thirteen or fourteen, it was cool to be crazy. If you saw a therapist, you were cool. If you took medication for depression or some other brain disorder, you were cool. And if you cut yourself, wow, you were beyond cool. The book CUT fueled this belief.

I both own and love the book, however, I believe that parents and their kids should read it together, so as not to give some sort of boost to self- harming behavior. I cut because it was cool, and the book kind of reinforced that behavior.

So, if parents are going to let their childern read CUT, I hope that they take into account the power of suggestion that some kids will take from that book.

Anonymous said...

b. i had a girlfriend who cut herself and once i found out in 2 days i dumped her she was sad and almost died because she cut a vein and had to go to the hospital so i felt sorry for her.

Anonymous said...

i love this book!alot i cant get enough of it.like crazy

Anonymous said...

hey i totally love this book it's not self inflicted that i read this book because i cut myself, which i don't but i just thought i try to read it and it ended up being my favorite book! i thought callie just needed to find a way she could deal with all of her emotional pain besides cutting. if you chose to read this book i assure you it is one of the best you'll read. me and my friend read it together. that made it even more enjoyable to read.

I don't cut but the the book cut said...

I love this book!!! (Well at least what a I read...) I asked my friend to put it in our locker 4 me cuz I had to do sumthing. When I come back it waz GONE!!!!!!!!!!!
And wut makes me even more mad is that I almost done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:'-(
'=tear

Anonymous said...

I luved the book.It remindfed me of my life.

Anonymous said...

OMFG... i REALLY want 2 read this book now... where can i buy a copy??? does any1 know???

RACHEL said...

OMFG i want 2 read this now!!!

Anonymous said...

I got my copy from a book store called B.Dalton it was good

........ said...

i am happy with this book and i hope there is a movie that goes with it... i got my book at Borders and i have read it more than 6 times and im reading it again....