To want to know if any of you have pre-teen or teenage daughters who self harm?

(28 Posts)
ThisIsAnotherNC Sun 10-Apr-16 09:11:14

I know I'm gonna get flamed for this post but here goes anyway. 12 YO DD does, and I found out in October. School counsellor useless. I got her a therapist but doesn't seem to go anything. I was wondering if any of you have a similar problem?

NoahVale Sun 10-Apr-16 09:12:55

why should you get flamed.?
have you been to GP for a referral to CAMHS?

do you know if there is any underlying reason why she does this?
my dd did and it turned out there was a reason, ie. bad behaviour from a boy

ThisIsAnotherNC Sun 10-Apr-16 09:15:08

10 weeks waiting list and also the CAMHS person who normally deals with this is on maternity leave so the list is going even slower.

ordinarylives Sun 10-Apr-16 09:21:45

My older dd did but only lasted a few months. TBH and I expect to get flamed here, nearly all her friends did and it almost appears to be trendy. I was told by my younger daughter that her friends did it to, but most are now stopping. Obviously genuine cases of self harm need soecialist help, but this endemic of self harm in schools etc, is mistly down to teenage angst.

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 10-Apr-16 09:22:11

Out of interest, why do you only want to hear from parents of daughters who self-harm? My teenage son has been self-harming for two years (although it seems to be stopping) but he isn't a girl, so my experience isn't relevant to this thread.

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 10-Apr-16 09:23:41

That comment sounded stroppier than I meant it to; sorry. I was just curious why you only want to hear about parenting girls who self-harm.

ThisIsAnotherNC Sun 10-Apr-16 09:24:26

Tbf I just want to make sure I am not alone and there are others out there.

ThisIsAnotherNC Sun 10-Apr-16 09:25:36

Other people are welcome to join in too smile

LittleRedSparke Sun 10-Apr-16 09:26:52

You only have to google to see you are not alone - why would you be U to ask?

personally - your title made me itch a bit, but thats my issue not yours.

No matter what your 'thing' is, i bet a dollar to ten that you can find someone else online going through/doing the same thing.

If you are looking for support, why didnt you post in the teenagers section?

Ciggaretteandsmirnoff Sun 10-Apr-16 09:27:19

Hi op my Dniece self harmed at that age and write some very dark diary letters to herself that were very upsetting when her mother found them. The school, GP and cahms where useless. Could you pay privately for a therapist?

She is 18 now and still has anger issues but I don't think she does it any more. Sorry It's not great advice but I know how bad you must be feeling.

flowers for you both

Boltonlass1972 Sun 10-Apr-16 09:27:44

OP I'm so sorry to hear this, it can be very distressing. I'm also sorry the school counselor was useless, therapy not doing anything. Most parents want the self harming to stop as it's distressing. However, if underlying issues are worked through, the need to self harm diminishes. Anxiety is a top scorer for self harm, as are friendship issues. It's very hard for us as parents as sometimes family relationships figure in there somewhere. However, therapy takes time, whether through the school counselor (who wouldn't be able to 'solve it' in a couple of visits) or a paid therapist. GP referrals for CAMHS is the way to go. However, they are so rammed with referrals, life threatening issues such as eating disorders, suicidal behaviour come first, then violence or danger, then everything else. Your child has something to work through. Young minds website may help them with some issues but usually it will take a series of sessions with someone to listen, be that counselor, therapist, relative etc. Unfortunately often as parents it's not us they choose to talk through with.. More helpful to have an outsider. Takes time though. X

ThisIsAnotherNC Sun 10-Apr-16 09:28:46

Sorry if I didn't post in the right place, I'm new here and I don't really understand how this works.

ThisIsAnotherNC Sun 10-Apr-16 09:29:30

Thank you for your kind post boltonlass.

pointythings Sun 10-Apr-16 09:31:36

Both of mine have, younger DD recently. Minor (no cutting) but still. It is extremely common and we have a lot of stress at home. At least they are open about it with me and ask for help. They both also use The Butterfly Project method, which helps.

Boltonlass1972 Sun 10-Apr-16 09:32:12

Journalling thoughts in a notebook can be therapeutic and help her get her thoughts out, as can art, drawing etc. Some find colouring helps, others exercise, but definitely finding, experimenting with and broadening the coping mechanisms is important. Listing all the creative things she's ever done/enjoyed and similar with exercise can help bring up some forgotten serotonin boosters that can be revived.

ordinarylives Sun 10-Apr-16 09:35:02

With my daughter, the more I reacted to it, the more she did it. She knew it frightened me and we were all treading on egg shells as we didn't want to stress her. One particular day though, I had, had enough. i turned round to her and said. right the medicine cabinet has been stocked up, Ive not hidden the razors, please be as careful as you can. I said this very calmly and walked out. She never did it sgain

drivinmecrazy Sun 10-Apr-16 09:37:03

You are certainly not alone. Been there, done that, got the T shirt! Whilst I do agreen to a certain extent with PP who says it is 'trendy', in my DDS case it was a coping mechanism. Eventually we found out she was feeling the pressure of being a 'perfect' child and 'perfect ' student as that was how she perceived both our and the schools expectations of her. It was by far the most upsetting , soul destroying, angst ridden time in my life. Heartbreaking even. BUT we have got through it. DD1 is now 15, and whilst I would never say never, we seem to have got through it by talking and giving her time and through great counselling via her school . We also found out that she had always felt slightly pushed out by her little sister, we never knew!

Ladycrazycat Sun 10-Apr-16 09:37:13

I self harmed as a teenager, although I was older than your daughter. I would say 13/14 when I did it once and then it became more regular when I was about 16/17.

It certainly wasn't down to a teen angst teenage thing in any way, shape or form!! It also wasn't down to a lost of the theories I read on it online at the time which just didn't fit me at all.

All I can describe it as was a build up of overwhelming emotion that I didn't know how to deal with, all of which I can see now was associated with me being quite a shy and anxious teenager. I took comments to heart a lot and still do. I did stop eventually but the anxiety remained. I'm finally having CBT to help with the anxiety and it really is helping.

I'm a perfectly typical woman in my early 30s by the way (which will hopefully be a little reassuring). I have a successful career, married to my husband who I met at university and pregnant with my first child.

Perhaps persever with counselling of some sort, however I would say that I did try counselling when I started uni and just didn't gel with the counsellor. Sometimes it can take a while to find the right kind of counselling or counsellor for the individual, so perhaps if the therapist doesn't seem to be working it isn't quite the right fit.

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 10-Apr-16 09:38:02

OK, putting the female only title aside, the way we got help for him was to get both school and GP involved. This led to a CAMHS referral and he is now getting fortnightly cognitive behavioural therapy with a psychologist who specializes in adolescents. They've shown him alternative ways to cope when he feels the urge to self-harm.

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 10-Apr-16 09:39:24

The Young Minds website is also helpful:

www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents/whats_worrying_you_about_your_child/self-harm

ordinarylives Sun 10-Apr-16 09:41:35

Forgot to mention, dd never 'cut' more like superficial scratches, but when there is a lot of them, they look alarming.

NoahVale Sun 10-Apr-16 09:42:56

I think I was directed too the CAMHS website.
DD also wore a rubber band on her wrist to try and stop her

crumblybiscuits Sun 10-Apr-16 09:45:18

I self harmed for ten years from 12. I still have lots of scars from it now as it got to the point where I was requiring stitches. I'm now very happy with a fiancé, kids and my own house and my MH is very stable. I know the time was very hard on my family, it was also handled very badly though, being told it was a teenage phase and just essentially brushing it under the rug. I would advise to try and communicate as much as possible and please encourage her to take care of the wounds as I didn't and now I'm left feeling unable to expose my arms and legs because my scars weren't treated correctly at the time. Try to keep your chin up, it will get better eventually.

drivinmecrazy Sun 10-Apr-16 09:54:55

It is amazing what they find to cut with and where. My DD would take blades out of pencil sharpeners, clips off of pen lids, anything really. She was also very clever at where she would cut . We spend summers in Spain so she would be almost always in swimwear but the cuts where so well hidden. The biggest piece of advice I would give is not to minimise how she is feeling, many times I would shout and scream at her in absolute bloody frustration and fear. To me she had everything; she's pretty, clever, great friends, stable home life. But she didn't see any of these things. I learnt I was wasting my time trying to make her stop, ironically I concentrated on making sure she was cutting 'responsibly '. I learnt to read the signs of when her anxiety levels are rising and we now take time out, just the two of us and talk it through. Though that has been so tough on her little sister and DH because it is only me she will talk to. But we find the time, we make the time.
I'm so sorry I have nothing really useful to add. But you and your DD will find a way through

imeatingthechocolate Sun 10-Apr-16 09:54:57

yes my daughter shredded herself by stripping her eyelashes and eyebrows off by hand she has moved on to overeating now which affects her health

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