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I've just discovered my dd (14) has been self harming. Devastated.

(18 Posts)
Scaredandneedhelp Fri 10-Apr-15 01:32:07

Just before bedtime tonight I discovered, by accident that my dd has been self harming.

She was wearing pyjama shorts and reached up to get something and they rode up and I noticed loads of cuts around her very upper thigh/hip. I asked her about it and she denied it and said they were shaving cuts but finally admitted she had been self harming.

I am distraught, I don't know how to handle this, we've had a chat and a cry and I'm taking her to the gp tomorrow.

She's had a few issues in school recently, problems with her dad and has general exam stress (school exams after Easter break) it's all obviously just gotten too much.

It's just me and her at home, I'm so scared, I'm scared of her doing some real damage, taking it to far and accidentally doing something serious or it escalating into something more serious.

She's off school again next week and I'm due in work 3 days, but now im thinking I can't leave her alone.

Can the Dr arrange counselling? I would pay if that meant there was less of a wait.

I assume I should tell the school due to there being some bullying issues (school already aware of this) but dd is adamant that the school nurse isn't involved as apparently kids seeing the nurse get taking out of class at a set time so everyone knows and she doesn't wasn't anyone to know. She hasn't told anyone.

Sorry if this is a mess, my head is all over the place. Any advice gratefully received.

lottieandmias Fri 10-Apr-15 01:41:52

Hi scared, I know this is really worrying but hopefully your daughter will be referred to CAMHS. My friends dd is going through this (aged 11). I self harmed for many years but in recent years have been able to stop. It was a way of venting stress and frustration with things I couldn't control. I have three dds and I do worry about them doing it because of my own predisposition. There are people out there who will be able to support your dd to find better coping mechanisms. I think taking her to the GP is the best thing at this point. thanks

Scaredandneedhelp Fri 10-Apr-15 08:01:27

Thanks for your reply and getting back to me last night. I'm glad to hear you have been able to stop recently.

Dd and I were both wide awake last night to I put on a film and we fell asleep.

Kust now waiting for the Dr to open to try to get an appointment today.

I still feel overwhelmed this morning and thinking I may not have handled thing to well last night. I should have tried to remain calmer and not got too upset, but I felt really taken aback.

I'm going to have a look online for counselling places in the area as I feel there will be a big wait for camhs.

lottieandmias Fri 10-Apr-15 08:24:56

I think that's understandable - it must have been a big shock for you. Even though I feel as if I understand why I self harmed I'm still very upset by the thought of my own dds doing it.

I hope you will not have to wait a long time for CAMHS.

Scaredandneedhelp Fri 10-Apr-15 09:15:28

Thank you, I hope so too.

We have an appointment at 10. Dd is upset that I'm making her go. I feeling like the bad guy for making her, but surely it would be worse to do nothing.

Feeling completely out of my depth where I'm genuinely unsure if my actions are making things better or worse. I feel like I'm completely messing things up.

noblegiraffe Fri 10-Apr-15 09:26:08

There are lots of Internet resources about self harm in teenagers because it's unfortunately quite common. Some reading will probably help.

NeedAScarfForMyGiraffe Fri 10-Apr-15 09:56:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nolim Fri 10-Apr-15 09:58:24

Good luck op. You are not the bad guy for reaching out for help.

Scaredandneedhelp Fri 10-Apr-15 16:33:15

Thanks everyone and for the links.

The appointment went ok the gp spent ages talking to dd we were in with him for just over half an hour (sure that made us popular in the waiting room!)

He spoke to her about when and how she had been cutting herself and she said one occasion a fortnight ago and one a week ago (doc said marks corresponded probably) she said doing it didn't make her feel any better.

He spoke to her about speaking to me, about school, about finding a hobby, getting out more, exercising to feel better (she is very skinny, so I'm a bit concerned about going down that rd) spending time with friends etc.

Dd got a bit upset at one point but was generally ok. Gp said he wasn't going to refer to camhs just now, but to try everything we spoke about and see how it goes, but to come straight back/phone and a referral could be done ASAP. Not sure what I expected more, but think it seemed ok.

Encouraged Dd out into town afterwards to do some shopping and she seemed a bit brighter, but then argued with me so wanted to come home and now isn't speaking to me.

Honestly not sure how to do this, whether to leave her not to talk and act like all is ok and she seems happier, or try to talk, risk the big blow up and her clamming up.

NeedAScarfForMyGiraffe Fri 10-Apr-15 17:50:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappyAxolotyl Sat 11-Apr-15 09:17:57

Scared, I discovered my 14 yr old dd was self harming a couple of months ago.
I second the pp who said to insist for a referral to CAMHS. We waited 6 months for an appointment with camhs, luckily my dd had been referred before the self harming started, but waiting just a few months was so stressful.
Buy your daughter some antiseptic wipes and make sure she knows to keep the blade clean. Give her some swabs and antiseptic cream. Suggest she tries something different when she feels the need, eg twanging an elastic band on her skin, or holding on an icecube.
Stay calm, and don't keep pestering her about it. (Very hard to do!)
There is lots of information for you both online. If someone had told me a year ago that our family would be going through something like this, I would not have believed them. It comes as such a shock!
Please be kind to yourself too, parenting teens is hard work!

Scaredandneedhelp Sat 11-Apr-15 21:38:26

Thanks for the replies. Sorry there's others going through this but also reassuring to know I'm not alone if that makes sense.

Yesterday was very overwhelming, lots of emotions on both sides. I'm feeling a little calmer today and trying to be positive.

Ds has said she has only cut herself on 2 occasions and said she won't be doing it again as she only felt dizzy and didn't get the 'release' that she thought she would. I don't really believe this just now but we've spoken about opening up more and what she thinks her issues are etc.

It is only me and her at home and her friends don't live very close so I think during the week she feels quite lonely and spends a lot of time online. I think this is making her feel down.

After the Easter break I'm going to try to see if we can change that a bit as (until this all came to light yesterday) there has been a real change in her mood although that may also be because she is not at school where there are some problems so don't want to minimalise things.

I hear what you are saying about camhs, I believe there is an 18 week wait. Dd is adamant she doesn't want to speak to anyone, but maybe worth getting the referal in.

Thanks all x

Mummatron3000 Sat 11-Apr-15 21:54:47

I started self harming when I was 14. Like your daughter it was probably a bit of exam stress, I was am a perfectionist but I suppose the best way to describe it is that it was a way to "control" overwhelming emotions but also to be able to feel something if I felt a bit numb.
IMO you probably didn't see your daughter's cuts by accident (I would wear long sleeves and trousers even in middle of summer to keep mine hidden), she probably wanted you to discover them - which is a good thing, it means she wants your support. Just keep offering support, someone to talk to, about anything she's feeling!

For me I self harmed on and off until I was about 21, then I found I was able to stop, it was almost as if I just was able to move on from it. I know that 7 years seems like a long time to be doing it though, hopefully your daughter is able to address it and stop sooner.

Something that has helped me was finding out a bit more about myself e.g. that I'm strongly introverted, but that's ok, it's not a bad thing like I was told all through school. But I guess gaining more self confidence is something that does come with time/age and is hard to come by when you're 14.

Sorry for the long reply, I've not replied to many threads on here but your post just struck a chord with me. Good luck smile

Scaredandneedhelp Sun 12-Apr-15 20:25:46

Thank you, I do really appreciate your reply and it's good to hear that you just found a way to stop.

A lot of what you say rings true with DD. She is doing really well at school, in some recent exams she got full marks, however there's one subject she isn't doing so well in, a science one and this is what she is obsessing over.

I've tried to tell her that it doesn't matter if there is one subject where her marks aren't as good as others and at the end of the day it wouldn't even matter if she failed it altogether. But I know that even if she got 100% in every other subject bar this it still wouldn't be good enough for her.

ovumahead Sat 18-Apr-15 08:36:33

Are you monitoring what she's looking at online? Have you removed the blades from the house? I would do both. Yes she can buy more, but there will be a delay, and it's this delay which will mean she'll have to find other ways of coping. Is she motivated to stop? Or does she just want you off her back? I think it's really difficult as a mum to to try to intervene as there's so many complexities in your relationship, and if she sees you're distressed by this then she may not want or be able to be totally upfront.

ovumahead Sat 18-Apr-15 08:38:55

She will observe how you cope with stress as well. If you recognise she's stressed then figure out some good coping strategies to do - meeting with friends, exercising, eating well, resting properly etc.

There are LOADS of pro self harm websites out there and these are really dangerous. Is she on instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc?

missyhair Sun 12-Jul-15 07:33:46

So glad ive read and found this thread, going through all the same as these mums , so trying to keep a lid on my own stress and it is effecting all our family, my lovely dd has been self harming and suspect lots of other stuff, lucky to have found a good gp and where just coming to end of councilling which has given her some release having someone not so close to talk to, just on waiting list for chams and hoping it wont be long , anyone else who is going through the same please post , we mums need all the support of each other to help our dd through this awful time

claraschu Sun 12-Jul-15 07:57:10

I don't have any direct experience of self harming teens, but if I were you I would start looking around for a really good private counsellor, just in case you feel you need someone for dd to talk to.

CAHMS is very overstretched, and not always particularly good. Certainly in our area, the CAHMS counsellor has been extremely unhelpful to 2 close friends whose teenage daughters were subsequently helped by the right private therapists (issues with anxiety, school refusal, and emetophobia).

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