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Suicidal and self-harm but things can get better(7 Posts)
I've thought for a while about writing this and have put it off because I don't want to tempt fate. This is the post I wish I could have read two and a half years ago. Back then, I just wanted to read that things would be OK in the end. Well, they're not perfect but so much better. At 16 my DD took an overdose and then we had the worst 12 months of our lives. Without going into too much detail it included major self harm, trips to A&E, weight loss, refusal to eat, alcohol binges, some drugs, violent outbursts, missing overnight, sleeping with older men, police ,social services and CAMHS. There were times when I didn't think any of us would survive. Throughout it all I could see my lovely DD suffering terribly. She dropped out of college, gained and lost three jobs in quick succession and was really at rock bottom. She wouldn't engage with any of the services on offer apart from a few conversations with some lovely nurses. Very slowly, she has picked herself up, really without any outside help. We've tried to be supportive but I don't know how much help we've been, except I did learn to listen and stopped suggesting things so she did start to talk more. Two and a half years on I am so proud of her. She has been in work for almost three months now, hasn't self harmed in many months and we haven't had a major crisis involving the police or hospital for 18 months. Things aren't perfect - she still has major eating problems which she won't admit to and she still has low self esteem. She's on medication and suffers from depression and anxiety but at manageable levels and she's able to get out and about and have a social life. She is very hard on herself and cannot see what lovely company she is or how smart and self aware she is in so many ways. She has come so far, and really done it alone, and I believe she will conquer the eating problems sooner or later (though that's not to say I don't still have dark moments when I worry that something awful will happen.) Gradually life feels as if it's returning to normal and I can think about other things, sleep and relax. We laugh, go for walks together and chat quite a bit. To anyone out there going through anything like this I would say, I can't promise that you'll be fine but I can say that for us, it has got better. Mumsnet was a brilliant source of support to me (I've name changed many times) so I guess I just wanted to share the hope. Good luck.
What a lovely post to read. I'm so happy things are looking up for you and your DD has turned things round and is feeling a bit better. I'm in the midst of similar things with my 16 year old DD. We've come through anorexia and depression and have moved onto extreme binge eating, depression, dropped out of college, given up her part time job, and refusal to engage with Cahms. 10 months of this and I'm now signed off work, on anti depressants, and feeling isolated and alone. So, it's lovely to read such a positive post and gives me hope that we'll turn a corner and things will get better.
Yes. Keep hoping. Even if it takes two years that's not long in the grand scheme of things although it feels like forever at the time. Good luck.
Thank you RegentsParkWolf. We are at the beginning of our journey. I am so shocked and numb to learn my DD is self harming and has recently stood atop tall buildings contemplating a quick 'way-out'. I am relieved beyond measure to know there are others out there who can offer support (as I just can't bring-up our problems up with usual friends with healthy happy(ish) teens. And it's very good to know things can and do get better - long may it continue.
Yes Phyllis - I remember feeling as if all our friends had happy achieving children. I found mumsnet a huge source of support but I also found that, when I did share parts of our problems with real life people, more and more people began to admit to similar tales. Particularly comforting when it was families who had come out the other side. I don't know how old your DD is but it seems that things do shift between about 17 and 18 - all part of the way the adolescent brain develops probably. Good luck.
Thank you so much for sharing. I have a 16 yo ds and we are at the beginning of this journey. We have been to camhs 3 times now and are hoping that just talking to a councillor will help him to resolve his deep sadness. Roller coaster is definitely a good description for the emotions we go through as by standing mums and we are taking each day as it comes. Ds has a girlfriend that he has been seeing 3,4 months. She's a lovely girl and he seems to take comfort from spending time with her, though obviously the stability of this relationship concerns be too, just cos it's so hard for them both to have to deal with the intensity of a relationship not to mention ds present mood. It helps to know that people do get through these difficult times and your story has helped me no end.
I'm so happy your daughter has managed to turn things around. My daughter is 13 and going through very similar struggles. I just really hope that we can get through this and sooner rather than later. There should be more support for parents and teens.
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