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13 YO Sister is self harming. I'm devastated! What can I do for her?

(2 Posts)
OliviaMoore Thu 19-Oct-17 21:46:06

I'm mostly a lurker but NC'd for this.

As the title says, I found out today my 13 year old Dsis has been self harming. I'm in a bit of shock and am ashamed to say I was at a bit of a loss for words when dm told me.

I knew she was going through a crap time with a bully at school. It isn't the first time she's been through this, dsis has had issues with bullies since primary school, but this time it's just one girl out to get her rather than a group or a few different people. It has all been dealt with and she's had some other issues in the past, has been under CAMHS a few years ago and on schools advice is waiting for a referral again, as they feel she needs a healthy outlet. They said she has withdrawn a lot and tends to keep stuff in.

School were the ones who informed my dm, she has asked me for my help in dealing with it all and I just don't know what I can do. I saw dsis today but didn't know how or even if I should bring it up. She seemed fine today was happily playing with my ds and telling me about her day at school. We have a big age gap and used to be really close before I moved out and started my own family. We do make time for her and take her out sometimes, I usually see her once or twice a week but not as often as I used to. I'm worried I'm not making enough time for her, I don't think this is the cause but maybe she would feel more supported if I put more time in?

I really want to support her, I have a history of SH from a fairly young age and have been sectioned and survived an OD. I'm worried this may have also had an impact on her as I had a very difficult few years with my own mental health throughout my teens and into my early twenties.

I'm just so heartbroken for her and at a complete loss. What the hell do I do?

Keehar256 Sat 21-Oct-17 23:25:57

I think the fact that you have been through it yourself makes you perfect to understand and help her. She may find it easier to open up to you than her DM. I would ask her if she wants to talk to you about it, and if she clams up tell her you understand and that you're there for her always if she wants to off load.
My DD was SH last year aged13 and didn't want to talk to me about it, but I told her she always could, and gave her plasters and savlon and told her she must tell me if the cuts were so deep to need medical attention. (fortunately they weren't)
I let her keep her blades, asked her if she was OK, and tried really hard not to be dramatic ( really hard when your heart is breaking over it)
She saw a counsellor and is a much better place now and isn't hurting herself anymore. She has a friend who is cutting and she really wants to help him because she understands what it's like. He won't tell his parents but is happy to talk to my DD.
My DD has just started to open up to me about why she did it (almost a year later) But at the time she wouldn't at all because she felt ashamed and didn't want to make me upset. But I think if she'd had a sympathetic older sister who understood I think it would have helped.
It sounds like you have priceless experience on how to survive and come out the other side. I'm sure you can support your Dsis.

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