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My 10 year old deliberately cut herself - help...

(8 Posts)
chocolatekimmy Sun 12-Jun-11 19:08:15

I'm gutted this weekend after a call Friday from my daughters best friends mum who'd been told that my girl had cut herself on her wrist (top) at school with a sharp art scraper after she'd been upset by another girl. She also said she'd done it a few weeks ago.
I (stupidly) didn't talk to her that night as another friend was coming down with her parents for a weekend with us and I didn't want to make a big deal or upset her before they arrived.
I then saw this morning that she has done more damage to her arm with several new surface cuts in the same place and some scratches - its a section of about 5cm so looks quite nasty.
We had a really good chat, she said she was angry and she took it out on herself rather than someone else. The new ones were when she had a fall out with her visiting friend the night before (soon made up like they do though). She seems to know its wrong, doesn't have any particular concerns or stresses in life. She is quite sensitive, we've heard the 'I've got no friends' before though she does and there are a lot of fall outs and going off with other people like a lot of 9 and 10 year olds do.
I'm going in to school first thing as on Friday her best friend reported to the teacher what she had done in the loo's and the teacher told her to take the sharp thing and some scissors off her but apparently didn't even look at my daughter or check her so I'm not happy the school didn't take it seriously and get in touch with me.
I just don't know how to handle this and am scared that she might do it again as she gets older. She was worried she would be told off or punished but i've reassured her that I just want to help her sort things out and find ways to cope with her anger better. On the whole she is laid back, good fun, good friends, gets on with her younger sisters, does a few activities out of school, happy homelife etc so nothing obvious that would give her anything to worrry about. I feel dreadful that I didn't confront it on Friday as it could have prevented her doing more harm.
Thanks if you've read this far, any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. x

cory Sun 12-Jun-11 19:15:45

Have dealth with a similar situation. First of all, I would get the school counsellor involved if there is one. If there isn't, I would see if there is anyone else who can do some counselling (Children's and Adolescent Mental Health Services have a community programme in our town). I have found that it is much easier to get support for a child if you mention self-harming.

It is not necessarily going to spiral into anything uncontrollable, but she may need to talk to another adult.

hurryup Sun 12-Jun-11 19:19:30

I should see your gp as soon as possible and ask for a referral to CAMHS. It's easy for things to spiral out of control and there may we be a wait to be seen.

Marne Sun 12-Jun-11 21:55:18

Please take her to see your gp, i was a self harmer from the age of 12 until i was 18, i was not offered any help, my parents just thought i was attention seeking so it got worse before it got better. I had no major reason to do it, i had a good homelife and i had friends at school but i always felt a bit different. I now have 2 dd's who have high functioning autism and Aspergers, i see a lot of myself in my dd's which would explain my problems at school and feeling different.

chocolatekimmy Sun 12-Jun-11 21:58:15

Sorry to hear that Marne. Thanks for responding - not an easy subject.

APieOfButter Sun 12-Jun-11 22:09:35

i was self harming from about the age of six (could have been earlier tbh) and, looking back, although it later became a more emotional thing, when i was little, a lot of it was a sensory type thing, like head banging, wrapping myself in blankets, being scared of water etc. i believe there are now things that can help children like that - does any of that sound familiar?
if it is emotional, my advice is to focus on the emotions - while the self harm is understandibly very distressing, it is just a symptom. your dd might not be very upset, it could just be her way of dealing with the usual childhood problems, or she might be expressing a deeper problem. either way, focusing on the injuries isn't the way to go- focus on why they are there.

chocolatekimmy Mon 13-Jun-11 12:31:18

Thanks APieOfButter, sorry for you too.
We have had no other concerns or symptoms with her - life seems good in every way. We don't think she is being bullied, the few incidents with the girl that triggered it last week seem quite minor and she said its nothing serious or ongoing. I think she is sensitive as she does worry about it if friends go off with someone else or don't like her anymore - she seems to take it very personally. I went through similar as a child with that type of upset and to a ten year old it probably does feel like the end of the world in the scheme of things. Just heartbroken that she sat and did that to herself sad

gourd Mon 13-Jun-11 15:21:01

As an adult the scars can be quite embarrasing to explain. There are many much better ways of dealing with anger and distress but sometimes they have to be learned rather than being instinctive. It may be a short lived thing but if she is upset and angry enough to injure herself in an attempt to gain control over her feelings or to let then out in some way, then she needs to talk to someone ASAP about how to cope with these feelings in a different and more productive way.

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