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Dd, 13, self harm :(

(18 Posts)
WhatAFlange Tue 09-Oct-12 16:14:29

Dd has just come home from school and told me that she self harmed on Saturday.

She spoke to the safe worker at school today and told her about it.

The safe worker told dd that she won't get in touch with ss if dd tells me herself.

Dd has an appointment next week with CAMHS, an initial assessment.

I feel sick. Why didn't I notice? How could I not know? What kind of mother am I?

Dd told me on Monday morning that she was feeling down and just wanted to cry. I thought it was because her period is due, that's what I told her. She didn't say much more about it, and seemed absolutely fine yesterday and today. Now this.

I don't know what to do or how to help her.

The cuts seem quite superficial, she used a razor, and they are at the top of her arm.

Do I call the safe worker so she knows dd has told me?

Dd has asked me not to tell anyone.

Do I hide all razors just incase? Will that make it worse? Sorry if this is muddled - I'm typing as the thoughts pop into my head.

I have depression and anxiety - I have passed it onto her, I must have.

I hope someone can help me

WhatAFlange Tue 09-Oct-12 16:43:18

Just realized she asked me on Monday to write her a note getting her out of P.E this week. Now I know why.

scentednappyhag Tue 09-Oct-12 16:48:44

Don't blame yourself, it is not your fault.
I can't give any decent advice I'm afraid, I only stopped self harming three years ago myself.
But please, please don't blame yourself. This journey will be hard on you both, don't make it harder by thinking you're a bad mother.
Hopefully someone with more advice will be along soon.
Stay strong, all the best to you and your DD.

WhatAFlange Wed 10-Oct-12 08:51:26

Thank you scented. I'm sorry you went through self harm.

I think she has cut her legs too. She wants to get new school trousers but is making excuses for me not to go with her. There were little specks of blood on her bottom sheet when I made her bed.

She said she realises it was a stupid thing to do and that she won't do it again, but she's done it once before, when she was being badly bullied. I pulled her out of school, got her into a new school. She seems happy there, has friends.

I don't know what went wrong, and she can't tell me.

I feel so useless. I don't know what to do, who to talk to.

WhatAFlange Wed 10-Oct-12 08:51:28

Thank you scented. I'm sorry you went through self harm.

I think she has cut her legs too. She wants to get new school trousers but is making excuses for me not to go with her. There were little specks of blood on her bottom sheet when I made her bed.

She said she realises it was a stupid thing to do and that she won't do it again, but she's done it once before, when she was being badly bullied. I pulled her out of school, got her into a new school. She seems happy there, has friends.

I don't know what went wrong, and she can't tell me.

I feel so useless. I don't know what to do, who to talk to.

WhatAFlange Wed 10-Oct-12 12:28:15

Bump

WhatAFlange Wed 10-Oct-12 12:28:16

Bump

OliviaLMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 10-Oct-12 20:51:20

hello there
We are going to move this to our main mental health board - but do let us know if you'd like us to move it again..
Wishing you all the best, OP

giraffesCantGoGuisingAsZebras Wed 10-Oct-12 21:04:53

childline page on self harm

Really useful info here, and could phone/use online chat service if she wants to chat to someone impartial?

scottishmummy Wed 10-Oct-12 21:12:09

1stly you've received shocking news.don't heap blame or self loathing on self
treat dd same as usual,acknowledge sh but as much as possible carry on
participate in assessments,support dd, theres no immediate answers it will be hard going. camhs have systems to support families and the adolescent. be open, open to suggestions,open to getting a rapport with team

and best wishes to you and daughter at this hard time

ScreamingNaanAndGoryOn Wed 10-Oct-12 21:14:51

Don't blame yourself for not noticing. Part and parcel of self-harm is that its turning your feeling in on yourself so its very hidden. My DM never knew a thing about what I was doing when I was a teenager.

Look on the fact that she told someone as a huge positive. If she's taken that step then she wants help and she can access it (although be prepared for CAMHS waiting lists as I find them to be massively underfunded.).

What you need to do now is make sure she knows that you are worried about her, but not angry and not judgemental. Don't ask her WHY she's done it and focus on the self-harm itself, as sometimes you just can't find a reason. Instead, talk around the subject about school and how she feels about herself as that will be more productive and If she finds it hard to talk to you then look into access to counselling.

Stop blaming yourself for not noticing. Stop wondering what you could have done differently and focus on the here and now of getting her help. {{{hugs}}} its very hard isn't it?

scentednappyhag Wed 10-Oct-12 21:59:53

I've been thinking back over what would have helped me, and the main thing I would have wanted from my DM is her not to get angry when I relapsed while trying to recover. It's a hard cycle to break, and while it's hard for the family too, feeling like you've caused anger and pain for people you love was always a trigger for me.
You'll get through this, and so will she, and she's very, very lucky to have a kind and supportive mum. She'll always thank you for being there for her.

WhatAFlange Thu 11-Oct-12 08:21:26

Thank you so much for your replies.

Dd confirmed that she has cut her thigh as well as her arm.

I had a chat with her after school yesterday and told her that I'm not angry with her for what she's done. She said that she doesn't want to show me her leg, doesn't want me to see it. I told her how dangerous it is to cut herself - risk of infection, cutting to deep etc as well as the scarring etc.

She said she feels stupid for doing it because it hasn't helped her.

We have an assessment with cahms next week thankfully, dd is looking forward to talking things through and getting some help.

I think that this stems from awful bullying she endured at her previous school.

She is at a lovely school now, and the safe worker has been so, so good with dd, really supportive, and dd is grateful to have her. Dd has been having panic attacks and goes to the safe worker when she's feeling anxious.

I still feel desperately sad that dd feels so bad that she has done this to herself, and for not noticing, and I feel like I brushed her off on Monday when she told me she was feeling down - I genuinely thought that it was to do with her period.

ScreamingNaanAndGoryOn Thu 11-Oct-12 10:34:45

I suspect you're right that this stems back to the bullying in her other school. Low self esteem and self worth are all very tied in to self harming behaviours.

I also understand why she doesn't want to show you where she cut herself as there are always feelings of shame and embarassment. Please tell her not to be ashamed of what happened as she is being so brave in addressing this now and getting help. Thousands of girls in the same position would carry on without telling anyone, so there must be a spark and strength in her to face this so quickly.

Don't ruminate on what you could / should have done. No one's first thought when someone tells them that they are feeling down is "oh no they're going to self harm". Besides, if someone is going to do it, they will find a way regardless.

scentednappyhag Thu 11-Oct-12 10:50:35

Also, it may well have been to do with her period too. Being down and hormonal due to her period and taking out her feelings on herself could have been tied.
Sometimes there's just no reason, it's just a way of coping with your feelings. It's overwhelming being a teenager anyway, and being bullied would make that even harder.
You couldn't have known, and the most important thing is that you're helping her through this now. You sound lovely.
She'll look back in this one day and remember what you did for her, and she'll feel so thankful and strong for what she managed to beat.
Keep doing what you're doing OP, she felt safe enough to tell you about this, that's pretty special.
Keep posting, you need to get your support too, it's draining to be the strong one sometimes.

WhatAFlange Thu 11-Oct-12 19:17:24

Thanks screamingnaan and scented smile its nice to be able to talk it through. Dd doesn't want anyone to know.

She does seem to get emotional when she's due on. She gets quite bad periods - heavy and very painful. We have been to the GP about them and she has mefenamic acid, whilst it helps the pain a bit the emotional thing isn't addressed.

Spoke to the safe worker who said that dd told her she didn't want me to know because she didn't want me to be upset or to worry. She also said that dd seems to be doing well at school - she has friends and seems generally happy and always with other kids at break times etc, so that's good to know.

I can't wait for the camhs appointment, I think she needs to talk to someone and the sooner the better.

But at the moment, all I can do is keep an eye on her. I have told her she can tell me anything, no matter how bad and that I will do my best to help her get through anything. As suggested I have also told her I'm not angry with her and that she shouldn't feel ashamed in front of me because I love her more than life itself.

Thanks again for all your help x

WhatAFlange Thu 11-Oct-12 19:17:24

Thanks screamingnaan and scented smile its nice to be able to talk it through. Dd doesn't want anyone to know.

She does seem to get emotional when she's due on. She gets quite bad periods - heavy and very painful. We have been to the GP about them and she has mefenamic acid, whilst it helps the pain a bit the emotional thing isn't addressed.

Spoke to the safe worker who said that dd told her she didn't want me to know because she didn't want me to be upset or to worry. She also said that dd seems to be doing well at school - she has friends and seems generally happy and always with other kids at break times etc, so that's good to know.

I can't wait for the camhs appointment, I think she needs to talk to someone and the sooner the better.

But at the moment, all I can do is keep an eye on her. I have told her she can tell me anything, no matter how bad and that I will do my best to help her get through anything. As suggested I have also told her I'm not angry with her and that she shouldn't feel ashamed in front of me because I love her more than life itself.

Thanks again for all your help x

Oinkypig Sat 13-Oct-12 22:21:43

I self-harmed a lot as a teenager and early twenties. I think it's such a positive thing that your daughter has told you about it, I would never have told anyone and still don't speak about it to my mum. The fact she told you means you can work together to try to move forward. I hope she feels better soon and you aren't too upset.

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