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8yr old, anxiety, compulsive stratching

(9 Posts)
weeonion Fri 15-Jan-16 14:30:42

Hi folks.
I am posting this out of some desperation as how to best help my 8yr old daughter.
She has been compulsively scratching herself for some months now - her back, her thighs, her arms and legs. She will start to scratch at a place until the skin breaks and then she will keep picking off scabs. Some of these are now wounds about the size of a penny.

We have obviously talked to her about this and tried to come up with ways for us and her to deal with it. She says she isn't worried about anything but overall she can be anxious about many things. We have tried getting her to write down things she's worried about, got worry dolls, put plasters over them all, ideas to keep her hands occupied etc.

Over the festive holidays, they had nearly all healed up. She was v proud of herself for it.

Last night I noticed that they are the worst they have ever been. Open bleeding sores. She has been scratching at night and in secret.

We have tried to deal with it but it obviously isn't working and I feel like we are failing her. I am gutted for her and at the end of my tether. I have an appointment with the doctor next week to see about a referral for support and ideas.

Have you any experience of this or any ideas for us??

weeonion Fri 15-Jan-16 14:51:19


Quietlygoingmad67 Fri 15-Jan-16 14:56:58

Oh bless her and you. Have you spoken to school about what's happening? They should have trained members of their staff who will be able to talk to and help her. It sounds like her 'trigger' could be school if they healed over the school holiday. Hang in there and hopefully doctors will be able to support you and her

weeonion Fri 15-Jan-16 15:25:39

Thanks quietly. I had previously mentioned it to the head teacher who dd loves. She thought my plans sounded good and she spoke to dd about any worries she might have.
That head teacher has now gone and there is no replacement as yet. It is a v small school and the head was the lead on pastoral care, child protection etc

I will go back to them next week again.

weeonion Fri 15-Jan-16 16:02:10


weeonion Fri 15-Jan-16 19:36:54

Anyone any ideas or suggestions?

weeonion Sun 24-Jan-16 18:18:29

It might seem that I am talking to myself but I really am desperate.

I spoke with DD's school who were pretty useless. The pastoral care lead had a chat with her which amounted to don't scratch, your mum is worried.

They are reluctant to put a referral through to educational psychology at this stage and want to wait a month or so.

Meanwhile she has reopened all her oldc scars and started whole new patches. Last week, she had patches of blood over her school blouse and other kids noticed with teasing to follow.

Last night in bed she started on her face and her cheeks are now covered in scratches and scabs. She was to go to a birthday party this afternoon and really didn't want to go because of her face and body.

I am really upset and worried. It feels like we have and are failing her. sad

Bluemummy88 Sun 24-Jan-16 18:28:14

I'm so sorry to hear this. My DS2 had a similar problem which was down to anxiety caused at school. School were pretty useless and made it worse when we tried to address what was making him anxious in/about school. We ended up taking the drastic measure of removing him from the school (after much soul searching and deliberation). He is now vv happy and repetitive scratching etc has stopped. For him the school he was at seemed to be the problem and removing the problem was the cure. My point is that the school must have a DSL even though head has gone so there must be someone you can talk to so school can try and work out source of stress and try to alleviate. Also a trip to the GP as you don't want scratches to get infected. Also, mittens when she goes to bed to try and help break the cycle of scratching. Hope that helps, it's horrid when you see your children upset but until they want to confide in you all you can do is show them you are there for them.

weeonion Sun 24-Jan-16 18:40:22

Thanks bluemummy. It is awful to see her wee body so badly marked and know something is going on but feel powerless to help her. She says she isn't worrying about anything in particular but she is an anxious sort, who frets about things.

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