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Epidemic of self harm?

(5 Posts)
woollyideas Sat 24-Sep-11 09:23:53

The school my DD goes to seems to have a lot of girls who self harm, usually cutting their arms. I don't want to make light of what they're doing, but I always understood that self-harmers were usually quite secretive about what they did, but these girls come into school, talk about it openly and compare injuries. My 14 yo DD has just cut herself. Overall she seems very cheerful (I know how that sounds...) but had a falling out with some of her school friends the night before last and went into her bedroom and cut the inside of her arms with some broken glass. Apart from this, she seems like a normal, sometimes hormonal teenager. She says she won't do it again and that she feels silly about it now. She's going to see the school welfare officer on Monday because she is struggling to articulate her feelings to me - just keeps rolling her eyes and saying she doesn't know why she did it. I hope I'm not giving the impression I've been interrogating her about this - I'm not at all. I think what bothers me is how many of her friends do this, so it's not like the 'compulsion' that some self-harmers describe, but more of a 'trophy' thing.

I hope this post doesn't make me sound heartless about these girls and my DD - I'm really worried about her now - but wondered if anyone else had teenage girls and had noticed this in their schools. I know at least seven girls in my DD's friendship group who have done this.

Sorry this is so long. I have to go out now, but will log on later.

saycheese Sat 24-Sep-11 09:32:29

i think you are right. my daughter does it as does nearly all of her friends (aged 14). i think it is different from real self harmers... and now its copying each other.. an attention seeking thing! i dont know what to suggest, its so wide spread its almost normal! and now we have lots of teenagers with scars all over their arms.

purplecupcake Sat 24-Sep-11 09:49:39

Thats actually quite disturbing that girls would just do that for the fun/attention of it , thankfully both my teenage girls havent done it..im not sure about the rest of their friends..but with them having a brother who self harms i am guessing they wouldnt.. Yes self harmers who do it for real do keep it secret to some extent, last episode cost him 24 stitches in his legs. His body must have at least 40-50 scars on, he lives each day looking at these scars as a reminder of what he has done..

could you not explain to your daughter about how the scars will effect her later on in life too, show her some pictures of people who self harm for real (im sure google has plenty) and how the scars stay their for life

gingeroots Sat 24-Sep-11 12:22:03

Oh how awful for you - and you don,t sound hearless at all ,very sensible and caring .
The only thought I can offer is to make the school aware .
Good luck .

woollyideas Sun 25-Sep-11 07:52:13

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I do intend to make the school aware, although I'm not sure what they can do about it.

Purple, you're right - it's disturbing to think they do it for attention. I'm sorry to hear about your son - that's dreadful for you all.

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