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14 yo dd with deliberately scratched arms, cutting?

(22 Posts)
mayaswell Sat 25-May-13 22:52:18

Really not sure about this. My dd is quite reserved, only recently started going out and about with friends, turned a bit goth.
I saw her left arm this week, it had a series of neat inch long scratches, not deep but definitely deliberate.
I asked her what it was, and she said she'd done it with scissors, because she was fed up.
She said she hadn't done it anywhere else.
I said it was a risky thing to do, they could get infected and if she was fed up she should come and talk to me.
She's quite self contained, but seems to be happy most of the time. She talks to me about her day, and tells me things that annoy her.
I'm a bit of a loss really. Could it be experimentation?

mindfulmum Sun 26-May-13 07:18:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mayaswell Sun 26-May-13 07:50:09

Thank you, mindful.

That's good advice, I think I probably was a bit shocked. I'm hoping she was just trying it out to see what it felt like.

mayaswell Sun 26-May-13 07:58:53

I see what you mean about 'fashionable', I know some of her friends have quite difficult home circumstances and I wondered if any of them were doing it.

Need to have a think about how to help her. Even if it is an experimental thing there's nothing to say its going to stop.

Sh1ney Sun 26-May-13 10:36:02

My 14 year old dd did this on her arm about 6 months ago. She has no issues at home or school and is a happy girl. Usual teenage angst I suppose but that's it.

She did it because it was ... Fashionable? Attention seeking with her peers maybe. That sort of thing. She didn't do it again once I'd come down on her like a ton of bricks however.

I think make your feelings very clear, ascertain that there isn't anything major going on that you're unaware of and then just ignore it.

mindfulmum Sun 26-May-13 19:31:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sh1ney Sun 26-May-13 19:35:43

And it's also worth bearing in mind that not all teens are suicidal, depressed or need professional help.

I obviously don't know what other issues this child has - the op doesn't elucidate. I can only give MY opinion based on MY experience and yes ... Absolutely some teens do it ' jut because ' and because they're a bit daft . Trust me ... I've got one!

Only the op knows if her DD has a myriad of other issues that need exploring - but sometimes it's not all doom and gloom and sometimes teenagers just need err telling off? Or don't we do that anymore?

Sh1ney Sun 26-May-13 19:36:39

I also said in my original post to ascertain that nothing else was going on before dealing with this in a more robust manner.

stephrick Sun 26-May-13 20:01:24

MY DD selfharmed buy scratching herself with bent paperclips. I kept asking her about the scratches and she said it was the dog. I found them along with tissue with blood on in her bedroom. I had the talk with her, though she never admitted it but I wanted her to know that I knew, she was 16 and very stressed about an A level that she was taking, I told her to drop the exam that was causing her stress, she stopped cutting. She still has scars, understanding why they do it is the first thing you have to do. They don't want to kill themselves, it relieves their stress.

stephrick Sun 26-May-13 20:05:32

PS I did make an appointment with her doctor too, I made it with a female doctor in the practice. What ever happend it worked, she went in upset and came out happier.

mayaswell Sun 26-May-13 20:25:31

Thank you for your input everyone. It's a horrible thing to see a young person deliberately injure their precious skin.
I will be giving her more opportunities to talk about changes she would like to make, and give her reassurance that there are people who will listen and help.
There are lots of things I've been thinking about might be causing her anxiety, but I'm betting she'll come up with something that hasn't crossed my mind.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 26-May-13 20:45:23

My DD (13) did this a few months ago (got some excellent advice in these self, same pages). My DD was definitely of the calm and collected type. No problems at school, friends etc. Turned out that she was having problems with one bully/friend who had huge problems of her own. DD was taking out the change in cutting herself.

We helped DD to break away from the bully/friend (older DD suggested lots of useful simple steps to take. A week away from school friends (especially bully/friend) and getting her to focus on re-vamping her bedroom gave her lots of different, positive things to think about.

Good luck with this. Giving your DD space to talk and think is good. Practical steps also helped, germolene for the cuts. Lots of love is the way to go IMO.

mayaswell Sun 26-May-13 20:54:58

Thank you worry. It's helpful to hear all of this, although miserable to hear of how well worn this story is.

Futterby Mon 03-Jun-13 01:39:25

I'm 18 and I used to self harm. I kept it quiet for a good while but my mum noticed and went ballistic and slammed my arm in the door (I was handing her a towel into the bathroom when she saw) and almost broke it. She then made me go and tell my dad who promptly smacked me across the face.

Try not to get upset with your DD. It will only make things worse. I went through stages where my need to self harm would flare up and I would really hurt myself. I was being bullied at school, had been sexually assaulted by a "friend" and was having a terrible time at home (my mum had manic depression and my sister and I didn't know). I felt that there was nowhere I could turn to.

Make sure your DD knows that she will be able to talk to you about what's bothering her, because something is bothering her. If you keep that channel of communication open between yourself and your DD you will be able to nip any issues in the bud. My reason for self-harming was that I was feeling so much pain on the inside that I just couldn't cope and I got a release by cutting myself on the outside.

When my parents found out they did nothing to help me and assumed I was cutting because I wanted to be "cool". It couldn't have been farther from the truth. I was, and still am, suffering from clinical depression and needed help that I just wasn't given which just made it ten times worse. When my parents found out about my cutting and didn't do anything to help me it reaffirmed my (incorrect) belief that they didn't care about me which only made me better at hiding my cuts.

If you get worried that your DD is self-harming and claiming that she isn't, common places to cut are on the soles of feet, stomach, inside top of arms (covered by short sleeves), thighs and hips. I would suggest insisting on checking these areas if you become increasingly worried, but dealt with properly it shouldn't come to that.

Sorry if this has come across as a bit too heavy, but if someone had been able to explain to my mum what I was going through when I was going through it, my self harm might never have become as severe as it did.

Best of luck flowers

mindfulmum Tue 04-Jun-13 08:04:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nannyof3 Tue 04-Jun-13 08:13:17

Lots of children / teens are going thru things that the parent don't know...

As a parent, no-one can say, i know my child has no problems, because quite simply u don't !

shoratrilu Wed 05-Jun-13 15:53:46

My DD (13) recently scratched her arm with a screw - very lightly, without drawing blood or anything - and considers that she has been 'cutting herself', announcing this to classmates and other family members. I don't know what to think!! Has she really 'cut herself'. Is this just an attention thing? Is it the first step towards serious self harm? She also says she feels bad about herself, but refuses to expand on how or why. On the other hand, a lot of the time she seems to be happy and enjoying herself with her friends.

brightstarfish Thu 06-Jun-13 11:05:58

a few weeks ago my nearly 16 year old daughter showed me cuts on her arm.we spoke and she asked to see the doctor which i done asap.she had told the doctor she has been feeling like this for a while but couldnt talk to me we both sat and cryed in the doctors room.she had told the doctor the only thing that makes her happy is playing on x box and to see me daughter asked me to tell school which i have done.the doctor told me to let her play x box as it makes her happy?which i did for a few days but i dont think 9 hours a day is now when i tell her she throws that in my face,the doctor said i could? ever since the doctors appointment its got worse.

Turniptwirl Thu 06-Jun-13 19:29:36

Don't take it as read that "fed up" isn't covering up more complex reasons that she isn't able to express any other way

imustbemadme Mon 10-Jun-13 21:12:36

My 13 yr old did the same thing with razors from pencil sharpeners. She wrote a word on one arm and lines on the other. We asked her what the marks were and she lied and said they were crease marks from her bedsheets but later when I found the razorblades I confronted her and she broke down in tears. I think it's experimental on her part but we have her seeing a counsellor at school now and she seems to be improving.
For my daughter I think she did it so she can say she has 'scars' a bit like one of the other posts above (shoratrilu) so she would fit in with a certain crowd. We banned her from Tumblr as all her 'friends' had names like icutmyself and scargirl, for goodness sake. She has convinced herself that she has problems, when in reality she has no problems other than the normal stress of school life.
I agree with the advice to keep a close eye on her and make sure it doesn't go any further, good luck x

mindfulmum Tue 11-Jun-13 05:42:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mindfulmum Tue 11-Jun-13 05:58:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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