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DD 14 self harming

(3 Posts)
EverythingHappens4aReason Mon 24-Feb-14 20:24:00

I had a call from school today to say my DD had told her form teacher she's been cutting her arms.
I had seen superficial scratches but she told me that she had been fooling around with her friends and fell into a thorn bush...completely feasible.
I was floored sad She is a very bright and articulate girl, H left 2 years ago and although it hit her hard I thought she was coping well, with counselling, and we were on an even keel.
Obviously I'm worried about her, obviously I think I've failed her.
Any advice what I do now sad GP apt tomorrow on advice from school

stripeytiger Mon 24-Feb-14 20:46:28

Hi. Just wanted to say sorry to hear you are going through this. While my dd (aged 12) was at college things went from bad to worse and came to head at Christmas when she wrote me a four page letter talking about suicide. I felt exactly as you do. I separated from her father when she was 5 but there have been ongoing issues with him which i know have a huge impact on her life. I pulled her out of school and am now home educating. It's hard but I felt i had to do it if only for six months or a year, depending on how things go.
We went to the GP the day after she wrote the letter, he was nice but excuse my language, fucking useless. He just kept saying go back to the school and sort it out with them. He did refer her to CAHMs but the waiting list is quite lengthy. Today should have been her first appt, but the counsellor was sick so now we have to wait again.
On the positive side she is now much happier, she tells me everyday how grateful she is that I have "saved her from that place" (school). She's a bright girl who wants to work but a few horrid kids made her life unbearable.
Make sure you get all the help you can and my overwhelming advice to you would be to make sure she knows that you are on her side, and more importantly that if she is able to tell you why she has been cutting herself, that you believe her reasons. I am sure you will do anyway, it's just that dd told me that was the most important thing for her.
I really hope things improve for you both very soon.

anthropology Mon 24-Feb-14 22:22:24

sorry to hear this. I know its such a shock. I found it hard not to feel really guilty and really worried, but for her its important to try and stay calm and consistent and try to understand how bad she is feeling, and how best to help. Not sure how old she is, Its best to try to push for a camhs assessment via the GP , as if things do get more difficult, they are aware of her. Some schools can be great, but often counsellors are not very experienced.

Keep an eye on her sleep, socialising, marks at school. Sometimes, when young people are first found out, they can be more vulnerable. Make sure she knows you love her, however she is feeling, she is not letting you down and together you will help her find support and help to find alternative ways of coping. Don't tell her to stop, before she understands other strategies, but do give her plasters and sterile wipes etc . Ask her if there are things she likes to do, which help her relax and keep calm, music, candlelit baths, my DD found it helpful to write down difficult thoughts in note books.

Is there a relative, she might open up to, someone a bit closer to her own age, who might be able to talk to her as sometimes its hard to admit feeling so bad to mum, and my DD didn't want to burden me with her problems.

Look at Young Minds website for yourself and show her some pages , assure her that lots of other young people struggle at this age. Help her understand that if she is feeling depressed, it is an illness which can be treated. She may not understand why she is doing it as it may be a combination of factors, so if she cant tell you yet, just let her know you are there to talk.

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