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self harming

(8 Posts)
JammyDodger1 Wed 12-Mar-14 17:40:43

Hi don't often post in teens, wanted to ask advice about self harming, dd1 told school about 18 months ago she had drunk bleach and had been self harming, I handled it badly, in shock maybe, but I asked her to open a bottle of bleach which she couldn't, it looked like I didn't believe her, maybe I didn't,

we went to school and saw a counsellor with her, she said she was still grieving for my mum, I get that, so was I, and things settled down,

yesterday I got a call from school saying she had been back to the counsellor as she had started self harming again and wanted help from them, brilliant she can talk to someone, the school has a really good support network for the kids,

when the counsellor rang me she told me dd had given them permission to let me know she had approached them, that's why they were ringing, they assured me she would be straight in the programme for counselling, and would teach her other coping strategies, when I asked how I would be "updated, informed, given progress" (not the best description) I am told I wouldn't be, it was just to let me know she has gone back into the programme,

This sounds dreadful, please don't think bad of me, but she has lengthy baths atm with music and candles, and when she had bathed last night she put on her pjs, which consists of shorts and a strappy top, (they told me she self harmed on her legs) I saw nothing, nothing at all,

Her blazer was slung on the floor as usual tonight and I have looked in the pockets, wrong I know there are photos of my mum in there and the usual pens, and a triangle ruler,

I am not sure what to do, any advice welcome, she is 14, thanks

usualsuspect33 Wed 12-Mar-14 17:49:12

If she is or isn't SH at least she is talking to a counsellor which is a good thing.

I don't think you should tell her you don't believe her. She clearly feels the need to talk to someone.

JammyDodger1 Wed 12-Mar-14 18:04:01

I wouldn't even think about telling her I am unsure as to whether she is or not, she definitely has things she needs to talk through, I really do get that, I feel absolutely helpless at what I can do to help her, if I ask her to tidy her room, be in for a certain time, will that tip her over the edge?

When she came in last night, after I had spoken to school, which she was obviously aware of, I said "you know I have had school on, can I help, do you need to talk, is there anything you need?" said in more detail than that, but that the gist,

no thanks mum, whats for tea?

Alexis705 Thu 13-Mar-14 12:34:45

Self harm is becoming a 'fashion' in high school, particularly at that age. A lot of girls self harm with scissors, pencil sharpener blades etc, but not deeply (although a few do cut very deeply). It's a kind of 'fitting in with the crowd' thing which is extremely harmful. I'm not saying your daughter isn't actually self harming or isn't depressed (I'm in no position to judge her mental health) but perhaps she has some friends who introduced her to the idea of self harm? To me, it seems unlikely that she would tell you that she had drunk bleach without being prompted if she actually had. Perhaps she doesn't feel she gets enough attention? Does she have siblings who get lots of attention while she doesn't?
Does she seem particularly unhappy? Is she still interested in her friends/hobbies?

See if you can have a look at her legs/wrists if she's wearing shorts.

JammyDodger1 Thu 13-Mar-14 12:55:13

I think I may have got to the bottom of it, l had a long chat with her last night after her bath, just about how she was feeling in general, ad if she was self harming then her making the decision to go to the counsellors was the right thing,

She told me her best friend told her a secret last week and she told someone else, prompting her best friend to fall out with her, this upset her so she told the teachers she had self harmed, however, then she admitted that she hadn't self harmed but had lied about doing it, she says she can't explain why she lied just that she did.

Reading between the lines I think she lied so her friend would try and help her therefore getting the friendship back on track.

When I put that theory to her, she shrugged and said maybe,

I am relieved that she isn't (there are no marks on her as far as I can see she had short pjs on) but upset that she could have said such a thing to gain "help/sympathy" from a friend, if indeed I am right.

She has seemed really happy recently, only moody at that time of the month, she plays sports, has good friends, is achieving well at school, just got herself a babysitting job and helps out at the local Brownies all of which she loves and is extremely enthusiastic about,

She has a younger sister by 5 years, they fight like normal siblings do but in general get along well,

I haven't contacted school saying that she lied, I will talk to her again tonight about her talking to them.

I still feel she will benefit from speaking to a counsellor though, she carries a picture round of my dm and I don't think she has ever got over her death,

teens are so complicated and it's such a tough time for them with hormones, school pressures and the pressure to "fit" in, it's a constant learning cycle.

Rosetteandroddy Wed 19-Mar-14 17:13:27

Oh my, someone with a similar problem as me. I've been battling my daughters self harm since last May, a month before she turned 14. At first I was shocked, questioned her and got only lies. She too saw the School counselor but I wasn't privvy to any information. I finally got her into CAHMS but I suspect the self abuse is ongoing. She cut arms, wrists, ankles, front of legs, thighs, shoulders stomach used many things from the blade of a pencil sharpener to the teeth from my detangling comb to pen tops that had been moulded for it's use and now I have suspicions that she's started to throw up after meals. Totally at the end of my tether and don't know who can help.

amberskies Wed 19-Mar-14 23:55:55

I agree that self harming has now become a fad in schools. It seems that if a teen is feeling hormonal and having the usual teenaged dramas (like we all had!), they automatically diagnose themselves with bipolar and then start self harming! My daughter and numerous friends have done the same. One girl took it to the extreme and seriously slashed her arms, with humungous gashes. It was awful, however the mere fact that as she was being rushed off in the ambulance, she took the time to take an instagram pic of her arm... cropped it... framed it and put little flowers around the edges... and then sent it to her friends list made me SO ANGRY!!! Of course, in my DD eyes, I was the worlds worse mother and "sooooo uncaring". Grrrrrrrrr !!!!!

cory Thu 20-Mar-14 07:04:34

In some school self harming is a fashion and it may well be that some girls simply do it to keep in with a crowd.

Otoh even fantasising about self harming can be a sign of severe anxiety and/or depression. A friend of mine did that (and didn't tell anybody until years after); she had been abused. To her the thoughts of cutting herself were just a way of distracting her mind away from the far worse emotional pain, a bit like you dig your nails into the palm of your hand at the dentist's. And this friend had never heard of self harming- it wasn't talked about when she was young.

Dd did it too when she was struggling to cope with the emotional pain brought on by her disability.

It may be that your dd's chats to the school and fantasies (if that is what they are) are in fact an attempt to distract herself from another pain that she is coping badly with.

Or they may be a cry for help.

Or a desire to fit in socially. Very difficult to tell.

But whichever way, talking to other people about it has got to be a good thing. Even if she worries that much about fitting in, she may need some confidence building skills.

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