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13yr old DD self-harming, any suggestions on supporting her?

(9 Posts)
MaryRose Tue 25-Mar-14 15:48:13

My 13 yr old DD, sweet, bright, popular, has been going through a rough patch lately. Really it's all the usual stuff teens experience, break up with boyfriend, typical girl friendship problems etc etc. She has just not been coping well with it lately though and has self-harmed a couple of times. She insists 'all her friends do it' and it's normal but today I insisted we went to the GP. The GP was really good and said she could refer us for counselling straight away or we could see how we go and she would see us again in a month. She gave DD some good coping strategies like a journal and a 'happy box' and I'm hoping we can get through this. But I do feel terrible pressure to make it all ok for her, which I know I can't do, and it is affecting me badly. Does anyone have any suggestions as to other ways I can help her without smothering her, and also how I can keep my own sanity? I was depressed and self-harmed as a teen and no-one helped me so I am literally feeling the weight of the baggage and I don't want her to suffer like I did. Any suggestions would be helpful.

WolfMoon Tue 25-Mar-14 17:39:35

You sound like you have handled this absolutely marvelously so far, so a big well done to you. Does she know that you also self-harmed? If you feel comfortable, perhaps telling her that you do know, to an extent, a bit about what she's going through and that she isn't alone or the first person to feel like this.

The way that you have handled this sounds to me like you are a fantastic mother and a good role model, so for her to see that you had similar issues around her age and still grew up to become a strong and caring woman could go some way to helping her. It may be that she feels hopeless, and seeing that things will get better might just help a little bit.

richteaaddict Tue 25-Mar-14 18:00:36

Maryrose, I am in the same boat with my 15 year old son, the past 12 months have been rough, he got in with the wrong crowd etc, this week he as fallen out with his dad (he lives with him, long story but he choose to stay with his dad when we separated because of school and friendships) their relationship as been very rocky since his dad announced he was getting married again last year.... DS is now with me for a week missing more school, and not talking.........im like you demented, i have just asked to look at his wrists after finding part of a razor in my washing!!! how do i reach him without pushing him away, i want him to live with me, but he keeps saying no, but how can i let him go back if this is the outcome...

My DS also went to CAMHS and counselling, and they where amazing, he still sees the counsellor, im so sorry i cant offer uch in the way of advise, but i know how you are feeling, hope all goes well and your DD finds a good way out

MaryRose Tue 25-Mar-14 18:09:53

Thanks both of you. Richteaaddict so sorry to hear you are suffering too. No one tells you when your child suffers you actually feel the pain yourself!Wolfmoon thank you for your kind words.I did tell her about my own issues, and also about various adult friends of mine (who she knows and respects) who have struggled with depression etc, I hope that comforted her. The GP also said to her that we have all been through it and really empathised. But I just wish I could wave a magic wand and stop all the stuff that is hurting her! I also worry that she has self harmed to get the attention of the boyfriend who dumped her- this is the kind of thing I used to do and not a good road to go down, it always backfires!

EvilTwins Tue 25-Mar-14 18:21:28

Do they have student support / pastoral staff at the school? Ours are all trained in supporting students who self harm. One of the girls I teach is currently self harming - her mum spoke to me about it at parents evening, and the school is helping to support her. Is that worth a try? In my very limited experience (ie what the student support lady for that yr group told me) essential things include being quite open with your DD about it and (this one is haft to understand) making sure that she has access to clean instruments so that, if she does self harm, she's doing it as "safely" as possible.

MaryRose Tue 25-Mar-14 18:45:54

Yes they do have a pastoral care lady who seems quote good but I called this morning and still waiting on a call back...hopefully I can talk to them soon though

MaryRose Tue 25-Mar-14 18:46:10

Yes they do have a pastoral care lady who seems quote good but I called this morning and still waiting on a call back...hopefully I can talk to them soon though

EvilTwins Tue 25-Mar-14 19:14:39

At my school, the students can go to student support themselves - could she go tomorrow? If there's a real problem (and sometimes, they do go because they need a tissue, or because they have to take nail varnish off) the team always make time for them. Would she be comfortable talking about it to someone at school?

MaryRose Tue 25-Mar-14 21:25:05

I don't think she would go on her own, I had to push her to see the GP, but they have a nurture room and she knows the support is there at least

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