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am I doing the right thing for selfharm dd14

(7 Posts)
Florida41 Wed 18-Nov-15 15:20:24

I have started reading post on here after finding out in Feb that my DD14 was self harming , and have looked up and researched SH as much as I possible can to try to understand .
As many of you will understand I was absolutely devastated when I found this out ,having two other older teenagers with no problems it was a huge shock as she did not seem the type .( if there is a type? eg depressed ,just a normal moody teenager or so I thought)
my DH just likes to stick his head in the sand and hopes it will go away.( like many men do) and is not much support.
her selfharm consists of cutting her arms and legs , she has also told cmahs that she often thinks about not being here and taking pills ,( pills are now locked away in the safe)
have been seeing cmahs since Aug ,first primary cmahs for 3-4 weeks but quickly referred to long term cmahs. just had our 3 meeting today and have now been recommended that she sees a psychiatrist and if agreed to put her on medication .
This scares me ,I know medication maybe the answer but I just feel scared it will make her fell worse.
I just want her to feel better about herself, I would do anything to help her and I am upset as I am writing this even 10 months on I am still finding it hard .
she is such a beautiful girl and is always making sure that she looks good when she goes out and to school.
I have trouble understanding that she wants to look good and her make up and hair is done but her arms and legs are such a mess, she seems to block her scars and cuts out.

please anybody with experience for teenages on medication , I know I will have to watch her closely and it will take weeks to take affect .
she is not a great talker so cmahs think that this is the next step and may make her open up abit.

I just hope I am doing the right thing? I'm so scared for her.
please tell me that there is light at the end of the tunnel , even a really long tunnel
thanks for reading ,sorry it's so long.

tootiredtothink Wed 18-Nov-15 23:11:21

Not much advice here as dd has only just started medication. However, I resisted it for over a year, hoping that the counselling would be enough.

After an attempted overdose a week ago I do wish I'd given it a go earlier.

It's early days yet so can't say how it'll be. She's tired on it and will be keeping a close eye as hear of the cases it makes things worse. But there are also the people they help so am hopeful dd is one of those.

crumblybiscuits Wed 18-Nov-15 23:21:16

I have no teens so I have no advice but as a former self harmer just regarding the scar/appearance aspect I never considered the physical effect of my SH being lifelong or I just simply didn't care much. I try to would encourage her gently to take good care of herself as several cuts I should have had stitched I avoided going or treating and they left the prominent scars and I kick myself now for it.
With medication, watch carefully for side effects and just encourage her to keep going with them, maybe supervise her taking them. I was very useless with medication which made me feel worse and more down. It takes a bit of time for medication to kick in.
You sound like a wonderful mother that is trying her hardest and being really supportive like I wish my mother had been flowers

sleepymum50 Thu 19-Nov-15 00:23:16

My dd is older, but we have been thru the same journey over the last 8 months. Her story is similar- she is currently seeing a psychiatrist and has weekly sessions with a therapist. She has been diagnosed with depression. She has been on medication for about 2 months now - I am sure it is helping - it's taken a while to kick in and life is still very difficult for her. But I don't think the lows are as extreme.

It's hard to tell what side effects she's had- as most of them are also symptoms of depression. But it's mostly been tiredness.

A year ago I would have been very unhappy about an 18 year old going onto antidepressants - now I'm just feeling relieved she's got something that may help.

I realise your daughter is much younger and it would be up to her psychiatrist who would have much more experience on possible side effects.

My dd has been very open with me, and I try very hard to make her feel as loved and precious as I can. I had postnatal depression and I know there was no logic to the way I felt, so I try hard not to say all the wrong things to her and keep remembering that it's the illness making her feel like this.

I really wish you and your dd all the very best with her treatment.

anthropology Thu 19-Nov-15 01:41:59

florida 41, i shared this experience with my DD at the same age and my DD was hospitalised after a suicide attempt, seemingly out of nowhere. In my experience medication, however scary it felt at the time, helped in the short term to lift mood so she could engage better in talking therapies and engage enough to learn other coping strategies rather than self harming. My daughter engaged better with younger therapists, and so if your DD finds it difficult to share, perhaps ask if there is anyone else (I realise CAMHS is even more limited than five years ago ). Partly, I think its very difficult to talk, as they don't really understand and can't articulate why they feel as they do at this age.
Later on, she felt the meds numbed feeling a little too much so came off them . Although a long recovery, with bumps along the way, after missing a year of school my DD returned to a (smaller) school, did well in gcses and A levels and is now in her second year at the university of her choice and living independently and enjoying a full life.
It's important to learn as much as you can, as you are doing, as depression can affect anyone and when it reveals early, she may continue to be vulnerable in the future. Also, do assure her that many young people struggle in this way.
In my DDs case, even though she is very bright, some memory processing issues, and dyslexia were revealed in a WISC4 test when she was unwell and although not meeting requirements for a full ASD diagnosis, she did reveal traits, and understanding major stressors like, crowds, exams etc, helped me understand what might cause stress. .
I want to give you hope, as although it was a hell of a journey and hers was a severe depression, my DD is now an extraordinary, wonderful young woman maybe because of her experiences.
I found getting some CBT via theGP for myself when she was very unwell gave me an outlet, as it helps if parents can try to be calm and practical rather than emotional around your DD however hard it is. Hoping this gives you some hope as for a long time I didn't have a lot and some parents on here promised things would get better eventually, and they did. .

Florida41 Thu 19-Nov-15 13:52:13

thank you all for your support and experiences ,
she has been diagnosed with depression and I do think that perhaps medication may be the next step ,I'm just worried about it making her worse.
bless her , she gets up every day and goes to school ( even thought she says she dose not like school) always getting certificates for 100% attendance.
so not bunking off or anything naughty just normal teenage grunting and washing on floor ect
she was always such a happy child but
she is just seems to be finding life tough since puberty .
she has some good friends who seem supportive.
close family members which know say that she always seems fine when they see her and would not guess that there is anything wrong.
never in my wildest dreams a year ago would I have said we would be in this situation we are now .
just have to keep telling myself that things will get better ,maybe not tomorrow , or next week but there must be a light at the end of the tunnel somewhen.

anthropology Thu 19-Nov-15 14:57:46

It's often conscientious, hard working, well behaved girls who struggle at this age and that's when it can be such a shock to families I think. Depression is an illness and can affect anyone from any background. No-one ever believed my DD was as unwell, even when in hospital, as she had years of practice presenting a smile to the world and just thought everyone felt as bad as she did inside but didn't talk about it . best of luck to you both.

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