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DD12 is self harming(11 Posts)
My DD12 sent me a text this morning to tell me she is cutting herself. For reference I haven't seen her this morning I am in bed poorly and my DH (not her dad) took all my children to school (this never happens!!)
I received a text from her saying she was scared of telling me and not to talk to her face to face about it but to text if it was important. She feels such relief from it and she was going to tell her best friend and she would help her stop doing it. She said she was sorry and she loves me.
I was totally floored by this. She is the most beautiful, bright, kind and helpful girl and I've not noticed any sad, depressed behaviour. I do work away from home a couple of times a month when she and her siblings go to their dads house.
I have been divorced 4 years and have now remarried, as has he and we are finally amicable.
I did find a note written to her friend a few months back that talked about suicide and asked her about it but she said it was for a school project
Any help before I talk to her tonight?
This is desperately sad, OP. My advice would be to approach the school for help and to set up a GP appointment asap. Do not leave this issue unresolved for long, as it is very serious. Hopefully she can get a CAMHS appointment quickly, which will give her the opportunity to speak to an independent person. Good luck, it is really hard but you will get through it.
I would recommend contacting youngminds.org.uk they are an excellent charity based on supporting young people and their parents through self harming and other mental health issues. Their website is packed with info and the counsellors will ring and speak to you.
Try and stay calm is the main thing. My dd (also aged 12) went through the same thing. Once she had gone through counselling and was able to talk about it more calmly she said she really appreciated how calm we were and that we didn't go off the deep end (we managed to hide how desperately upset we were and just maintain the swan like appearance on the surface) - it's a very difficult age and they are under a lot of pressure from social media, bloody instagram etc.
Good luck talking to her.
I self harmed when I was 14. I was being bullied terribly.
My son self harmed and he too was being bullied.
I'd say try and find out why she is harming herself. Just let her know you are there for her, you aren't cross with her and her telling you is imo a start to her wanting to stop doing it.
You need to try to find the source of the stress.
Ds self harmed in Year 6 with the pressure the teacher was putting on the class - apparently all the threats the teacher had made to the class, were not directed towards ds! He was working as hard as he could and felt he was failing his teacher. Anyway, teacher and I had a little chat and teacher talked to ds and told him the threats were not for him. Problem solved for ds - he wasn't worried about the actual exams.
Managed to get into the gp this evening, she was quite communicative and easy to talk to but couldn't shed a light on the specifics of why. Told her she can always talk to me and I would never judge or be angry and that we'd get through it together.
My dd wasn't being bullied but there had been a lot of friendship changes at school and she couldn't find her place in the new order.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking it is just one thing that you must identify and fix. There are probably many reasons and her anxiety won't necessarily be something which has just appeared overnight. It may have been building. DH found it very hard to accept dd not being able to pin down the reasons for her anxiety so that he could solve it for her.
I self harmed for years and when my family found out I was devastated. I think if you do talk to her you should prepare yourself for her having no answer to questions such as 'why do you self harm?'. I never knew why I self harmed it just always made me feel good at the time as it releases endorphins. However it is a painful addiction to have. Get her some help and give her as much love and support as you can without suffocating her. Try to avoid checking her body for cuts as this is humiliating. Instead opt for building a good system of communication with her where she can come and tell you anything and you will support her and guide her. Its sad but you probably have quite a long road ahead of you. self harm is not something that just stops with a bit of counselling. I haven't self harmed at all for 3 months but in the past 2 years I stopped self harming but relapsed 3 times. its something that's really difficult to move on from. good luck x
We discovered last July that my 12 year old DD was scratching her arms with a compass point.
Came as a total shock as I thought she would be able to talk to us.
We spoke to her year tutor and form teacher for the following year ( was 2 days before the end of term) and also arranged for her to speak to a counsellor specialising in children self harming - we paid for this but luckily we can afford to
DD said that scratching herself made her feel " better" but wasn't sure exactly why and the counsellor told me that it wouid be better to leave their sessions confidential but she wouid tell me if there was anything I needed to worry about.
She was being bullied in quite a minor was but felt unwed huge academic pressure, not from us but she is a Scholarship pupil at Private school and quite a perfectionist so she was largely doing it to herself.
She was fine all Summer and I was very worried about her starting year 8 but so far it all seems to be going well
Apparently self harming isn't unusual and in most cases doesn't escalate ( this from the counsellor and my own research) it's mainly a way of releasing pressure
It's very very upsetting but if you notice early and involve professionals if appropriate you can help your child with this, DD says she doesn't feel like she wants to hurt herself again but if she does she will talk to me or use one of the techniques the counsellor taught her
Thanks so much for your replies, the gp pointed us in the direction of some websites and basically said it will pass probably, so I'm on it myself. The company I work for provides counselling for employees and families for free (initially) so I'll be talking to them tomorrow and to the school as well.
Her dad (exDH) took it well and we are both on the same page but he seems to want a "reason" for it and like pp's have said, there may not even be one.
I really appreciate all your feedback, thankyou so much for sharing.
Nothing else to add to the excellent advise, just wishing you all the best and be very very grateful that she felt able to tell you albeit by text. Hopefully this means you will be able to help her before it gets worse. x