Self Harm help
carbcraver · 28/11/2022 08:05
I discovered yesterday that my 11 year old has cut herself with a blade. I am so far removed all of a sudden that I have no clue where to go now.
I haven’t mentioned it to her as I immediately get upset/cross as it’s ridiculous. But, I know it could be an actual issue and serious so I stop myself.
I don’t want to make the situation worse I guess which is why I haven’t spoken to her yet but I know I need to.
where do I start?
should I tell school?
any guidance for how to approach this would be appreciated
Ventimiglia · 28/11/2022 09:54
Have a look at the Young Minds website. Lots of information and support for parents (and children) there.
Ventimiglia · 28/11/2022 09:55
stealthninjamum · 28/11/2022 10:50
Op is there any chance that she is neurodivergent? One of my dc used to self harm but in a different way and it was all about relieving tensions, just a way of self regulating- although very distressing for me.
It is hard because in my case the GP wouldn’t do anything and the school counsellor was too busy - but I do think it’s a postcode lottery so you might be lucky in getting support. It is worth talking to school and your Gp. We haven’t really addressed the self harming but the underlying anxiety (in our case a private psychologist has helped although at £110 for 55 minutes it isn’t cheap) that has caused it and to some extent the self harming has stopped and we are finding different ways for her to self regulate.
I would look at her life and try to understand what pressures she is under, really listen to her. If she says something is upsetting her don’t minimise it, just repeat back what she’s said and keep listening until you understand and can come up with strategies together to help reduce her worries. it might be that she ‘just’ needs to feel loved or you might need to make a change in her life or teach her to cope with something. For my child I wouldn’t mention the self harm now because on the odd occasion I did she would get more distressed and say she was a ‘bad child’ for doing it. So in my case I have definitely tried to build up her esteem.
carbcraver · 28/11/2022 14:17
Thanks, I haven’t spoken to school yet as I was unsure how to approach them. Not overly impressed by their pastoral care in the latter years of primary school if I’m honest. . Concerned we wouldn’t be able to see a GP/she wouldn’t feel comfortable there.
I’ve tried to unpick her life to see where it might stem from but nothing that I can think of jumps out at me, apart from 10/11 year old drama!
we have a 30 minute drive to school just me and her so I couldn’t not bring it up today. I calmly asked her for the blade I knew she had. She said she’d lost it. I asked her why she cut her arm and she said she wasn’t thinking 🤔 I don’t feel comfortable that that is the end of it.
I wouldn’t class her as ND, however she does display traits, I think. I guess I’ve always thought they are too minimal for someone to consider further. Rightly or wrongly.
stealthninjamum · 28/11/2022 14:47
I’ll give you my experience which may or may not help.
My dds both have autism, one very obviously so, and the other had always been shy / quirky but I assumed she’d get more confident as she grew older. Anyway she was assessed with autism / adhd when she was 14 and now elements of her slightly unusual behaviour make sense. I’m on a few Facebook groups and it is very common for asd girls to feel more pressure at year 5 or 6. Actually it’s common for all girls to feel pressure at that age - the beginnings of puberty, friendship issues, extra responsibilities at school, stresses of SATS, moving to a new school. I personally would mention it to school in case there’s a bullying or friendship issue. And I don’t know if you’re friends with any of her friends parents but I have often found one of my children won’t tell me a problem but their friend might’ve mentioned something to their mum.
With the GP I have had to go to their website to log that my child is refusing school / self harming and never met a Gp! You might be able to arrange a phonecall to discuss and even say that she won’t go to the GP. There might be some local support. I don’t know if you can afford a counsellor or psychologist. I see a psychologist on my own and she gives me strategies to deal with dds that seem to be gradually working.
A big thing we’re working on is learning how to solve problems together and my dc learning how to identify their feelings and then how to self regulate in a non harmful way.
carbcraver · 28/11/2022 16:29
Thank you so much. I can get some help via work and even GP appointments so I’ll definitely investigate that further. I’ll also figure out a way to tell school. I’m currently in the phase of crying if I try and verbalise it so that’s not pretty for anyone involved.
She has come home and seems to have had a good day so all this feels irrelevant now! (Which I know it isn’t)
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