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14 year old daughter self-harming

14 year old daughter self-harming

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14 year old daughter self-harming

Hi - I really need to talk.  I feel so lost and helpless because my 14 year old daughter is self harming and she's not happy to talk to me about it.  She's seeing a psychologist but I worry so much that she might accidentally do the worst to herself.  I have let her know that I love and care for her and I am here for her anytime without getting cross or judging.  She just hides her face and says she doesn't want to talk.  She's very good at hiding her true feelings.  I have taken away a couple of things I know she has been using to self-harm.  Am I doing the right thing in removing these items or am I going to make it worse.  I just feel like I am drowning right now.  I have sought my own help but I am still struggling - I do put on a brave happy facade for her but away from her I fall apart.  I am trying so hard to understand this but I really don't!


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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

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Hi @Lizzy, this is a heart-wrenching situation for you and that feeling of helplessness is well and truly justified. I'm so glad to hear that you've sought help for yourself as well as your daughter, because it's really important to have someone to talk to, and be able to 'fall apart' in front of while you are putting on a brave front for your daughter. 

 

We have a fact sheet on some ways you might be able to help your daughter manage self-harming behaviour that might be helpful but please know that you are doing the best you can by making sure that your daughter has a psychologist she can talk to and reminding her that you love her and are there whenever she needs. 

 

We have other parents in this forum who have been in the same position that you are now with their daughters, who I'm sure will jump in with some further words of support. 

 

Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

 

P.S. I hope you don't mind but I moved your post to new thread so that more of our other ReachOut parents can find it. 

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

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Hi @Lizzy, this is a heart-wrenching situation for you and that feeling of helplessness is well and truly justified. I'm so glad to hear that you've sought help for yourself as well as your daughter, because it's really important to have someone to talk to, and be able to 'fall apart' in front of while you are putting on a brave front for your daughter. 

 

We have a fact sheet on some ways you might be able to help your daughter manage self-harming behaviour that might be helpful but please know that you are doing the best you can by making sure that your daughter has a psychologist she can talk to and reminding her that you love her and are there whenever she needs. 

 

We have other parents in this forum who have been in the same position that you are now with their daughters, who I'm sure will jump in with some further words of support. 

 

Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

 

P.S. I hope you don't mind but I moved your post to new thread so that more of our other ReachOut parents can find it. 

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Thanks Luula - I'm struggling to find where I should be writing now.  I can see a reply on my email but I don't know if this is where I need to be now.  My mind is all over the place so my ability to find this - it's hard.

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Hi Lizzy, im sorry to hear about your daughter. have you told her how scared she is making you? have you talked to her about what does things does she like in her life? what makes her laugh?
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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Yes but she was very clear about me not talking to her about any of this.  We used to be fine!  She was a great, happy, kooky girl and now she's angry and sneaky and secretive.  I try to talk to her but she just gets cross.  Sometimes I strike her at the right moment and I can say things to her about her likes (sport) and we looked at old photos the other day and I try to encourage movie nights but I have 2 younger boys as well who I know she loves but sometimes she is so mean to them.  I did see writing on her hand this morning that were like hints for self control like counting backwards from 10 and spinning around 3 times.  MC was another one but I don't know what that stands for.  She has been looking up self-harm profiles on instagram and I have blocked a few of these.  She is very focussed on her mobile phone now where before she couldn't care less about it.  I think she looks up stuff in the toilets at school.  I keep finding self-harm things in her pockets.  I take them away and I don't mention it to her.  I am hoping this is the right thing to do because that might make her rethink what she is about to do.  I really am drowning.

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

sounds like you are a loving supportive mum!  its really hard to watch our children harming themselves physically and mentally,  how often do you notice the good things she is doing, its brilliant she has that writing on her hand to help her, she is showing that she is trying to control herself,  I might be wrong but it may also have something to do with her hormones, or diet. 

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Thanks - I do try to see and tell her the good things she is doing and the good choices she makes.  I have made a GP appointment because she needs to add to her mental health plan referral.  Her psychologist suggested we speak to the doctor about the pill because it could be hormonal.  This all started with some boys at school bullying her but I can't help thinking there is more to it because it has escalated to this behaviour so quickly.  I am trying to keep her off of the internet as much as possible but she sees this as me being untrusting of her - I don't want her to think this way but she is right.  I don't trust her judgement right now but I don't want her to know that.  She is eating ok.

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Hi @Lizzy,  you are doing great,  it's obvious how much you love her! 

Do you have any time when you can do something with just her on a regular basis? Maybe play netball together or something else?  Do it on her terms, which may mean you don't give her advice, ask her what the rules are and stick to them.  Controling her internet is saying you don't trust her, this may make her feel evern worse as she is developing into an adult who needs to learn to make mistakes and if you don't trust her how can she learn to trust herself?  Try to put yourself in her shoes, it is confusing becoming an adult, not only that but there are a lot of strange feelings and hormones flying around, there is also the feeling of being grown up and still being a child.  Now I know its hard to put yourself in her shoes as you so not feel or think the same way, but as a teenager i'm sure you made mistakes to, and I don't know about you but some of the things that have really helped me in life are the lessons I learnt from the mistakes I made as a teenager.  That said I understand that you are fearful for her saftey.  I am not there so maybe it is the best thing you can do, but just think about it, Is there a converation you could have around internet saftey?  Is there a comprimise you can come to together?  Tell her your concerns and worries and ask her what would she do if she were you?     When I said diet, maybe there is something she is allergic to?

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

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Hi @Lizzy,

 

Thanks for sharing your concerns here. This must be a really difficult time for you, as you mentioned, you are concerned about your daughter's judgement while she is distressed but also feel wary about letting her know that. I think trust, and therefore independence, is one of the things that teens prize most. (Certainly, I think it played a part in my youth!) I'm wondering then if this fact sheet might help you?

 

Absolutely you are doing all the right things, too, by taking her to a GP and supporting her mental health plan. It also sounds like your daughter has also built up some great coping skills to delay self-harm urges. Well done to her for taking those first steps. It takes a lot of strength to start putting those strategies into practice like that. In discussion with her doctor, and maybe for the future, possibly it could be good to help your daughter build the skills to remove the items herself that she would normally use to self-harm? Keep going, Lizzy, you are doing your best.

 

I hope you don't mind, I also edited references to self-harm methods from your post in line with our community guidelines.

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Hi Lizzy,
Firstly I want to say you are an amazing mum!
I have never posted or replied to any forums but as I read yours I just cried. I have a 12 year old daughter who has been self harming for just over 12 months and I am so scared for her. She too is seeing a psychologist, who I call at least twice a week as things seem to escalate so quickly each week. I was relieved to hear you say you felt hopeless and lost as I feel this very same way. I also feel so alone. It is just a relief that I am not the only one feeling like this.
On advice from my daughters physchologist we have all our knives, scissors and anything with a sharp blade in a locked cupboard, this was so confronting for me and cried uncontrollably making this cupboard. As I found things in her room I too would remove them and another call to her psychologist explaining she was now using something different. I have done so much research into why they self harm and I understand why this cupboard had to be made, not to stop the behaviour but to keep my beautiful daughter safe. Something else that I was told is the more I take away she will look for more things to self harm with so if I take everything the next thing could be worse, let her find a safety pin (I am in no way supporting self harm) and the psychologist will get her through this.
I also limit her Internet to 1/2 hour per day, not because I don't trust her but the influences on her from social media and content escalates this behaviour.
We have a doctors appointment today to further discuss medication.
I feel when we take a step forward the next day we take 10 steps backwards. I am lucky I have a supportive husband but he too is so lost and because he can't "fix" this he shuts down. We also have a younger daughter who is 5, adores her big sister, but my daughter lashes out at her. At this moment I feel things falling apart but I have and am putting my trust and following advice from the professionals who deal with this illness.
I also don't understand this and that is where I struggle the most.
You are doing an amazing job!! One thing I will never do, no matter how tuff things get is give up on my daughter.