How can I help my teenage daughter who has been slf harming and attempted suicide a couple of times.

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Frequent scribe

How can I help my teenage daughter who has been slf harming and attempted suicide a couple of times.

Hi. I am new to this forum. Stumbled upon it while searching for hope and answers on the web. Its really been traumatic with my 16yo daughter. She is bright and was a cheerful child growing up. It all changed when she started secondary school. Thought it was just hormonal mood swings with period and all, but it soon got worse. The attitude, always wanting to be alone in her room away from family. Last year she tried to commit suicide and I also discovered that she has been self harming. Its not something that I know much about and I find it scary that someone will hurt themselves that way. I asked her why but I got no answers. Only last 3 weeks, she had a suicide attempt, saying she had had enough. This was the worst we have ever been through on this matter. Her 3 younger brothers tried to be strong but I felt for them having to witness the whole drama. She is currently seeing a psychologist. Communicating with her and trying to help her is very difficult as she can be very abrupt and tends to bud a wall around herself. I don't want to loose my daughter, I do worry a lot about her future. I worry that my husband and 3 boys are acting strong on the outside but may be struggling on the inside. I worry that she is not letting me treat her after self harming and she will have to grow up being insecure about what she wears. I worry about her eating pattern as she is very stubborn and does not listen when encouraged to eat. I worry about not knowing what is going on in her head and she won't engage. I feel disappointed, angry, sad and hopeless about the situation at times. My faith in God keeps me going most days. But an really desperate to help me daughter get s grip of herself. I am grateful for a forum like this, as I am an introvert and tend to bottle my worries. My heart hurts for my family, but j am hopeful.

Community Manager

Re: How can I help my teenage daughter who has been slf harming and attempted suicide a couple of ti

Hi @Ashestogolddust

Welcome to ReachOut and thank you for your courage in sharing with us what is going on for your family right now. I am so sorry to hear the pain you and your family have been through. We are here to listen and support you Heart There are many other parents who use these forums going through similar experiences in supporting their children experiencing mental health concerns. I hope that this can be a place for you to share your experience and feel connected with others going through tough times. @taokat @Schooner @Tulip

 

 

I can hear from this post that you have incredible strength and have really been doing everything that you can to support your daughter and the rest of your family. Have you been receiving some support for yourself as well?

 

We are here to support you, you are never alone Heart

__________

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Frequent scribe

Re: How can I help my teenage daughter who has been slf harming and attempted suicide a couple of ti

Thanks Jess- 1 RO. Yes it is mental torture trying to reach to a child that is supposed to be urs but who is so distant. I am concentrating on getting help for her. When things are more stable I will probably sort myself out. You just learn to paddle on and cope somehow, with all these little lives depending on you for guidance and protection.
I am really grateful that I can express myself without fear and without being judged. Things like this makes a mother feel like a total failure. I missed the signs of my daughter harming herself.

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: How can I help my teenage daughter who has been slf harming and attempted suicide a couple of ti

Hi @Ashestogolddust, I'm glad you've found the forum and have reached out for support. I'm so sorry your daughter is struggling and that you're all going through this.

 

I can certainly relate to your situation. My daughter is coming home on Friday from an adolescent mental health unit after attempting suicide 3 weeks ago. It's the scariest thing, as is self harming, and so hard when our kids choose to distance themselves and not share what's going on for them. 

 

It's great that she's seeing a psychologist and hopefully your daughter can learn some different ways to manage her big emotions. The teenage years are tough enough and mental health issues can make those emotions even more difficult to manage. Self harming does give relief, I'm told it's a physiological thing, so my daughter tried wearing an elastic band she could flick on her wrist to replicate that, and it worked for her when she was self harming a lot. Do you think your daughter would be willing to try that? 

 

There are some great information resources on ReachOut.com. I'll link you to one on self harm here and another on communication here

 

You sound like a really loving mum who's concerned for your whole family. Parent coaching is something RO offers for Australian residents and is fantastic because it offers practical and useful advice and tools to help with what's going on. 

 

No biggie, I've just edited your posts to keep in line with the community guidelines around discussing medications and self harm methods. I hope you don't mind. 

 

 

 

Frequent scribe

Re: How can I help my teenage daughter who has been slf harming and attempted suicide a couple of ti

Hi taokat. Thanks for the helpful links. I live in England but I get hope and companionship from here, so that's fine. It's nice to know that there are people out there walking this path too. Let's stay strong and keep hope alive for our kids. As you said that age they do have a lot of big emotions to manage. I am learning to take each day at a time. Though I have not sorted help for myself I do feel lighter having shared my feelings with you all. Thanks a lot. She has her next appointment in the first week of July and will carry on from there. She still likes her own company and wants to be in her room all d time, despite my trying to persuade her to come do stuff with me. I took a cue from a lady in another forum, we plan to go to d gym together on Friday. I hope she keeps her promise.
How are you managing yourself? How often do you see your daughter? Its very kind of u to reach out to another mum despite your own situation. Thanks a lot.
Frequent scribe

Re: How can I help my teenage daughter who has been slf harming and attempted suicide a couple of ti

Today was a bit all over the place. Had my daughter try on her prom dress which she had insisted on measuring herself for. Only to find it's about 2 dress size down. Horror Movie! I was shocked and very angry! It is a very expensive dress also. Asked her why and how she plans to fit in by Wednesday. Answer -she plans to loose weight??????? Dad says I should calm down and I am making things wirse. Kid does not even feel remorseful and is insisting she can fit it by Wednesday. she is already painfully thin as she hasn't been eating properly. I reached out to a trusted friend who also has issues with teen troubles. She thinks all this behaviour self harming and all might be linked to insecurity with her body image. All the puzzles seem to be falling in place now. I get angry about her attitude and crazy decisions, but I am speaking to myself now to hold back and instead empathise with her more. I want her to accept and appreciate herself. Its really hard for me and sometimes I say the wrong things probably because I just want her to be respectful and be a good girl. I will keep working on my approach as I don't want to loose my daughter. Any tips on how to behave and hold back, when a teen is pushing you to your limits with their decisions will be appreciated. Thanks. I want to get this right.

Mod

Re: How can I help my teenage daughter who has been slf harming and attempted suicide a couple of ti

Hi @Ashestogolddust that sounds very frustrating and unexpected and I can see why you were feeling shocked and angry. I admire your ability to hold back and be empathetic, that takes a lot of strength. I'm sorry to hear of the difficult times your daughter has been experiencing, she is lucky to have such a caring and loving mother. Teenage years can be incredibly challenging and the prom no doubt can cause excitement and stress at the same time. In terms of suggestions one line that has also always stuck with me is "Seek to understand then be understood". Basically getting all the information on the situation as much as possible and then putting myself in the other person's shoes before responding. I try to remember that particularly when I'm feeling pretty angry. Of course it's easier said than done at times and I often will need some time-out before I can get into that frame of mind and be solutions focussed. Other suggestions would be is to take a ten minute breather, go outside get some fresh air, have a cup of tea or do a quick meditation to recentre. It's great that you've reached out and that you also called your friend for some advice. How are you looking after yourself today? 

Frequent scribe

Re: How can I help my teenage daughter who has been slf harming and attempted suicide a couple of ti

@Lan-RO, thanks for your concern. Yes it was very frustrating knowing that she intentionally chose a smaller size dress. I am totally lost as to her reasoning. But hey! Hoh! Just shows that though she tries to act like she is grown and knows it all, deep down she is still a child. Thanks also for your advice. That is sth I am definitely willing to give a go. To lay aside my hurt and disappointment and reason with her, so she can know it's alright to talk to me. Its not always people ask how I have catered for myself, I felt really loved reading someone enquiring about my welfare. Being a mum can be lonely sometimes. I literally felt like I just received an electronic hug from you. Lol! I do need a hug on days like this.
Anyways so it got a bit heated up this evening as we had my sister's over and they are concerned and trying to speak to her and instead of listening she starts to talk back. She cried, we cried, she had a panic attack. She setty, we talked at length. I reiterated my feelings to her of love. Her aunties spoke to her to reassure her. Her younger brook turns to go to her to express their feelings and encourage her. We hugged, we made up. I will see if I can get a tailor to amend d dress. Want her to look beautiful on her prom. I guess we just have to take baby steps and hope that one day we can look back at these challenging days and smile. Thanks once again for giving me this platform. Its very therapeutic.
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Super frequent scribe

Re: How can I help my teenage daughter who has been slf harming and attempted suicide a couple of ti

Hi @ Ashestogolddust sorry to hear what you are going through with your daughter it is very hard and exhausting to watch and be part of when they are going through hard times. Since I came on this site I've been hearing this word more ' self care' , honestly I didn't practice this before. I am learning that to look after yourself is the best thing you can do for your family and yourself as it gives you the energy and strength to keep going and battle another day. I was brought up to put everyone first and my needs came second but if I had been more selfish in the past I think I would have had an easier ride. Please take time out for yourself, a walk , shopping, coffee, facial or a bath. While a troubled teen is very important we must realise there is more going on and don't focus your whole attention on them all the time, we have other family and friends too. I think if we practice self care it makes us stronger and able to be more calm and make rational decisions at stressful times. I hope this helps, good luck x
Mod

Re: How can I help my teenage daughter who has been slf harming and attempted suicide a couple of ti

Hey @Ashestogolddust, that would be a really difficult situation to be in. It really is hard to put aside your own feelings but it sounds like you have recently had a good repairing moment with your daughter. I agree with @Tulip in that self-care is really important because we can't look after others if we haven't looked after ourselves. We are really glad you appreciate it, we are here to listen and support. Is there anything you've thought of doing for yourself lately?