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How to support my teenage daughter who started harming herself

How to support my teenage daughter who started harming herself

Casual scribe

How to support my teenage daughter who started harming herself


Recently I daughter showed me where she had self-harmed on her hand which really shocked me. She mentioned that some thoughts disturbed her a lot and she is not able to come out of it and felt breathless. Post doing anything like self-harm she felt tired and relieved from that thought and get energy-less.

While asking she told me some trivial things which we have asked not to do or scolded for some or other things. But I suspect the reason is something else. She mentioned that she don't want to sit idle anytime and always need something to do otherwise those thoughts start overtaking her. 

I get confused what should I do and how can I help her to come out of this situation. I cannot allow her for everything what she wants else she will completely get distracted in social media/networking and get into bad daily schedule ... distracted from studies. Though I am trying to make balance being supporting and object only when it is getting too much but that does not seems to be a solution.  


Recently my brother and sister-in-law expired in covid and now I am taking care of their kids too. Though I am cautious to treat her as before and not ignoring or comparing for anything. My in-laws who use to stay with me, have gone back to their home town. She was quite attached to them.  Sometime she gets carried away by her father's scolding. So there are many incidents which have impacted her emotionally.  I want to help her to come out from negative thoughts and bring positive attitude but not able to do so. Pl suggest how I can overcome the situation. I cannot discuss this situation in family to maintain her trust. 



Re: How to support my teenage daughter who started harming herself

Hello @Sania, sounds like things have been really challenging for you and your daughter lately. It's great to see that you have reached out for some advice on how to best support your daughter through this difficult situation.

It sounds like you care a lot about your daughter and you are concerned about her behavior. I'm wondering if you have had the chance to discuss any of your concerns with your daughter to see what her thoughts are? I suggest talking about this at a time when both of you are calm, and to take an approach of curiosity and wanting to understand how she is feeling. Is your daughter currently receiving support from a psychologist or other professional? I'm also wondering how you are looking after yourself during this difficult time? It's important to practice some self-care to make sure that you're getting through this too.


We are here to listen and support you.

Casual scribe

Re: How to support my teenage daughter who started harming herself

Thanks for understanding my situation. 

The main problem is that she is not opening up. Whenever I tried to dig more, she complains about her father but he is currently not with us from last 2 months. I have booked appointment with Psychologist. I don't want her to get referred to psychiatrist  to avoid medications. Today again i saw she had self harmed, really felt helpless how to stop it.

Community Manager

Re: How to support my teenage daughter who started harming herself

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Hi @Sania 


It sounds like a really tough time for both you & your daughter at the moment. It's great to hear that you have booked an appointment with a Psychologist though. Are you getting some support too?


I understand that seeing a Psychiatrist or the possibility of medication for your daughter can seem scary, but wanted to reassure you that you & your daughter always have the choice of what you think is best for her. It's good to have as much information and support from different medical professionals, so you can make informed choices. Medication can be a great help for lots of people who are struggling. However, if you did decide to see a Psychiatrist it doesn't mean they will definitely recommend medication, or if they do, there's no obligation for your daughter to take it. Is there anything in particular that concerns you in regards to this?


Also just letting you know that I slightly edited your reply to remove the description of your daughter's self harming methods as we like to stay away from this incase it is triggering for any of our community members. You can read our Community Guidelines here if you need a refresh. Thank you Smiley Happy

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