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My 14 Year Old is Self-Harming - I don't know how to deal with this.

My 14 Year Old is Self-Harming - I don't know how to deal with this.

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My 14 Year Old is Self-Harming - I don't know how to deal with this.

My 14 year old is self-harming. We have a good family home (both parents together) and she wants for nothing. She is a very intelligent student who gets straight A's and plays three instruments (which she loves and want to do - no pressure from home). I took her to the Doctor who diagnosed her as depressed/anxious, based on the answers she gave to his questions. She now continues to say "I am depressed, I have anxiety - the Doctor diagnosed this so it's true". She has self-harmed twice. We then went to see a psychologist, after seeing the Doctor, who chatted generally to her but not much progress was made - the psychologist couldn't remember her name and couldn't remember if I was her Mum or Grandma. It didn't instil me with confidence and no progress appeared to be made. We stopped seeing the Psychologist but my daughter still sees a Counsellor at school. She has just done a cut on her arm again tonight. I am at my wits end and don't understand - she shows the cut "accidentally" so that we find out (she has only done it once before). I am angry with her (yes, I know this is wrong) and feel she thinks this is cool with the kids in school. I don't know what to do. I feel so down and feel like running away from everything. I don't know how to deal with this - please help. I don't feel I have a good relationship with my daughter since she became a teenager - she talks about gender issues and being gay, etc. I just don't know what to do. Any help appreciated. I feel I have failed completely as a parent - I am sure I probably am. 


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Re: My 14 Year Old is Self-Harming - I don't know how to deal with this.

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Hi @maybe 

 

I am so sorry to hear about everything you are going through with your daughter, I understand you feeling so down and lost and I hope that we can help you feel very welcome and supported here.

 

It was very proactive of you to try and get your daughter into therapy, do you think she might be interested in accessing support for herself autonomously online? Services like eheadspace or kidshelpline offer phone and webchat based counselling if she wanted to get some support, she is also welcome to join our youth forum if you think she might benefit from chatting to some like-minded young people. 

 

Could it maybe be an idea to have a chat to her school? Sometimes wellbeing staff are able to provide some extra support or referrals which can be helpful. Is this something you might be interested in trying?

 

You sound like a strong support for your daughter in a really difficult time, and I'm hearing that you've been under a lot of stress - do you have much support for yourself? We are always here to talk or vent, or I'm also happy to look for other professional support services that might be a good fit for you if you think that would help. 

 

I hope this is helpful, let us know how you're going.

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Re: My 14 Year Old is Self-Harming - I don't know how to deal with this.

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Hi @maybe 

 

I am so sorry to hear about everything you are going through with your daughter, I understand you feeling so down and lost and I hope that we can help you feel very welcome and supported here.

 

It was very proactive of you to try and get your daughter into therapy, do you think she might be interested in accessing support for herself autonomously online? Services like eheadspace or kidshelpline offer phone and webchat based counselling if she wanted to get some support, she is also welcome to join our youth forum if you think she might benefit from chatting to some like-minded young people. 

 

Could it maybe be an idea to have a chat to her school? Sometimes wellbeing staff are able to provide some extra support or referrals which can be helpful. Is this something you might be interested in trying?

 

You sound like a strong support for your daughter in a really difficult time, and I'm hearing that you've been under a lot of stress - do you have much support for yourself? We are always here to talk or vent, or I'm also happy to look for other professional support services that might be a good fit for you if you think that would help. 

 

I hope this is helpful, let us know how you're going.

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maybe

Re: My 14 Year Old is Self-Harming - I don't know how to deal with this.

Thank you for your support - it really is appreciated. I looked at the online support on here but the appointments are very booked up. I will look at the autonomous online services you suggested and have a chat with her about this - possibly a good way forward in talking to her. This could be a useful sounding board for her. Her school is already aware of her situation and she is seeing the well-being staff weekly/fortnightly. It's kind of you to say I am a strong support for my daughter but I don't really feel I am - I am upset and cross that she has done this but also scared and lost as to what to do - I know this is how I should feel, I just want to fix things and I can't. My daughter is very privileged and wants for nothing. I really don't know what to do. I am also worried I have made things worse by being cross with her. Hopefully the things you have mentioned will build bridges. THANK YOU!

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Re: My 14 Year Old is Self-Harming - I don't know how to deal with this.

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 Hello @maybe, it is good to hear that you are considering looking into the online chat options and discussing this further with your daughter. It is great that the school has been supporting your daughter and seeing her on a regular basis. I am sorry that you are feeling upset and scared about supporting your daughter through this. It does sound like you are a great support for your daughter and that you care a lot about her. I just thought that I would also link you a thread from another user who sought help for their daughters self-harming. You might find some of the advice/tips or suggested services from other parents to be helpful and it might help you feel a bit less lost on what to do. Hope this helps Smiley Happy.

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Hopesprings123

Re: My 14 Year Old is Self-Harming - I don't know how to deal with this.

Hello @maybe 

 

You are not a failure. You are a loving caring parent who is faced with a situation none of us ever thought we would be.

 

Find a different psychologist immediately or a clinician or social worker who deals with teens. Get your GP to refer you to someone else and  talk to this forum about your feelings. this will help you too.

 

My daughter has self-harmed -cuts on arm and I give her as much love and affection as I can. She is doing this at home because she feels safe - she knows we will stick with her. 

Yoour teen is frightened and lost and anxious and there is no magic cure  But, the right support, the continuation of love and hugs and talk honestly about this with her if you can. Suicidal thoughts and self-harming are demystified if you talk about it. as hard as it may seem. Dont be afraid to ask her if she has a pla if she talks about suicide. If she doesn't then its more a desperate cry for help. If she does, and says so, please take her to the emergency department of your hospital or the children's hospital so they can get you help immediately or ring Lifeline.

 

The words' I love you unconditionally', and 'I am here' for you have enormous power It won't get through straight away but it will as long as you re iterate. 

Talk to the school counsellor, talk to the mental health helplines and get as much advice as you can. Talk to the school about what other support they can offer. Talk to a trusted friend for your own self care. And when you hit that rock-bottom moment and you think you have failed as a mum, remember that because you feel that way means you haven't failed. Because you care so much about your kid you are doing whatever you can to help her. And I know because that is what I'm doing. And today I felt I had failed again. But I haven't because I'm still on her side and doing whatever it takes to help. And so are you. I hear you I feel your pain and your fear and you are not alone. PLease believe that. Warmest wishes to you.

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