11-18-2017 06:37 PM - last edited on 11-22-2017 03:01 PM by Ngaio-RO
Our fourteen year old daughter has been struggling for the last 12 months with low mood, and I’ve been worried for most of that time. We had tried to get her some counseling early this year but she was adamant she was fine. We knew she wasn’t.Things came to a head a few months ago when she deliberately overdosed, but didn’t take enough to harm herself. She came and told us immediately, absolutely hysterical. She has been seeing a psychologist since, very reluctantly. We have just found out she is self
harming and she tells us she has been for a while but won’t say how long. Although she’s not been on medication we’re now about to go down that path, as she just can’t get going on getting better without it I don’t think. She’s so secretive and doesn’t want to talk but I don’t think she can recover otherwise. She talks to me, but chooses carefully what she says. For example she told me a year ago that she is gay but refuses to talk about the self harming. Her new friendship group at school has several kids with similar issues and I think they’re all bad for each other but of course can’t that in so many words. The school is aware. She has three sisters and the whole family is so worried about her and we need to look after all of them of course. Any tips for getting her to talk, not even necessarily to us, but the psych. Have people found medication helpful?
11-18-2017 10:20 PM
Hi @So_worried welcome to the Reach Out Parents forum and thank you for sharing your story. It is very difficult and distressing knowing that your kids are self harming. It was good that you recognised that your daughter has not been well and tried to get her help, even though she was not open to it at the time.
As your daughter has been self harming for quite some time and with the recent attempted overdose, I would take your daughter to your local GP as soon as possible so they can do a mental health / safety plan for her - they can refer her to receive extra mental health support if they feel it necessary. If you believe at any stage that your daughter is at risk of further self harm, or self-harms do not hesitate to take her to the local emergency department. I took my daughter to emergency department every time she self harmed.
My daughter has been receiving treatment (both medication and therapy) for many years, and in our experience we have found the medication extremely beneficial. In fact, she stopped her medication last year (without our knowledge and without medical supervision) and as a result her mental health suffered severely- so we know that it works for her.
Please keep in touch and let us know how things go
11-18-2017 10:49 PM - edited 11-18-2017 10:50 PM
11-18-2017 11:46 PM
11-19-2017 04:56 PM
You sound like you've looked at the situation from a few different lenses @So_worried which is great. The graphic nature of self-harm is very painful to see - how are you feeling around that now? Have you had time to implement your own self care? Meditation, coffee with a friend etc?
11-20-2017 07:42 PM
Hi @So_worried It is a terrifying and stressful situation when your kids self-harm, and I am relieved to hear that you took your daughter to emergency straight away and got a referral to CAMHS. My daughter was also referred to CAMHS after her first trip to emergency and we were so grateful for the wonderful support that they were able to offer my daughter.
You mentioned that you are keen for your daughter to talk - Is she still seeing someone at CAMHS, and is she able to open up and talk with them?
I hope the medication has a positive effect for your daughter. I recommend that you ask your doctor what can be expected when your daughter first goes on medication, and how long it may take for it to be fully effective. Some medications can take some time to fully work. The doctor should also make regular appointments so they can check-in with your daughter in regards to her safety and to assess how the medication is working.
Feel free to let us know how things go after you meet with the doctor.
11-22-2017 12:44 PM - last edited on 11-22-2017 02:52 PM by Ngaio-RO
I feel your pain. Our daughter has self-harmed in the past. We believe it's over now, but she continues to hang with the wrong crowd at school. The kids we'd ideally like her to hang with have all disowned her. So not telling if it will pick up again.
You are fortunate that you can get her to the doctor and to counseling - our daughter simply refuses to budge and it would require us to physically drag her to the doctor/specialist/etc.
I would love to have some wonderful words of wisdom for you but I don't. I do believe in medication though, and that will hopefully bring some relief for you.
Depending on the meds, they can take a while to kick-in and going off them is not good - try and find a way to keep tabs on ensuring she takes them!
11-30-2017 08:33 PM
Hi @So_worried, I just wanted to check in and see how things are going with your daughter? Have you had any further appointments with GP or CAMHS since your last post?
Medication has really helped my daughter, so I'm grateful we've had a good mental health team who I can put my trust in and communicate openly with. A good counsellor or psychologist will take their time to build a relationship with your daughter, and hopefully then she'll feel comfortable talking with them.
For yourself, there's a great ReachOut resource here on communicating with teens that offers some fantastic information and things to try. I hope that can be of help
11-30-2017 11:30 PM