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My 10 year old has begun self-harming

My 10 year old has begun self-harming

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Casual scribe
Maya2010

My 10 year old has begun self-harming

Hi, I am new. 

 

I can not sleep, I can not stop crying.

It has been a concern about her mental health for sometime. I even pulled her out of our public school and placed her into a lovely small private school and in the past 5 weeks we have all seen a much more happier child. She attends school most days whereas prior before starting a new school, it was a struggle most days to get her out the door and the stress on her and myself was massive.

 

Her paed did diagnose depression and anxiety and I have been trying to get her professional help but she was on a waiting list that was closed shut when covid hit. So I have been told that I will be contacted and she is next to be helped when they take on new clients again. 

 

I thought we were turning a corner, we even gave a great report for her check up just last week to the paed and he was amazed at her improvement and told me that clearly changing schools was the best move for her.

 

Then today wasn't a good day. She was so overwhelmed with emotions but I thought she was past it and ok tonight. She asked if she could have a shower, I said of course you can.

 

Awhile later she sits beside me and bursts into tears. Shows me self harm on her arm. I turned off the tv and I was just in total shock. She was sobbing and telling me she was just so upset and she doesn't know why she did it and it wasn't hurting her but then she realised what she had done and she burst into tears with fear. She said she didn't even mean to do it and she doesn't understand why she did it she just knows she was so upset and she couldn't handle it.

 

I handled it as best as I could. I told her that she needs to come and see me when she feels this way, she said I know that's why I am here talking to you now. We talked about what she can do when she feels so upset that she can't cope and I told her I am always here, always. I don't know if I did the right thing, it wasn't a topic I had ever researched before.

 

I have gone to bed and made her sleep with me tonight (I am a widow, lost her dad 4 years ago when she was in kindergarten) and I can't sleep and I couldn't stop crying. I am so worried for my little girl.

 

I am hoping for people's input, experiences possibly. I will be making calls Monday morning to try and push the psychologist to take her. 

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Taylor-RO

Re: My 10 year old has begun self-harming

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Hi @Maya2010

I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter is going through such a tough time at the moment, it must be incredibly challenging as parents to see your child struggling. You sound like such a strong and loving parent and it's fantastic to hear that you already have some supportive health professionals helping you. That can be a massive part of the puzzle! Smiley Happy

 

You are definitely not alone in supporting your child who's self harming - I thought it might be helpful for you to have a read through this thread, where a lot of different parents share what worked for them and their teens. We also have some really good resources on teens and self harm here. This includes information on why some kids self harm, and some practical strategies to help them. 

 

It must have been really frightening to see the injuries on your daughter when she approached you,  did she need any medical attention at all? 

 

I'm also wondering if you are getting any professional support at the moment? It sounds like things have been a bit of a rollercoaster, though you are doing a wonderful job supporting your daughter. Often parents put their own needs last, but we do hear from a lot of parents that having extra supports to help them cope is incredibly important. We do offer a free one to one parents coaching service that you can check out here, if you think some extra support would be helpful. It sounds like it would be helpful 

to take your daughter to the appointment on Monday, as I am sure that the psychologists will be able to support you through this too. Please feel welcome to keep us updated here.

 

Just so you know, I had to remove some small details from your post about self-harm. We have community guidelines to ensure that this space is safe for everyone to share.

Casual scribe
Maya2010

Re: My 10 year old has begun self-harming

Thank you for your message. 

Her wounds were visual but not requiring medical attention thank goodness. 

 

She. has had a good day today. Tomorrow I will be making a new doctors appointment and contacting the psychologist again to inform her of what has happened and. hopefully she can see her. 

 

We have even tried sand play therapy in the past.

 

 

Mod
Taylor-RO

Re: My 10 year old has begun self-harming

Hi @Maya2010, we are so glad to hear that your daughter did not need medical attention. It seems as though she is really comfortable being open with you which is really great. You handled such a tricky and frightening situation really well Heart

Awwww, it is nice to hear that your daughter had a good day today especially after such an exhausting last night. Is there anything that helped her to have a good day? What types of things does she like?

I can tell that you are really proactive with your daughter's mental health which is just so amazing. Did you find sand play therapy helpful at all?
Casual scribe
Maya2010

Re: My 10 year old has begun self-harming

She enjoys drawing so I think when I encouraged her to do that again, it helped her feel like she was in control and relaxed (possibly).

 

We saw our doctor today. I suggested headspace for help but he has said she is too young. He said self harm can be common with depression and counselling will help her be able to deal with that. I am waiting for the psychologist who has her on a waiting list to ring me back as she is off on Monday's according to her phone message.

 

I have also reached out to a work colleague tonight and she has given me a contact number for someone who could possibly help me. My fingers are crossed.

 

I am not sure if sand therapy helped, I do think it did but after awhile she didn't want to do it anymore. The lady doing it suggested we give it a break as she doesn't want to have her visits stressful. 

Mod
Taylor-RO

Re: My 10 year old has begun self-harming

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Hey @Maya2010, drawing can be such a nice distraction for a lot of people. It is great that she has something that she enjoys doing. Is there anything that helps you relax? It must be really tough and stressful to support your daughter through this journey.

Great job on reaching out, sometimes it can be hard to ask for help. It sounds like your daughter is going to have a really wonderful support network around her. Hopefully you are able to see the psychologist soon. My fingers are crossed for you too! Smiley Happy I thought I would just also let you know about some crisis support services such as Kids Helpline, Lifeline and Beyond Blue. Just so you know that they are there if you need!

I think what you said about trying to avoid sand therapy becoming stressful is a really good point. At least you can revisit it in the future, if you wish.