Firstly, you are not a lousy parent, it’s not your fault and you are not alone. Unfortunately there are more and more teens suffering with mental health issues. I sympathise with you, I have a 17 yr old daughter who is diagnosed with OCD and ASD, I also have a 15yr old daughter who unfortunately is in care, who is diagnosed with ASD,ODD and emotional dysregulation. My 17 year old never self-harmed but my 15 year old has and still does. Last year my 15 year old had approximately 10 hospital admissions in such a short period of time, we could not longer keep her safe. It got to a stage where we had locks on every door of the house as she would access anything to self-harm with, prior to going into care we had 2:1 carers 24/7 living in our home for a period of 5 weeks to keep her safe and out of hospital. In our daughters case we felt something happened outside of our house, she now requires trauma therapy to address her issues. Which she is due to start soon. Our daughter in the beginning wouldn’t open up to us, she was very deep and didn’t express verbally how she was really feeling, she hid behind her smile. Before going into care she started to open up, I tried not to react even though some of the things she told me, horrified me. Try to talk to your daughter, try to find out why she is feeling this way, let her know that whatever she shares with you, you will listen and be supportive, try not to be judgemental, even if she shares something you disapprove of. Social media and phone’s although brilliant on one hand, on the other have a lot to answer for, the increase in children’s mental health, it’s too much for some children to deal with, I feel social media is the number one cause for the rise in children’s mental health issues. your not a lousy parent, this isn’t normal day to day parenting this is extremely challenging for anyone, the OCD alone is challenging, seek as much help as you can, but at all cost avoid social services! Does your daughter tell you when she has self-harmed?, the reason I ask is our daughter used to tell us, it became habit forming, a cry for help, the way she expressed herself, she needed help but could not express what it was she needed help with. Even when she was in a good place she used to collect and conceal items for when she was feeling low. She used to take pencil sharpeners apart, razors, it became where everything in our home was locked up, we also had to lock up all medication, as she had taken overdoses of her own meds. Remember you are doing your best in such a trying time, don’t feel guilty, just try to be there and listen. I wish I could advise you more, however I do resinste with some of the feeling you are having because I myself feel like I have failed, why couldn’t I keep my daughter safe in her own home, I have to try to remind myself we did our best. I do feel a let down by the system because although both of my children are supported by CAMHS, with my younger daughter it wasn’t enough, more funding needs to be put into mental health for our children preventing them getting to crisis point. Try to stay positive, your not alone
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Hi there, I can hear the distress in your post. I have two girls one 17 and one 15, my 17 year old came to me when she was 15 and told me she was bi-sexual, we didn’t bring too much attention to it, I told her I would support and love her regardless of her sexuality. Now at 17, she has figured out herself it was a phase she was going through, her friend at the time was pan-sexual. Although it is fantastic that we live in a society that is inclusive, children are growing up in this society to be taught in school to be expressive, be who they want to be, not saying all, but some children feel they don’t fit in if they aren’t something different. Let her find her feet, she will figure out who she is, it may be a phase, it could be who she really is, let her figure it out for herself, but most importantly let her know you are there for her. Try to talk to her to find out why she feels this way, give her that open platform for her to talk to you. My 15 year old is in care with mental health issues, she recently has just told us she wants to be a boy, she is expressing her wishes to change her name to a boys name, we were advised by professionals to go along with it, not draw too much attention, but at the same time be there to listen to her concerns, let her know you are supporting her until professionals in this field can address why she is feeling this way, has she always felt this way?, is this due to trauma?, it has to be explored further. it may be more harmful for your daughter if you dismiss her feelings, she needs to feel supported by her parents and maybe you can seek professional advise for it to be explored further.
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