This is my first post. My child is 15 and non-binary (born a girl). I know they have been struggling with gender issues for a while and I think is depressed.
More recently I have discovered that they have started to self harm (about 3 weeks ago). They are also trying to restrict food. And most nights struggle to sleep and this is usually when the self harm occurs, when we are in bed asleep.
I went to our GP 6 months ago for the gender issues and depression and the GP referred us to a child psychiatrist. We are still waiting to see someone. I have taken them back about a week ago and informed the GP of the more recent issues. They suggested trying another psychiatrist, which we did but they have at least a 6 month waiting list. (We have tried so many, including private but it's the same story everywhere).
I'm worried that the self harm might be escalating. I just don't know what to do.
I've been through all the usual emotions, utter shock at first etc... and now I just feel so helpless and powerless and I don't know how to help them. I feel very guilty and like I've failed as a parent, even though I know it's not my fault and it's probably normal for a parent to feel that way.
Once I was over the shock, I have managed to talk to my child and I'm lucky in that most of the time, they are open with me. We have long chats and I leave my own emotions at the door and try to ensure a safe environment for them to talk to me. I always tell them how much I love them and that I am here to support them. I try not to judge them or invalidate their feelings (and I think I manage this quite well).
But I'm just lost. And terrified. And I guess I just wanted to reach out to other parents that might be going through something similar. How do you cope with it? Do you have any advice? Never have I felt so alone and out of my depth :-(
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