Need help now?

TW: 15yr old child is self-harming, starving themselves and depriving themselves of sleep

TW: 15yr old child is self-harming, starving themselves and depriving themselves of sleep

Reply
Scribe
Cinders_123
Solved!

TW: 15yr old child is self-harming, starving themselves and depriving themselves of sleep

Hello,

 

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 :-(


Accepted Solutions
Community Manager
Portia_RO
Solution

Re: 15yr old child is self-harming, starving themselves and depriving themselves of sleep

Message contains a hyperlink

Hi @Cinders_123 and welcome to the online community!

 

I'm very sorry to hear that your teen is struggling so much at the moment. It can be incredibly challenging to see your child in pain and to know that there is only so much you can do to help them. With that being said, it sounds like you're making every effort to support your teen, and it's great to hear that you've been in contact with their GP. I'm sorry to hear about the 6 month waitlist for a psychiatrist - unfortunately that's becoming all too common. Perhaps your GP could recommend a psychologist as their waitlist might be a little more hopeful? Otherwise, if you feel as though it may be helpful to you, here's a link to The Mix, who offer mental health support for young people under 25 in the UK. Childline (0800 1111) may also be useful if your teen needs to talk to someone for some immediate short-term support. 

 

You mentioned that your child has been engaging in self-harm lately and that you are becoming concerned by the severity of it. Have they expressed any thoughts of suicide to you, or are you at all concerned for their safety?

 

Please know that you haven't failed as a parent because your child is struggling. As you speculated yourself, a lot of parents feel this way when their child is experiencing mental health challenges, but it is not your fault that they are feeling this way and and it seems as though you are doing everything possible to find them the support they need. It's so heartwarming to hear that you're creating a safe space for them at home to explore their feelings and to confide in you without judgment - never underestimate the power of this compassion in helping them, because one parent's love can go a long way in making them feel seen and heard. 

 

With everything that has been going on, how are you coping? Do you have anyone in your life to support you while you're supporting your child? 

 

Thinking of you @Cinders_123 , hang in there Heart

 

P.S. I just wanted you to know that I edited part of your post to ensure that it was safe for the online community to read. If you want any advice on how to post safely on our forums about self-harm, please feel free to have a look at our community guidelines. 

View solution in original post


All Replies
Community Manager
Portia_RO
Solution

Re: 15yr old child is self-harming, starving themselves and depriving themselves of sleep

Message contains a hyperlink

Hi @Cinders_123 and welcome to the online community!

 

I'm very sorry to hear that your teen is struggling so much at the moment. It can be incredibly challenging to see your child in pain and to know that there is only so much you can do to help them. With that being said, it sounds like you're making every effort to support your teen, and it's great to hear that you've been in contact with their GP. I'm sorry to hear about the 6 month waitlist for a psychiatrist - unfortunately that's becoming all too common. Perhaps your GP could recommend a psychologist as their waitlist might be a little more hopeful? Otherwise, if you feel as though it may be helpful to you, here's a link to The Mix, who offer mental health support for young people under 25 in the UK. Childline (0800 1111) may also be useful if your teen needs to talk to someone for some immediate short-term support. 

 

You mentioned that your child has been engaging in self-harm lately and that you are becoming concerned by the severity of it. Have they expressed any thoughts of suicide to you, or are you at all concerned for their safety?

 

Please know that you haven't failed as a parent because your child is struggling. As you speculated yourself, a lot of parents feel this way when their child is experiencing mental health challenges, but it is not your fault that they are feeling this way and and it seems as though you are doing everything possible to find them the support they need. It's so heartwarming to hear that you're creating a safe space for them at home to explore their feelings and to confide in you without judgment - never underestimate the power of this compassion in helping them, because one parent's love can go a long way in making them feel seen and heard. 

 

With everything that has been going on, how are you coping? Do you have anyone in your life to support you while you're supporting your child? 

 

Thinking of you @Cinders_123 , hang in there Heart

 

P.S. I just wanted you to know that I edited part of your post to ensure that it was safe for the online community to read. If you want any advice on how to post safely on our forums about self-harm, please feel free to have a look at our community guidelines. 

View solution in original post

Moderator Hours

On weekends moderators work:

09:00AM to 10:00PM

We are not a counselling or crisis service and we can't guarantee you'll get a reply, so if you need to talk now

Click here for help

The current time is Sun, 7:02 AM
(Australian Eastern time)