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Cutting and attempted suicide

Hi, I came on to this site to see if any other mom is experiencing what I am going through right now. My 15 year old daughter has been cutting herself for a year now and has been hospitalized 4 times last year. She is also on a self imposed diet. I am desperate for advice because no matter what I try and do, I cannot get from her the reasons for these actions and I am worried every night that I will wake up in the morning and my daughter will have cut a fatal wound or have the ambulance call me saying that my daughter has called from our house for help. I am scared every day.

by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Replies (21-21):
gracieb3
by on Feb. 22, 2013 at 11:32 AM
1 mom liked this

No worries. Glad to see another professional on this site. I'm semi retired as a SAHM that works outside of home PRN. I thought your reply seemed to be from a misunderstanding and I have to admit that I reread my rely and could see how it would be easy to misinterpret. That's why I'm not found of threads and text talk. It's too easy to read into, make a typo or sound completely different than intended. Best wishes on your schooling  and  Have a blessed day. 


Quoting DarlaHood:

Yes, you are right.  I'm still in my practicum, so you may be further along than I am.   I did misunderstand.  I thought you were saying that most cutters have personality disorders, which I thought might be a stretch.  I completely agree with your statements that Axis II disorders are more prevelant that we can know, that most don't present for treatment, and that most cutters have disorders comorbid conditions of the types you mentioned.  Thank you for the clarification.  Yes, the childe definitely needs professional support!

Quoting gracieb3:

I am guessing you are a fellow professional and maybe misunderstood my post. I said most cutters because not all are either of the things I offered. I also said they were either a personality disorder or depressed. I've only treated a few copy cat cutters and all I saw were depressed with many suffering axis II diagnosis. I also want to clarify that personality disorders are more prevalent than you eluded. Most don't present for treatment. Certainly the major influx of patients is people with Anxiety or Depression as either will cause or exacerbate the other. Need advice 0130 needs to get her child seen by a local professional or two. 


Quoting DarlaHood:

Actually, it is not true that most cutters have personality disorders. Cutting is much more common than personality disorders are, and it is common in adolescents, where as personality disorders are rarely diagnosed in adolescents.  Cutting can be related to severe depression or even self-hatred.  It is almost always related to anxiety, and is commonly comorbid with anxiety disorders.  Depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand.  Cutting or self-harming is also commonly related to eating disorders, so it isn't surpising that she may be putting herself on a very strict diet that is indicative of anorexia and/or bulimia.  She may be using the physical cutting as a sort of release.

Basically, cutters feel intense emotional pain, and they feel like they can't handle it, and they become anxious.  Some may even experience panic attacks.  Then they cut, and that brings physical pain, which forces their focus away from the emotional and relieves the anxiety.  It becomes a cycle where emotional pain and anxiety are are reduced by the act of inflicting physical pain. You do not have to go by any of the diagnoses that have been given.  You have the right to request a pediatric psychaitrist, a therapist who has expertise with children or adolescents,  and/or eating disorders/anxiety disorders, a medical doctor, and a social worker,

There is definitely deeper emotion and anxiety, and dd will need more than an assessment or two with the professional on staff at the hospital.  She needs to have an ongoing relationship with a therapist that can begin to help her over the long term.  I would be very careful to find someone with expertise in eating disorders.  Hopefully hers is not fully developed yeat.  Full blown eating disorders are VERY difficult to treat, and require special training.  Anorexia, which is the restricting food and over-excercising aspects of control, is the most life-threatening mental illness in the DSM, and the earlier it is caught and treated, the more likely a successful outcome.  You have a right to second opinions, and I would get them. 

Quoting gracieb3:

Most cutters are personality disorders or severely depressed. They either cut to inflict pain they feel they deserve or they cut to numb themselves and release the pain trapped inside of them. You can find literature on cutting and try being open with her about what led her to this. I highly recommend counseling with a therapist in your area. There will be one that specializes in cutting. Seek someone that works with eating disorders too. Your daughter sounds as if she has experienced some form of trauma and hasn't healed from it. Prayers. 







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