I just found out the my 14 year old is cutting herself. What do I do???
There are lots of moms in here that will give you great advice - the best is to take her to counselling and actually TALK to her. Tell her that if she feels the need to cut, no matter what time of night it is, she can come to you and you will try and help her get through it without cutting. Don't punish her, don't strip her of her privacy or do body searches - that will just make her feel like it's HER fault not her illness's and make her cut more. Don't take her instruments - SHE will give them up when SHE is ready - and unless you see signs like her not trying to hide the cuts, her showing them off, or the cuts themselves (tiny little cuts, insufficent number of cuts, etc) or smiling whenever someone mentions them, or other attention seeking behaviour it is NOT FOR ATTENTION! it is a serious illness and needs to be taken seriously.
We put our dd in counselling ASAP.
Please continue to update us, and good luck.
My DH is a cutter...he has been doing it since he was 6 years old. He is also bipolar. For him, cutting is a release of emotion. She needs to be seen by a psychologist. If medication is needed, she will also need to be seen by a psychiatrist.
DH's mother knew he was cutting and never got him help. He resents her in a way because of it. He feels like if he had help when he was younger, he might not be in the position he is in now.
Letting her know you are there to talk when she needs and getting her professional help is the only thing you can do. You can't punish her for doing it or try to reason with her about it.
When i was 13 i started cutting. they started getting too hard to hide so I used a rubber band and snapped it whenever I felt the urge.
There is a great book recommended to me by a psychiatrist called "Cutting: Understand and Overcoming Self-Mutilation" by Steven Levenkron. I would definitely see a psychologist. Our family took a different approach with cutting. I did put up all razors, scissors, and knives. I wanted to remove the urge so it wasn't glaring her in the face. I would ask her about each cut, what happened that made her want to cut, and what she felt when she was cutting. Part of it was to intrude on her private practice of cutting but also to get her to identify what her triggers were prior to cutting.
Thanks everyone for help. We all went to our first counseling session yesterday. I think she is relieved that we know. She will see her counselor once a week and also has an appointment with a psychiatrist to see if there is a chemical imbalance of some sort. I feel so helpless. I wish I could do more.
Go to a doctor and a counselor
I just found out my 16 year old is too and it's the scariest thing ever! I immediately took my daughter to the ER for a psych eval and I highly recommend that as a starting place. The doctor there gave us a lot of great information, some peace of mind and resources. I hope to find moms on here that have been through this that can give me some advice.
My daughter was 13 when she started doing this. We got her into counseling right away and on meds. We took away ALL sharp objects (kids who are cutters will find anything to cut themselves with). We went thru her room and nearly took everything out (which included knick knacks which kids can break and use to cut themselves). My daughter is much better now, so we gave her things back to her, cuz it was actually those knick knacks which brought her comfort that we took away and after a while realized she wasnt going to destroy something that brought her comfort to harm herself.
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