Does anyone have insight on what to do if your child is cutting themself?

Enna - posted on 02/07/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




I know the main thing is getting professional help, but I'm not sure what to change at home. She's mad because we had to move to a new city and she wants to go back. She refuses to make new friends. She's constantly getting in trouble for being disobedient. I feel like if I punish her she's going to get worse, but if I don't punish her, then I'm teaching her that it's ok to misbehave. I don't know what to do.


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Kay - posted on 02/07/2012




Remember too, cutting is addictive, like most other self-destructive behaviors. There really is not a home therapy that works.

If she is getting serious (my younger sister, actually in college, has just recently begun treatment for this), purchase a lock box and lock up anything sharp. The list at my folks includes razors, pencil sharpeners (including those for eyeliner), box cutters, even thumbtacks. Just like you would not have alcohol around a recovering alcoholic--same principle applies.

The only thing you can really do is seek professional help. I highly recommend a counseling team (perhaps including a psychiatrist, if you are comfortable with them) that specializes in adolescent girls--even better if they specialize in those with self-destructive behaviors--or even in addiction treatments. Look for someone that will include you in the treatment as much as possible (obviously therapy is typically a very private event). That is something I would talk to them about up front.

You cannot fix a cutter without help. I really can't stress this enough. As a young woman in my early twenties, I still have peers who struggle with this type of behavior because they did not get the help that they so desperately need.

As far as the acting out, I would very honestly explain to your daughter that her feelings are valid, but that acting out is not an appropriate way to express them. Remind her that you love her and want what is best for her and your entire family. Tell her that you are worried and would like to get help to try to work things out for all of you, and her especially. Teens do not always take this well, but believe me, it is one of those things that you look back and remember when you make it out the other side of adolescence.

Good luck.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/07/2012




I am sorry that your daughter is having so much trouble with the new transition. It can be rough. How old is she?

You have pretty much answered your own question. Seek professional help. They will be able to give you the proper tools to handling her behavior at home.

How far away did you move? Is it close enough where she can have a good friend visit over a weekend? That way, she will have the comfort of home, and she might have fun showing off the new city to her friend. It may be a good release for her.

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