Do any of you have a teen suffering from an eating disorder, major depression from being bullied, and self-harm?

Connie - posted on 07/21/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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9 months ago my daughter was in life-threatening crisis. She went to an Easting Recovery Center for a month when school got up and went from emaciation to her ideal weight. Her depression is much better and she has not self-harmed. She's in a 4 day a week Intensive Outpatient Program to further her recovery. It is a relief that the crisis is over and recovery in processs. But, still a long row to hoe and it gets difficult.

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Connie - posted on 08/10/2013

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For parents of self-harmers - take it seriously! In middle school or earlier they learn about cutting and self-harm. It becomes a way to escape overwhelming emotions that are too painful to deal with. My daughter got the idea at 13 to use a lighter to heat a push pin and stick it in the back of her legs. It was never noticeable. She knew 2 girls who were cutters. At 14 I saw 3 small burns on her arm. She lied and told me someone scratched her. I actually thought she was experimenting to see what would happen and was too embarrassed. So I let it go. At 15 she started using sharp objects to scratch up her arms, leaving scabs everywhere. Soon after she started actually cutting using metal she broke off pen clips and scissors that cut deeper. Her forearms were always scabbed over or scarred,, then she started cutting the inside of her arms by the veins, then the tops of her thighs. At some point when cutting endorphins can be released giving a morphine type high and sense of well-being. That is addictive. It also means cutting more times and deeper to try to get the same effect. Often the teen disassociates and it is as if they are watching someone else do it. They are avoiding overwhelmingly painful emotions and repressing them. They eventually can't hide the scars or marks anymore and are embarrassed, humiliated, and made fun of because of it. The American Psychiatric Association in the recently published DMV-5 recognizes cutting as a mental illness that needs treatment. First, educate yourself with reliable and credible information. NIMH and other government sources are good. The best website for credible info and support is Self-injury.net. Get your child the help they need. Kids accidently cut too deep and end up killing themselves. It is a potentially life-threatening condition that is very serious and requires prompt action and education by parents. Remove any sharp objects from where the teen can get them - if nothing is available to cut with when they get the urge, the urge will pass for the time. Talk to your teen and learn to listen when they tell you how they feel. Tjhis is hard, because they are repressing and avoiding their emotions. My daughter is in recovery now. It is one of the most painful, helpless feelings you as a parent may experience, but be there for your teen.
Connie

Connie - posted on 08/10/2013

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Thanks! It is a struggle sometimes, but so much better. If I could warn parents about something it would be assuming things are a normal part of becoming a teenager, such as moodiness, changes, etc. At least I found out before it was too late. Now, I am changing from an overprotective, indulgent parent to trying to establish rules and routines. That's a struggle, but I keep hearing CONSISTENENCY! So, I keep at it.

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