Parenting Teenagers (12-18) Support Group

This community is focused on the joys, challenges and concerns faced by parents of teenagers (12 to 18 year olds). The major areas of child development include: physical development, perception and sensory development, communication and language development, cognitive development, emotional development and social development.

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My daughter is cutting herself.

I just found out my 14 yr old daughter is cutting herself. She and her friend have both been doing it. They confided in her friends stepmom and thankfully she called me. I have not talked to my daughter yet as I just found out tonight and she is at a sleep over . i know she needs help and i am going to get it for her ASAP. i just thouhgt if i could talk with other parents whi are going through this or have gone through this I might be better able to talk to her. I am scared for her and so sad that this has happened, how did i miss it. Is this somehow my fault. Was sshe asking for help and i just did not hear her?? I don't know what to think. Any advice would help.



Melody - Its not your fault hon and its easy to miss because they hide it well. You find out when they want you to find out. Cutting is caused by many things and is a cry for help. Try and find ut if something has happened to your daughter. Cutting is a physical way of expressing pain they can't talk about. I'm glad you going to get her help but don't expect her to be happy about it. More than likely she'll resist. Also, please prepare yourself for a quilt trip. Cutters use cutting to get attention as well. Its a difficult line to tow knowing when to react and when to stay calm, firm, and detached. This is your child, you don't want her to hurt herself but smoothering her with attention will reinforce her behavior. If she gets a pay-off from you than she'll do it just for the reward. Let her know how much you love and care about her but that you will not allow her to be distructive toward herself. Make it clear that if she continues that you will have her committed to a psychiatric facility until she can understand why she is doing this and control the behavior. I understand you pain and my heart breaks for you. Also, tell you daughter that although she thinks she is just cutting in the moment...the scares are going to be there for the rest of her life. HUGS and let me know how it works out.

This is such a hard thing to deal with. I am so sorry.
I know that it can be a form of anxiety relief.
Its a release for stress for some and some have other reasons too.
But I am wondering why she and her friend both do it.
It may be a cry for attention.
I don't know your daughter or your situation.
But getting her help is the best step and you are doing that.
I'm here if you need a friend :)

I worked for a therapist for some time before I got married and this beatiful little girl first started stealing the mother was whaalways to busy and the father well he worked all the time at 9 years old she was stealing... then it got worst ... one day her parents found a bag full of jewerly that she had taken from her friends homes.... and again the parents thought she would grow out of it..... Then she started cutting but made excuse well one day the mother came home and she cut herself went EMO but not across her arm but vertically that is when she got therapy. I can't tell you what to do about cutting cause I never lived that I have seen others who do it but what I will suggest is ready....

Go to 3 therapists ... interview them! find out what type of cases they have dealt with and what there sucess rate is with your specific type of case..... don't listen to the first therapist you hear cause some therapists are more wacked out then the patience!

Sending you Sunshine and hope and one more thing.... a quote...

Job 9:10 (New International Version)

10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.

First I want to say I feel your pain. My daughter started cutting two years ago. She hid it from me. It started out just here and there but got worse. She had terrible depression and anxiety. OCD. I started getting her help not knowing about the cutting. We have been trough three therapists. I agree with Donamarieg2 you can't just go with the first one, unless you get lucky. At the same time we went to a psychiatrist to see about getting medication for the depression, anxiety. After a couple of visits my Daughter told her that she was cutting and wanted help. We put her in an out patient hospital situation just for cutting. It helped some. But what has helped the most is we found a terrific therapist. Right now we are at 14 weeks clean. That is big. But for your daughter do what you can get her help before it becomes an addiction if it hasn't already. She has to want it though. For sure check out the therapist's credentials. Find one who deals with Self Injury. I read books too about it to try to understand it myself. It is painful for a parent to watch. I have found bloody rags, broken glass and blades in her room. It breaks the heart. Hugs I will keep you in my prayers. Contact me if you want.
Amy C

Great advice from all, and all good to follow. My son started cutting at 12. It more commonly affects girls, but his anxiety was so great, and, as many others here say, he didn't feel comfortable talking about it, and so he discovered cutting provided release. Although we went straight to a Psychiatrist to address it, it is now 4 years later and he still has a multitude of anxiety-based issues that he battles. I hope this is not the case for you. But always be on the alert. Know her friends. Stay firm and always be knowledgable about her computer activity, etc. And do get a good counselor. Hugs to you.

I just recently discovered mine did the same thing. She is 13. She has made several scratches on her but not actually broken skin. She basically poured her heart out explaining that she has been really depressed. We just started counseling and may possibly start meds as well.

It is good that you caught it early. And very good your daughter will talk to you. Counseling will work as long as she is open and willing. It sounds like you were able to get her help before it becomes and addiction. When that happens it is so very hard to stop. My daughter was clean for almost 2 years. Two weeks shy of her "anniversary" We are back in therapy. Sometimes though it doesn't get that serious of a problem. Prayers to you and your daughter.
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