Anxiety/depression/cutting in teens
  • sunnymommasunnymomma
    Posts: 2,171Member
    My DD14 has been cutting on and off for a year now. It was brought to my attention a couple months ago by her school counselor who has now received 3 tips from my daughters friends. I have talked to her and we've been through the denial, to the discussions, the fights, the crying. I have suggested counceling, she is resistant. She said that theropists are just people who get paid to pretend to care about you and listen. shes not comfortable talking to a stranger about what ever is bothering her. Of course she is not telling me what is so wrong in her life that she cuts or feels suicidal. Im at a complete loss. I feel like a bad momma, i cant fix this, and I dont trust her to be alone for 1/2 a second. I never see the depressed side of her, she is doing well in school, still participates in activities, friends, takes care of herself, does her make up and hair, fashion is a big priotity in her life, her attitude hasnt changed neither have her eating or sleeping habits. Am I missing something here? Just not sure what step to take next. Sure I can sign her up for counseling but there is no guarentee she will come home from school on appointment days, or if we do make it to the appointment she will either not talk at all, or BS her way through it, or take full advatage of it.
    I am me, and I am loved
  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager
    I cut for years, I however was NOT suicidal. It might help if you knew if your daughter was one or the other or both. You're not a bad momma. My mother has always been an amazing mother, she is not the reason I would cut. From what you've told me it doesn't sound like she's suicidal, it sounds like she's using cutting as an outlet. I would sign her up for counseling regardless if she goes or not. Just so she knows she has the option, don't pressure her, just leave the door open for her. Even if she goes in there and doesn't talk, it's more helpful than if she wasn't going at all. Follow your momma's intuition. You know her better than anyone. My mom was scared and didn't understand but she didn't give up on me, she didn't push, she just let me know that she was there. And that's all I needed for her. She gave me a book called Cut by Patricia McCormick. It was really helpful, if I knew where it was I'd mail it to you, but it looks like this...
    image

    It was good to read about something, to better understand it from a cutter's perspective. If you need anything feel free to message me. 

    confessional-manager

    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • AnonUser30
    Posts: 1,916Guest
    I had mine pit in the hospital - then made her strip naked in front of me every single night to check for cuts. Force her to counseling. She's obviously not making great choices now.
  • ProudPalsyMamma
    Posts: 1,273Member
    I second what @unforgiven said that book made a difference for me too and I was a cutter for 7 years and I was suicidal only 2x other then those 2 times cutting was my outlet from pain and hurt
  • sunnymommasunnymomma
    Posts: 2,171Member
    Thanks unforgiven, Ill look up the book, im sure amazon has it! Im also not sure what to say when calling to get her into counseling......This is where my anxiety comes in. i also feel like the school is putting pressure on me to get her into counseling, and If I cant get her to go then they will lable me a bad momma. I give this child the world, everthing she needs but not everything she wants. Im a single mom, she is well loved, spends plenty of time with both sides of her family, with friends, summer camps, she still sits on my lap and watches tv, we still have snuggle time when she is upset or hurt or sick. Heck she still asks to be tucked in at night complete with kisses!
    I am me, and I am loved
  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager
    @sunnymomma, you could force her to go. But you can't force it to have any kind of affect on her unless she's open to it. Set up the appointment and tell her you've set it up. Tell her that you love her and you think it would be helpful if she just had someone to talk to, and just ask her to please think about it. Your relationship with her sounds a lot like my relationship with my mom. It'll be ok. It's the school's job to put pressure in these situations, do not let anyone make you feel like you're not doing a good enough job as a mother or are a bad mother. 

    confessional-manager

    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager
    I didn't talk much at all when I went to my first therapy sessions, eventually I let it out. 

    confessional-manager

    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • sunnymommasunnymomma
    Posts: 2,171Member
    Thanks! Its so helpful to be able to vent here, and ask questions. Im sure ill be doing this more often. This is going to be a long road. :-SS
    I am me, and I am loved
  • ProudPalsyMamma
    Posts: 1,273Member

    I had mine pit in the hospital - then made her strip naked in front of me every single night to check for cuts. Force her to counseling. She's obviously not making great choices now.


    @Livinthedream you know I normally agree with you but in this case I think that if my parents had ever done what you did I would have never opened up to them about anything which in turn would have made me cut more.

    Btw @sunnymomma I know this may not be the case for your daughter and I don't want you to freak out on me for saying this but I cut because of abuse (sexual, physical, verbal, emotional) is there any possible way anything like that has happened to her? Maybe at school or a friends house?
  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager
    It will be a long road but you guys will get through it together.  >:D<

    confessional-manager

    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • momnipotentmomnipotent
    Posts: 498Member

    i used to cut, and did it for many reasons, it started out as a flimsy no balled half ass suicide attempt and then it just kinda turned into a stress relief, a habit, sometimes i even just did it for fun. alot of the time it was cut or flip out and break shit.  one day i decided that id rather flip out and punch something then constantly have to hide my wrists & thighs.  cutting is complex and was really common where i live, but its a scary thing and i cant imagine having to deal with it as a parent who loves their child.  showing her you care is more than my parents did, my mom said "oh that's mature" and sent me to my room. alone.  ill give you two guesses what i did next.

    make sure she knows you love her and care about her and if there is something bothering her that you will do the best you can to help her.  counselling is a good idea but counselling just isnt for everyone.  maybe find reading materials and self help websites or books or other options where she can start to get a handle on what she is feeling without having to lay it all out in front of a stranger. if she is cutting really deep than DEFINATELY get her help ASAP before it gets too deep

     

    *ad astra per alia porci*
    my nuts hang like there aint no curfew
  • sunnymommasunnymomma
    Posts: 2,171Member
    No abuse of any kind that I know of. I show her and tell her i care, I have patience with her regaurding this. i dont ever push the issue, but i do let her know when i see cuts on her. i offer my ear to her if she chooses to talk about anything. None of the cuts are deep, they look like cat scratches at worst.
    I am me, and I am loved
  • sunnymommasunnymomma
    Posts: 2,171Member

    Thank you Vela

     

    I am me, and I am loved
  • [Deleted User]
    Posts: 6,948
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    well behaved women seldom make history
  • loveless
    Posts: 71Member
    My daughter was a cutter a few years ago.  She would not talk to me about it either. It scared me to death! Now she said she did it as a release, it was something she had complete control over.  It was one of the hardest things I ever went through with her and believe me we have been through some pretty awful things in the last 3 years (she is now 15)

    I tried to keep an open door and my emotions in check. I offered her the opportunity to go to counseling, but she declined. I told her that she could die and that I loved her. Eventually she did go to private counseling. If they are offering counseling in school she may not want to do that because everyone will know she is going. I very rarely spoke to the counselor so she felt comfortable talking about ANYTHING. It helped and she has not cut in 2 years.

    You are not alone, and you are definitely not a bad parent - in fact you are a great one for caring enough to be concerned and reaching out for help. All the ladies here have posted some great things. Just don't give up!
  • [Deleted User]
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    well behaved women seldom make history
  • sunnymommasunnymomma
    Posts: 2,171Member
    I just want it to stop. I want her to stop feeling that she needs to do it. All I ever wanted was for my baby to be healthy, happy, functioning member of society. this is not happy or healthy, makes me feel like ive failed her somehow.
    I am me, and I am loved
  • [Deleted User]
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    well behaved women seldom make history
  • sunnymommasunnymomma
    Posts: 2,171Member
    Thanks. im already shocked at all the stories I am hearing. I guess its way more common than i thought. Unfortunatly that is comforting to me. lol she has 2 guitars! Maybe its time for a 3rd!! A pony, the moon, anything to make it go away so I can breath easy and sleep well.
    I am me, and I am loved
  • [Deleted User]
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    well behaved women seldom make history
  • CrazyinNC
    Posts: 7Member
    I had my daughter committed three weeks ago for cutting/depression. She has been diagnosed with manic disorder and ODD. It is a tough road and extremely scary. She is now on medication and we are seeing improvement. I tried talking to her and taking her to counseling but she would lie to us all and hide it. I couldn't leave her alone because of the fear of her hurting herself. I couldn't help her so I had to turn to professionals. They understand and can help.
  • nessamommynessamommy
    Posts: 666Member
    I was a very depressed teenager.  It stemmed from my childhood abuse and adoption.  I felt like no one loved me, and no one understood me.  The cutting started small. After every fight with my mother I cut.  I ran away 4 times.  I know she loved me, but I couldn't make myself feel it.  I finally told her in a very heated argument, and she made me to go counseling.  I lied to the therapist and lied to my doctor. I was finally diagnosed with a mood disorder and severe anxiety. I found an outlet in writing,  My school counselor gave me a journal and made an agreement with my mother that she was not to violate my privacy in reading it.  
    Its hard for both parties.  I'm sorry your family has to go through it. Cutting is very scary for everyone involved.  Some people benefit from group therapy more.  I found out a friend of mine cut and we kind of used each other to call when we felt the need to cut.  It can become an addiction.  I still have urges when I get very upset, but haven't cut in 5 years.
     I feel like you have been very supportive.  The book Unforgiven recommended is a good read.  I love to read and ate up any book that made me feel like I wasn't a complete wack-job. 
    If life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in life's eye!
  • Elizabeth883
    Posts: 10Member
    I used to cut, infact I still would cut if I didn't think my children would be taken from me.

    It isn't that you are a bad mom, or you did anything wrong. Some do it because they need the feeling of control, some do it to feel alive (the feeling of numb) then some do it because it is soothing. Think of it this way, she may be in emotional pain, it may not heal soon. The cut she may give herself will heal within days-weeks.

    I hated my friends for telling my Mom, my Mom was terrorfied. Which, helped no one. She'd cry and say that she was scared I was going to kill myself. Fortunately I never slit my wrists, I tended to go to the fleshier parts.

    If you ever get the chance, Prozac nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel is another good read. www.selfinjury.net has a section for parents of those who self injure.

    She loves you, she isn't doing this to hurt you, please realize that.
  • Elizabeth883
    Posts: 10Member
    Here is a link, she should try to create a list of things she can do instead. Here are some ideas

    http://www.selfinjury.org/docs/selfhelp.html
  • wtfwit
    Posts: 221Member
    Maybe she is lesbian or is hiding something?? My nephew just came out to us and while it was a complete and very painful for us to hear i can't imagine how much stress he was feeling keeping that to himself. But we accepted and moved on... we didnt treat him any different and all seemed well .... he has been cutting because he is worried about life as a gay man. I just dont understand how hurting yourself fixes anything but again we talked to him and let him know he can tell us anything.. ITS SO HARD NOT TO YELL N SCREAM WTH IS WRONG WITH YOU THOUGH... we love him no matter what and I hope its a phase.. he told us he wont do it again.
  • themommypsychologist
    Posts: 21Member
    As a child psychologist and a mom, I can tell you there are LOTS of reasons that teens cutting. It doesn't mean that she's suicidal. It also doesn't mean that she has or is being abused. These are both possibilities, but actually not the most common reasons for cutting at this age. Many girls cut at this age as a way of emotional expression. Some do it in order to deal with painful, intense emotions that they can't express. Others might do it for attention. Yes, the attention getting behavior with cutting is very common. Also, it can be a cry for help without having to say out loud something is wrong with me. Cutting is also becoming a weird competitive trend with adolescent girls as well. This is a really long comment so say that there are many reasons why she might be cutting. I would suggest taking her to see a therapist. You should know I've seen hundreds of teenagers. And every single teenager tells their parents that a) they don't want to go b) therapy is stupid and c) they are not going to talk to the therapist or get anything out of it. You should also know that they ALWAYS talk once they feel comfortable with the therapist and even if they say that it's stupid, they almost always get something out of it. Also, I just posted about teenagers and depression for anyone who might be interested:
    http://www.themommypsychologist.com/2012/05/03/how-do-you-help-a-depressed-teenager/
  • sunnymommasunnymomma
    Posts: 2,171Member
    Thanks she has finally come to terms with maybe a counselor is a good idea. Even talked to a friend about it and the friend goes to someone, so DD14 wants to go to the same person. Now just need to find out who it is and hope they take our insurance. Its times like this I wish her father stuck around. Single parenthood is tough enough!
    I am me, and I am loved
  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager
    That's definitely a step in the right direction. >:D<

    confessional-manager

    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • MistressHeidiMistressHeidi
    Posts: 984Member
    @sunnymomma Hang in there! I'm dealing with the exact same issue. I have a dd15 who cuts herself, she has run away from home once now, is sexually active, has used and as far as I know still currently uses marijuana. I'm at my wits end and feel like crying, screaming and throwing things. I have her in counseling and am trying hard to figure out how to deal with all of this. You're not alone.

    And I cut as a teenager. Haven't done it in years, not since I was 17 and had just given birth to my first child. But the urge is still there sometimes. Like right now, while I'm dealing with my daughter going through the same shit I did.

    Hugs and payers and love or you and your daughter!
    >:D<
  • sunnymommasunnymomma
    Posts: 2,171Member
    Good to know im not alone. Well that sounds silly, of course im not alone, but you get my point. I hope it gets better for both of us real soon, or that calgon actually takes us away!!
    I am me, and I am loved
  • GeekyMumma
    Posts: 1Member
    I'd say "when I was a teenager" but technically I still am, I also still feel the urge to cut. I used to cut because I just didn't know how to deal with my emotions. This was thanks to a combination of abuse and neglect, and my mother having her own mental issues.
    Don't try to push her into anything, or say that these feelings will pass - that's the worse thing to do. Personally, I agreed to go to a counsellor so my mum would stop pressuring me into it. I lied to the counsellor and in the end didn't resolve anything. I ended up living in the country with my dad for a while and it helped to be away from the stress of school and a social life.
    I hope going to a counsellor helps her. :)
  • MistressHeidiMistressHeidi
    Posts: 984Member
    @sunnymomma if you can figure out a way to have calgon take us away be sure you tell me right away. I hope the counseling helps your dd. Wishing you and your dd the absolute best.
  • GlitterQueen GlitterQueen
    Posts: 2,491Member
    I was also a cutter, i still struggle with the thoughts every now and then, medication helps.  I am sure there are support groups she could go to, and not have to say anything maybe just listen. Eventually she will say something. I used to show other cutters (kids I was trying to help) my scars, they are a testimate to what I went through and how strong I am now, but when people see them it always raises questions and its sometimes embarrassing to have all the scars. usually a cutter know where and how deep they can cut and not die. and if you try to take the things they use to cut they will still find a way to do it. just make sure her cuts don't get infected. Here are a few of my scars, show her what they look like when she gets older. I did this when I was about 19.image