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concernedgramma
concernedgr... asks:
Q:

my 11 yr old grandaughter says she crys instead of cutting hersel.is she hinting she wants to hurt herself?

In Topics: Teen issues, Cutting
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Sep 11, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

We are glad that you decided to reach out and ask for some help to understand your granddaughter. It sounds like she is hurting inside and to release some of that pain she cries. Some kids just can't cry anymore and they turn to cutting themselves. This is called self harm.

Self harm is a dangerous and very unhealthy coping skill that many young teens use to cope with issues that are difficult for them. It could be because of friends, parents, money, anxiety, school, stress or whatever issue. No matter the issue, the cutting or self harm makes their internal pain go away or sometimes makes them feel pain because they feel numb for some reason.

It is a dangerous skill because they could cut too deep. It also can become an addictive behavior. They just never learn to cope with issues in a healthy way as long as they are using cutting or any self injury.

It would be a good idea to talk with your granddaughter about what is going on to make her feel so sad or upset. If she is comfortable talking with you, she will tell you. If she would rather talk with another trusted adult, we would suggest that. There are usually counselors at school that are very familiar with this type of issue and they would be able to provide a large amount of support for you and her. We are here to help as well. We talk with families and children who need help.

Please have your granddaughter check out www.yourlifeyourvoice.org for some needed support and answers, talk with her counselor and encourage her to always talk about her feelings. Pushing them down never helps or feels good. If she keeps them bottled up, they will explode at some point. We are glad that she talked with you.  It sounds like she may be ready to open up.

We hope we have given you some useful advice. We would love for you to call us to find other options. We are here for children and families 24/7. Call 1-800-448-3000.

Sincerely,
NS, counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
www.hotline@boystown.org
1-800-448-3000
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