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momoftroubledteen
momoftroubl... asks:
Q:

Can anyone help me or my daughter?  She is a cutter.

my daughter has been cutting herself for sometime now. we have tried talking to the doctor who then put her on medication. and we have tried counseling. but i feel that all of this is not working she is still depressed and refuses to admit it. she cant handle stress or conflict and i am afraid that an everyday argument will lead to another cut. Is there anyone who can help me or her?
In Topics: Cutting
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 23, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

I'm so glad you wrote in for help because that says that you are acknowleding that your daughter has a problem and needs help immediately.  I'm glad to hear that you've tried many different things to help her.   Please know that it's not uncommon for a teen to lie about self injury and therefore not get the help they really need when they go to counseling.  Don't give up because there are still options available that you can and should try.

You mentioned that you have already tried counseling.  Have you only tried one person?  If you have only consulted one, it's well worth it to give a different one a try. It's very important that you find someone that specializes in teens and if possible someone that has worked extensively with teens that self-injure.  Try speaking with the counselor first to let them know what's going on and include your daughter's history of little improvement.  Usually school counselors have local community counselors they would feel comfortable referring their students to.  If you haven't tried that route, I would encourage you to do that.  The counselor your daughter worked with previously just may not have been a good match for your daughter.  Therapy can be very effective if the connection is right.

I know it's hard to control your daughters environment all the time, but make sure that you remove all possible methods that your daughter uses to cut with.  It's ok to search her room and get rid of any razors or glass she may use.  Of course it's almost impossible to prevent her from getting something at school to cut with, but at least you can feel fairly secure that she is safe while at home.  
I know it may be tough, but also ask your daughter if she has had suicidal thoughts.  If she says yes and has a plan you need to take her to your local emergency room immediately to get an evaluation.  

If you feel as if you need to try something totally different, you should look into an inpatient treatment facility in your area.  Depending upon where you live, a day treatment program for depression may also be an option.  

If you need any referrals or just need to talk to someone about the next step in helping your daughter, please feel free to call our hotline at 1-800-448-3000.  It's free and confidential and we have a national database so we could help you look for something local.  You may also want to give your daughter our phone number.  We talk to teens everyday that have a history of cutting and/or suicidal thoughts.  There's also a great website called To Write Love on Her Arms.  The web address is www.twloha.com.  They are a website dedicated to empowering teens and adults to stop cutting.  Check it out.  

You don't have to go through this alone, so please keep reaching out for help.  We hope to hear from you.  

Take Care,
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000.

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Additional Answers (3)

kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Elissa,

It must be heartbreaking for you to watch your daughter hurting herself in this way.  

Cutting and depression are serious issues and no one in an online community is capable of giving you good advice without speaking to you and your daughter in person.  While we certainly offer you our support, we urge you to get back in touch with your daughter's doctor as soon as possible to let him know that your efforts so far have not been effective.

We're thinking of you and wish you and your daughter the best,

Kat
education.com
> 60 days ago

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Seann
Seann writes:
Hi Elissa,

I like to echo Kat's word of support.  I wish you and your family the best of luck in helping your daughter get through what sounds like a very hard time.
> 60 days ago

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lexichoi
lexichoi writes:
I just found out my youngest daughter is a cutter last night and don't know how to feel she is cruel towards her baby brother always talking ugly to him, bullying her sister who is smaller than her but older, she says that she does it b/c we get mad at her, but then I explained to her the only time we get mad is when she puts harm to her siblings, not turning in hmwk, her chores, sneaking food as if I am starving her things in this nature she doesn't wander and do the typical teen girls motives, she doesn't know the difference between right and wrong and I don't have insurance barely food and money to survive but work full time and support three kids on my own.
> 60 days ago

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