How can I help my daughter with my 12 year old granddaughter who is cutting herself. Counseling prior to this for depression but didn't help.
My 12 yr. old granddaughter, (parents divorced 1.5 years ago) will not go to a counselor to talk to someone. She doesn't trust a stranger. She has begun cutting herself in the last two months, after they moved out of my house and into their own apartment. She is very disrespectful of her mother and gets punished for it. She needs help. Her mother refuses to put her on meds. I want so much to help, but I am at a lose on how to for both of them.
I understand why you are so worried about your granddaughter. Any self-injury by a teen is very concerning. It sounds like your granddaughter is hurting a lot right now, and she's lucky that you care so much for her and are willing to do anything to help. Now more than ever, teens are turning to self-injury as a way of coping with stress, anger, hurt, and depression. It's hard to tell what feelings your granddaughter is experiencing right now, but regardless, she certainly isn't expressing them in a healthy way. Some teens even use self-injury as a way to cry out for help and attention. The concerning part about teens self injuring is that they often don't know when or how to stop. Although most teens that use self-injury as a coping skill don't do it as an attempt to end their life, cutting can lead to unintentional life threatening injuries. In the heat of the moment teens can be unaware of how deep they are cutting, or how much they are really hurting themselves.
The key to helping a youth that self-injures is to get them counseling from someone that can help them learn healthy ways of dealing with their negative feelings. You mentioned that your granddaughter won't talk to a counselor because she won't open up to a stranger. It's understandable that she would feel very apprehensive about doing this. In fact, many teens that are in counseling are not there by choice. Encourage her to remember that it take a few sessions to get comfortable with someone. Also remind her that an outside counselor is a great person to talk to because they won't bring their emotions to the session as they might find when talking to parents or other close relatives.
If your granddaughter still refuses to talk to a counselor, have her come up with another trusted adult she feels comfortable talking to. This could be a youth group leader, a coach, or a neighbor. Your granddaughter needs to guarantee her mom that she will spend a specific amount of time with that adult talking about her feelings every week. It's also important that your daughter finds out what your granddaughter is using to self-injure and eliminate those objects.
Again, it's great that your granddaughter has someone like you that cares so much and wants to be a part of her recovery. Please feel free to call us if you want to talk to us further about your situation. Take care.
If you truly believe that your granddaughter is in danger you can do what they call a section, either by the police department or a judge. This will probably get her admitted to a behavioral hospital, but it will surely keep her out of danger. You should also try as much as you can to convince your daughter that her daughter needs help and medications. Sometimes medications is the best help they can get. If you do happen to go through with the section, they might be upset for a while, but eventually they will learn that you did it for your granddaughter best interest. I know its a cliche, but its best to be safe than sorry.
I am sorry to hear about all the chaos. It sounds as though the divorce is causing some stress for the both of them. The first thing I recommend is that maybe you find some resources for the mother. As hard as this is on you, I would try to guide your daughter as much as possible. A local church would be a good start and could offer a positive outlet for both of them. Secondly, meds may or may not be the best answer. It sounds like stress and anxiety has taken a bad toll on your gd. There are camps for kids going through very stressful times. It may be a good idea for you or some other relative to pay for a week camp session of counseling.
There are several different all natural remedies for depression other than prescription meds. SAM-e is a good product that can be purchased on-line or at your local pharmacy. Its good for a lot of stuff but seems to help in depression. Herbs like lavender and patchouli have a calming effect as well.
Lastly, age 12 is a bad age for a divorce. Take it from me, I have to go through this at that age. It can be worse than death. Try researching the topic and perhaps other parents can give support. The main thing is to pray! ANd I will be praying for your family too.