My sister is 13 and the other day she stood up an her pants were sagging a little and I thought I noticed some cuts on her hip. As if she realized that I had noticed, she quickly pulled her pants up without saying anything. Two years ago she was hospitalized for threatening to kill herself. Since then she's been seeing a counselor (however she hasn't been in a while) and I thought she was getting better. However, she recently had conferences at school and she's failing a few of her classes. She has ADHD and depression but she hasn't been taking her meds. Just now I was able to get a closer look and I was able to confirm that there are about week old cuts on her hip. I don't know what to do. She's very easily set off and I myself used to cut as well and I know the last thing I wanted was my parents to know. I'm scared because I don't want her to go through the same things I had to. I feel like I should tell someone but I don't know who. Help?
Self injury is a means that some people use to express or release emotional pain. This may include carving, scratching on the arm or leg, superficial cuts, cigarette burns, pulling out the hair, or picking at their skin. It is important for your sister to express her feelings openly with a person that she feels safe with--often this is a counselor or therapist especially in more serious cases. In less severe cases, journaling or other more positive ways of coping with intense feelings can be a helpful way to work through the emotions that are causing her to self harm. If your sister is self injuring it is important to get someone (like your parents) involved who can help her and provide support.