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My teen is cutting herself, therapy not working

My once happy and successful teen (M.)suddenly became depressed and suicidal when she was 16. It came like a bolt out of the blue when one of her teachers phoned me to tell me that M. had confided with her that she had tried to kill herself using pills. M. was furious that the teacher had to tell us, but we persuaded her to go to the emergency dept of our local hospital, and a short time later she began weekly therapy sessions with a social worker. M. seems to be embarrassed and doesn't want to discuss it much with us.I feel M. should have had bloodwork done to rule out a physical cause, but they didn't do it. She also continued to confide with teachers and guidance counsellor at her school. Incredibly, it became apparent that the staff at school and even the social worker began to blame us, her family, and even suggested that she had been abused by us, which is incredulous, since we had had a wonderful family life up to this point. Even M. was puzzled. I don't think the social worker, or her new psychologist (expensive by the way) she has started with, are really solving much. I really don't think the psych. has a handle on it at all. I'm afraid (yes, afraid)to approach them because I know they consider us part of the problem, but M. won't speak up in our defense. It is driving a wedge between us and M. continues to cut, her arms are in bad shape.  All I can do is try and protect her at home, but what more can I do--at my wits end. My own psyche is taking a beating.
Member Added on Nov 12, 2013
OK it looks no expert , or anyone else will provide any feedback. And I can't delete my question. But just in case someone reads this ,here are my key points that I feel everyone should know. 1.First, I believe that social workers et. al. view a situation from the framework that they've been taught, or that prevails in today's society. They often have a mindset--A child acts in a certain way, therefore, 'this' is what must be happening at home-abuse, alcoholism, divorce. No need to meet the family or get various points of view. There can be no other explanation of a situation.  2.You can do everything right as a parent, caring for the child both physically, mentally and spiritually (a good homelife) and still end up being blamed. Still paying for weekly therapy sessions to undo the 'damage'. 3. Parents can be excluded from these sessions, when in fact they may have key information that would help the therapeutic process. The parent can be frightened by their child's behavior, but still be the 'enemy 'and have nowhere to turn. 4. Or maybe the situation is having a negative on the parents and siblings, or relationship with the child,which needs to be addressed. 5. Beware, you parents of young kids, things can go horribly wrong.  We used to be coloring pictures for Thanksgiving, going to Disney parks and Kindermusik. Finally, if there are any 'experts' can you admit that sometimes you get it wrong? And if you've got it wrong, you can't really solve it.
In Topics: Cutting
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 28, 2014
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What the Expert Says:

We certainly understand how frustrating this must be for you and very scary as well.  What we do like to hear is that she is talking with someone about what is going on and she is expressing her feelings to people who are in a position to offer support.  While we don't know why she is claiming abuse, she obviously is hurting.  

Two things that we think might be helpful if you haven't tried them yet.  First, take her to her pediatrician.  If her depression is chemical or situational, they may feel it is best to put her on a low dose of anti depressant medication.  It could be a short term thing to get her chemicals in her body back to a level where her depression isn't controlling her life.  Second, consider family counseling. This is when both sides get to speak.  Her counselor/psychologist and teachers that she speaks with are only getting her side of the situation.  Even though it is how she views things, sometimes it helps to get it all out on the table.  

www.Yourlifeyourvoice.org has a great website dedicated to teens.  They offer online chat to teens who are needing support.  It is a free service that Boys Town counselors offer.  They also have great resources to help teens understand cutting/self-injury and how to stop.  Your daughter hasn't found a healthy way to cope with what she is feeling and will continue to cut as it  has become her "go to remedy" for so long.  

Our counselors are available 24/7.  Please call anytime to discuss this further if you feel you need support as well. We understand this can be upsetting for everyone involved.  

Take care,
Boys Town National Hotline Counselor
1-800-448-3000

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Additional Answers (5)

Leslie6215
Leslie6215 writes:
No expert, just a mom whose daughter is cuttin and I just found out. Thanks for sharing what you know, I am gathering all of the info I can get and I will remember what you wrote.
> 60 days ago

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318830
318830 writes:
I've asked a similar question!  I need help too!  Our daughter is cutting again.  She sees a psychologist and a psychiatrist.  Is on medication, has been in a mental health hospital 3 times this year.  She's tried to overdose about a month ago.  We've sold our home to move to a smaller town/school, supposed to be better for her.  I've quit my job to "watch" her 24/7.  What else do we have to do?  It's just getting worse and worse.  Yes, she's had all her labs done, and no irregularities.  Some days/nights we as parents don't sleep, we're so worried.  It's awful, every day, day after day.  We're just drained!
> 60 days ago

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JulieA1121
JulieA1121 writes:
8 out of 10 girls cut themselves. Male sure she knows you care! Take it from someone with experience. Your kids are sad and don't know why. Society is controlled to be this way! WAKE UP! These girls think it's cool to do this now, their friends do it so they want to try. Its really common sense. And they listen to depressing music by depressed or suicidal/emo artists! I mean come on! Songs about being isolated and sad, then that makes them feel sad. Which then leads to confusion,"are these my feelings?". That's the ultimate question. Depression isn't real. Its a proposition on the side for people to fall into. Fear leads to hate. Hate for ones self.
> 60 days ago

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JulieA1121
JulieA1121 writes:
Oh, and the worst thing you can do is send them to a mental instituteinstituteinstitute. Are you nuts? All those people do is make them feel useless and weird! Cutting isn't weird! Then they just dope up your kids on drugs. Don't you know the side effects of the"anti depression" drugs!?!? Well if you don't the side effects are SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND ATTEMPTS!!!!ISNT THAT WHAT WE WANT TO FIX?! WAKE UP AND HELP YOUR KIDS!!!!!
> 60 days ago

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JulieA1121
JulieA1121 writes:
8 out of 10 girls cut themselves. Male sure she knows you care! Take it from someone with experience. Your kids are sad and don't know why. Society is controlled to be this way! WAKE UP! These girls think it's cool to do this now, their friends do it so they want to try. Its really common sense. And they listen to depressing music by depressed or suicidal/emo artists! I mean come on! Songs about being isolated and sad, then that makes them feel sad. Which then leads to confusion,"are these my feelings?". That's the ultimate question. Depression isn't real. Its a proposition on the side for people to fall into. Fear leads to hate. Hate for ones self.
> 60 days ago

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