My daughter is burning herself - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-24-2005, 12:45 AM
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My daughter has been in trouble for drugs in school already. Her father almost died of an overdose, and she started burning herself. Her ADD meds aren't helping, her therapy seemed to help, but now, she's burning herself and blaming it on someone dropping a lighter on her arm.



I'm not stupid. I know an accidental burn when I see one, and a self inflicted one. Therapy and ADD meds aren't helping. I hate to send her to an inpatient hospital, but I don't feel I have any choice. Has anyone been through this? I could use some support and prayers. She's only 15.
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#2 Old 02-24-2005, 12:49 AM
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I had a neice who behaved like this (she is ADHD/dysthmic). Intervention was the only way to "save" her from herself. She still struggles with ...well, LIFE.



My thoughts and prayers are with you. Listen to your gut instincts over your heart on this one
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#3 Old 02-24-2005, 02:17 AM
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oh hun.I am so sorry.My heart is breaking for you.What an awful thing to deal with.I agree with Foxy on this.Tough Love is needed and serious,big-time intervention.I am a hippy at heart and let almost all things slide..like drugs,alchohol ect..but abuse to ones-self is where you draw a serous line and you have to act.Her age is a very serious risk of suicidal thoughts and major depression.

I remember 15..and I needed intervention for just simply being 'out of control' and with your situation I fully support getting her help in EVERY way possible.It may only be a burn or two. now...but catch it now before she escalates!



Huggs to you.That is really a tough,difficult time !but with the right support,I think she can wake up out of this and be strong and stable.I know she will.I am praying for you and her!!Let us know..
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#4 Old 02-24-2005, 02:24 AM
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OK. Take deep breaths! I know this is hard, but breathe anyway!



Self-mutilation is very very very common nowadays. I think to people of older generations it can seem totally horrifying and abnormal, but to me, who was 15 not too long ago (seven years) it is honestly not all that out-of-the-ordinary. Probably 20% of the kids I knew in high school did it at one time or another, including me, and even more do so now, if my brother-in-law and his friends are any example.



It is a very accepted form of acting out nowadays. Tons of kids do it, and it doesn't necessarily mean deep psychological disturbance. So I understand the temptation to freak, but try to reserve judgment for now.



I would get her a full psychological workup and opinions from at least two independent psychologists before committing her to an inpatient program. Know that the directors of those programs will almost invariably recommend themselves to you whether she needs them or not. They have a vested financial interest in aquiring patients. Overtreating is as bad as undertreating, so listen to your gut but try not to jump the gun, either.



Lots of love to you. In the meantime, go hug a kitten or two.
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#5 Old 02-24-2005, 07:30 AM
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sounds kind of like cutting http://www.tvads.com/teens/staying_h...ting/index.htm http://www.psyke.org/articles/en/cutting_self_injury/ I used to cut myself when I was younger. It is a way to deal with stress. It is very upsetting for love ones to see but there is help. I out grew it. My best friend's teenage daughter was doing self injury she is on an antidepressant and getting counseling and has stopped cutting herself.
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#6 Old 02-24-2005, 07:32 AM
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I am sorry. I will pray for you guys
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#7 Old 02-24-2005, 09:06 AM
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I'm sorry to hear about what you're having to deal with. Unfortunately I can't offer any help but I will keep you and your daughter in my thoughts.
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#8 Old 02-24-2005, 09:21 AM
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I also did the cutting thing as a teen. I'm still not sure why - just a bad depression I was going through I guess. I outgrew it as well.



I'd say get her in to see someone, someone new if her current therapist isn't working, or maybe her current therapist just needs to know about the burning, to start working with her on it?



So sorry to hear this - it's gotta be really tough to see someone you love having such a hard time and hurting themselves. Many, many to you.
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#9 Old 02-24-2005, 09:50 AM
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My personal experience, hope it helps.

I used to hurt myself by punching walls. Brick walls, concrete walls, wooden walls, it didn't matter. Other people I knew in high school or, later, in college, would burn themselves or cut themselves. There were always different reasons behind it: some people actually thought it was "cool", some people did it to express (or hide) from their emotions, some as a call for help, and some of us didn't know why we did it.

I hurt myself (and a good number of walls) because I couldn't think of another way to express my anger and sadness when my stepfather beat my mom and it later became the way I dealt with anger. No one noticed for six years and, even then, no one made any attempt to stop me.

In college, I finally started going to therapy and that helped some. I was urged to find new ways to express my frustrations and emotions--I tried writing poetry, talking with friends, exercise. Some worked, some didn't. When I feel upset, I hop on my bike and go for a grueling ride; it reminds me that I *can* feel happy again. The important thing was trying different things to deal with the emotions that made me want to hurt myself and finding the right fit for me. A friend in college who cut herself was able to stop by calling a close friend every time she wanted to hurt herself; they'd have a long phone conversation or go for a walk to do something together.



As a result of hitting walls, I've permanently damaged my right wrist and hand. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed and I still want to hit things and I would lie if I said I no longer hurt my wrist hitting walls. Self-abuse is a hard habit to break.



So all that said, it's important to make sure your daughter knows you love her and that you're trying to help her. Maybe you and her therapist can work to figure out if there's a specific reason behind her burning herself. If therapy isn't working on this issue, consider trying another counselor; some people react much better to different therapists. Let her know that you know what she's doing and you can't be deceived by her claims that a lighter got dropped on her. Be loving and supportive and hang in there. She's lucky to have a mom who's trying so hard to help her.
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#10 Old 02-24-2005, 10:37 AM
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from personal experience (i used to harm myself and one way was burning) i first think maybe add medicine is not the right thing to help, there are other medicines out there. if you are going to change her medicine though make sure when she gets to wein off of them there will be NO change of withdraw (withdraw made me never want to take any medicine ever again.) also with the hospital thing- make that the verrry last final resort. i know my experience inpatient in a hospital was very very horrible and traumatic. i do not feel like going in to details here, but i have a lot more info and experience i dont feel comfortable sharing here, but if you are interested or think i could be of any help please pm me and i will be happy to share w ith you
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#11 Old 02-24-2005, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathOfDecadenc View Post

from personal experience (i used to harm myself and one way was burning) i first think maybe add medicine is not the right thing to help, there are other medicines out there. if you are going to change her medicine though make sure when she gets to wein off of them there will be NO change of withdraw (withdraw made me never want to take any medicine ever again.) also with the hospital thing- make that the verrry last final resort. i know my experience inpatient in a hospital was very very horrible and traumatic. i do not feel like going in to details here, but i have a lot more info and experience i dont feel comfortable sharing here, but if you are interested or think i could be of any help please pm me and i will be happy to share w ith you





Oddly I was going to say that as well...though I wouldn't 'blame' the meds. I think with family drug problems you might want to see if you could use a very natural, homeopathic approach to things (I have a friend child psychologist who actually reccomends very natural/no meds approach for many of the children she works with). Seems like it would help if you guys could take a summer haitus (but often as adults we have to work)...but instead of hospitalization/or before resorting to that, a few months (perhaps during the summer) of a relaxed schedule...together time, travel somewhere (car trips)...I think that would be my first line of offense...just getting a lot of together time, a less harried pace, a tighter rein on her for a while (once school's out) and letting her know you're there for her. I'd make every attempt to reach her...where she is...right now.



B
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#12 Old 02-24-2005, 07:51 PM
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my prayers are with your family



i was recently diagnosed with dysthymia, after 2 long years of suicidal thoughts, eating disordered tendancies, self-mutilation, etc. i spoke with a psychologist this january (you would think that sometime in those two years my dr would ahve believed me when i said "black cloud" and "want to die" in the same sentence.. but.. i digress) at the student health center, as well as a licensed MD. They came to the conclusion that it was dysthymia, and that medication with counseling was the route to go for me. My advice is to get her some help, take her to your physician. Perhaps she doesn't understand the thoughts and feelings that are running through her head right now - i know my mental state was very tangled. imagine a sweater unraveling and then trying to ball the yarn up again..



again, my prayers are with you.
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#13 Old 02-24-2005, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MollyGoat View Post

OK. Take deep breaths! I know this is hard, but breathe anyway!



Self-mutilation is very very very common nowadays. I think to people of older generations it can seem totally horrifying and abnormal, but to me, who was 15 not too long ago (seven years) it is honestly not all that out-of-the-ordinary. Probably 20% of the kids I knew in high school did it at one time or another, including me, and even more do so now, if my brother-in-law and his friends are any example.



It is a very accepted form of acting out nowadays. Tons of kids do it, and it doesn't necessarily mean deep psychological disturbance. So I understand the temptation to freak, but try to reserve judgment for now.



I would get her a full psychological workup and opinions from at least two independent psychologists before committing her to an inpatient program. Know that the directors of those programs will almost invariably recommend themselves to you whether she needs them or not. They have a vested financial interest in aquiring patients. Overtreating is as bad as undertreating, so listen to your gut but try not to jump the gun, either.



Lots of love to you. In the meantime, go hug a kitten or two.



I agree. I used to cut myself. And so did many of my friends, and that was in the 80s. Before any inpatient stuff, I would research on advice for consumers for what questions to ask before choosing a place. I've heard too many horror stories from people about these places just making things worse when they were either inappropriate for the person, or a crappy place with harmful practices.
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#14 Old 02-24-2005, 09:00 PM
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I don't know anything about your personal life Catgirl, but just from reading your post, it seems that the problem you need to address first with your daughter is her father, otherwise her problems are going to be ongoing. Avoid hospitalization if you can, and get her back to some good quality therapy and shower her with love.



I'm sorry to hear that you're doing it hard at the moment
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#15 Old 02-25-2005, 12:37 AM
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I agree with the rest. Since your daughter is still young there is enough time to help her. And since this is something that is out of your hands, it may be a good idea to seek help or at least ask a professional what you should do in order to help your child.
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#16 Old 02-28-2005, 01:58 PM
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in the US, the "family leave act" may cover an extended leave of absense to take care of this problem with your daughter--as opposed to hospitalization.



so, something to talk to HR about.
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#17 Old 02-28-2005, 03:57 PM
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I'm sorry, I did mean to post in this topic sooner.



I think the advice people have given is great. I used to burn, it was part of the self mutiliation I did when I was depressed. I think you need to take big action, to stop this continuing to happen. I think I was crying out for help the whole time- she probably is too. Just take what measures you need to do it. It's probably not going to affect your daughter at this present moment (when I was doing it, I didn't think of possible scars), but I have scars on my upper arm, that I don't think will go away any time soon. You will always have to live with the reminder of it. Good luck and all the best I hope your daughter will be okay
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#18 Old 02-28-2005, 04:49 PM
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God, but you aren't having an easy time of it lately...



I don't have any children, so I don't know what to suggest...

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#19 Old 03-01-2005, 05:50 PM
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Thanks for all of the support. It means more than you will ever know.



To all VB'ers
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#20 Old 03-01-2005, 10:34 PM
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I can't say for sure if this is your daughter's experience, but I know that for me, I used self mutilation- I used to cut- as an expression of how much I hated myself and needed to release all of the sadness, anger, and confusion. I also used it as a cry for help, one that no one paid any attention to. That was when everything for me really went haywire- when I resorted to the most desperate means of getting help and no one bothered, my depression and anxiety issues really got strong.

On a positive note, I went through a stage of self mutilation at 13-14-15. Now I am a pretty well adjusted and successful person. At a certain point I had to WANT to live a happier and healthier existance; but with help (my Mom, therapists...) I am closer to where I want to be. So, its not hopeless.

I would argue against the inpatient hospital. I think this is too strong of a measure which suggests that you are angry, cracking the whip, want to challenge her. I would try therapy instead- find a good therapist, a psychologist, and not a psychiatrist who just wants to medicate her. Spend time with her, like bethanie suggested. Try to do whatever you can before you send her to a hospital.
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#21 Old 03-02-2005, 05:31 AM
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ITs probably a silly idea for this thread but my mum works with teens mental health when a teen is self harming they give them an elastic band to wear on there wrist and when they feel like hurting them selves the just pluck the elastic band and it HURTS but without any of the danger or cutting or burning it only leaves a red mark for a couple of seconds



may be it would be a start?
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#22 Old 03-02-2005, 07:33 AM
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ITs probably a silly idea for this thread but my mum works with teens mental health when a teen is self harming they give them an elastic band to wear on there wrist and when they feel like hurting them selves the just pluck the elastic band and it HURTS but without any of the danger or cutting or burning it only leaves a red mark for a couple of seconds



may be it would be a start?

Thats a good idea, but sometimes it backfires because they pluck it so hard that it gets the skin and cuts it.
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#23 Old 03-02-2005, 11:25 AM
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I've been thinking...



Whenever I get really angry, tense, or frustrated, I find that a workout with weight machines really helps. I've never burned myself, but I do have a tendency to bite my knuckle when I get frustrated or upset- not enough to do any harm, but it's not a healthy reaction to stress.



The thing is, I haven't seen this type of exercise recommended for psychological/emotional benefits; usually I only hear/read about running or swimming as being a good emotional outlet. So I don't know if this is just a peculiarity of mine, if it would do your daughter any good, or if it would even be safe for her to start an exercise program. All I know is how warm and loose I feel after an exercise session... almost like all that anger, frustration, and tension was a sort of liquid in my body, and exercising wrung it out.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#24 Old 03-02-2005, 12:59 PM
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Any type of exercise may help her to release tension and stress, actually. I find the cardio- running, swimming, eliptical, biking- works well, but weights do too, just as much. So, that might not be a bad idea.
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#25 Old 03-02-2005, 05:10 PM
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Right now the best thing for her is to talk about her pain. She's a lot like me. We both internalize our emotions. You can only stuff emotions for so long before you either explode, get sick, or find alternative unhealthy ways of relieving the pain.



I think therapy will do both of us a world of good.



She got choked up during the first session, and all the therapist asked were basic assessment questions.



I just pray that the burning is as far as it goes.



I tried to get her to work out with me, but she's really tall and skinny. She thinks she's too thin, and refuses.



Thanks for the suggestions.
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#26 Old 03-03-2005, 12:17 AM
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I am sorry for your pain and anguish. I also went through a lot of grief with my teens. Lots of angry acting-out is normal for mid-teens (it helps them break away from their parents, which is a normal though painful process for all involved). It took someone more than twice my age to tell me this -- that the closer a parent and child have been, the harder the child acts out when they start to come of age; they seem to think they need it to give them enough strength to break away, grow up, and become "their own person." My daughter "tattood" her wrists with a ballpoint pen (yes, cutting into the skin with it) and acted like I was being stupid when I talked to her about blood poisoning. There was alcohol, and drugs. But it was my son who was suicidal. I am glad their teenage years are over.



If it helps at all, you are welcome to PM me and talk if/when you need to. My prayers are with you, and your daughter.
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#27 Old 03-03-2005, 08:11 PM
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I'm sorry...i know it's hard, but i don't know anything about drug addicting...I_I
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#28 Old 03-04-2005, 06:14 AM
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Thats a good idea, but sometimes it backfires because they pluck it so hard that it gets the skin and cuts it.



But not as much as a knife i guess, i dont personally understand why but i know thats what my mum was trainned to do
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