My daughter is cutting herself

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Helping Teens Who Cut

my daughter is cutting herself

Children who cut themselves and the emotional turmoil behind self-mutilation

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Emma's mom first noticed the cuts when Emma was doing the dishes one night. Emma told her mom that their cat had scratched her. Her mom seemed surprised that the cat had been so rough, but she didn't think much more about it. Emma's friends had noticed something strange as well. Even when the weather was hot, Emma wore long-sleeved shirts. She had become secretive, too, like something was bothering her. But Emma couldn't seem to find the words to tell her mom or her friends that the marks on her arms were from something that she had done.

You look over at your lovely daughter and think to yourself how time flies. Gazing at her with love, you notice red marks and lines on her youthful arms. If your child has been acting more irritable , overwhelmed , and on edge, be aware of the signs of potential self-harm. Generally, the signs distinct to a person who cuts include:. The biggest question becomes, then, what do we do as parents?

When she discovered her year-old daughter was cutting herself, it was a total shock. After she discovered how common this type of behavior was, she decided to write about it. An anonymous mother tells how she discovered that self-harming behavior is a secret epidemic among our young. But parents and teens did come forward and help this concerned mother tell their heartbreaking stories. Like the stepsisters, some may even do it to fit into a social group. I had had absolutely no idea what was going on. No caring parent wants to see their child suffer.

There are few things more disturbing for a parent than finding out that your child is intentionally hurting herself. Experts call it self-injury , and as many as a quarter of all teenagers do it.
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Self-Harm is an increasingly pervasive symptom of emotional distress among adolescent girls. Because it involves physical damage to the sufferer, cutting understandably evokes distress and fear in others. Viewed on a continuum, self-harming behavior can easily—though not always accurately—be interpreted as a precursor to suicidal behavior. With the epidemic in cutting that has erupted in the past several years, adolescent therapies—and therapists—have had a tough time keeping up. There are, however, a number of tried and true, research-supported approaches to therapy that can help adolescents manage and overcome the impulse to cut or self harm. Relationships free from abuse and neglect are paramount in the treatment of self-harmers. Before assisting a girl with self-harm, we must assess whether or not she is safe in her current situation.

Cutting — using a sharp object like a razorblade, knife, or scissors to make marks, cuts, or scratches on one's own body — is a form of self-injury. It can be hard to understand why anyone would hurt himself or herself on purpose. Learning that your own teen is doing it can leave you feeling shocked and upset — and not sure what to do or how to help. For most, cutting is an attempt to interrupt strong emotions and pressures that seem impossible to tolerate. It can be related to broader emotional issues that need attention.

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Your Move, Parent: What to Do When Your Teen Is Cutting

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