Scared parent

I'm too scared to bring up the conversation as i fear i’ll make their self-harm worse?

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  • Sometimes it can be a huge relief for a young person to know that the 'secret' is out there as it means they can get help without having to directly ask for it. The initial way of communicating that you know will be the key in how this moves forward - a face to face chat will feel very threatening for the young person, how about a gentle text? or a post it note? or letter? the gist of what you need to say is about being there, not judging, getting the right support, that you may not understand but you will try too....keep communication open and keep your feelings to yourself, which is hard, but your child is coping enough with their own without having to feel guilty for yours too...

  • hi
    I just discovered that my 12 year old has been self harming, she lost her father 3 years ago on Christmas eve, obviously difficult as the anniversary is coming and she said that causing pain to her arms takes away the pain in her head - I am devastated that I did not know outwardly yes she misses her dad but thought we were all in a better mind set. I have been honest with her that I don't think it is the way to deal with her grief and that if she feels like that she needs to talk to someone even if it is not me. I just hope desperately that I have caught it before it escalatesx

    • jo

      what a terrible time you have all had - it sounds very very tough for you all. grief can be a trigger in self-harming behaviour, the deep feelings of loss and pain come out in harming rather than talking; if she is able to talk even a small amount, she will be able to 'get out' the feelings trapped in. grief is a cycle than comes and comes; self-harm is addictive and hard to stop without support - we offer support to young people and parents - drop me a line if we can support her and you more. x

  • I can relate,I just found out my 13 year old self harms

  • My 15 year old has been self harming for about 2 years . I thought she was coping until it happened again last night . I just don't know where to turn .

    • jo

      i am so sorry - did she tell you she harmed or did you guess? if she is able to tell you it may be that she is asking for help and support? if that is the first time she has harmed in a while, i imagine she will be feeling very down and like she has 'failed'. give her things to occupy her hands and mind, give her to relax and rest, give her plenty of opportunities to talk should she wish....it is a long hard journey for parents, drop me a line if you would like to find out about her parents group? x

  • We have suspected and recently had confirmed a nephew is a prolific self-harmer clothing/bedding often hidden but soaked (dripping) in blood. Their parents are not handling the situation well and the nephew assaults them (most recently requiring A&E for treatment). What now?

  • jo

    regarding your nephew - i wonder if there are any additional needs or other concerns for his mental health? it sounds like he must be very distressed to lash out? does the hospital have a youth work team or a chaplain team that the parents can talk to/your nephew?
    it sounds like some work with the whole family is needed to help all cope - we run parents sessions online if they might like to join that? we also have young people's groups when your nephew is ready?

  • How do I find out about parents support groups ?

    • jo

      hi - drop me a line and i can send you some info - jo.fitzsimmons@youthscape.co.uk

      we are running sessions on weds eve 7.45 - it's very informal and all the parents are very friendly! hope you feel able to join.

  • I have just discovered my 15 year old son had cuts on his arm this evening. i reacted in total shock, jumped on him and tried to look at his wrists and then burst out crying. My husband got angry and barged into his room demanding to know what was going on.... all the things you are not supposed to do having read up in hind site on google. Now I feel we have made things worse. I gave him big hug and tried to talk to him and said i would speak to him in the morning but now I am terrified and in a state of panic as he has recently had a lot of crying outbursts which are totally new. This past month he has gone from being a happy boy with everything going for him to a morose individual - GCSEs are getting him really down. I really want him to talk to someone (if he cannot talk to me and we normally have a great relationship) so what does anyone advise please? He does not want to speak to a counsellor. I do believe this is the first time he has done it. any help or similar experience gratefully received

  • jo

    don't beat yourself up - please! it's one thing to know the theory but when you are faced with it, emotions take over. the important thing is you and he keep an open dialogue. dad's often find it really hard to manage (not that mum's don't!) but i think it is especially hard for dad's and anger is often the first response.
    in terms of your son: get an appointment with your GP. it sounds like there could be issues around anxiety about the exams and that could lead to depression - your GP would be the best person for your son to talk to and get some help.
    if your son would feel it helpful to listen/talk to other young people: suggest our support sessions. we talk about far far more than self-harm - mostly about anxiety and low moods..it might be of some help?
    keep things focussed away from harming - don't let that be your only conversation (although i know it's on your mind constantly) - talk about usual stuff too. the issue is about him being able to talk and explain his feelings - keep the conversation flowing so that, when the time is right, he can open up. x