What To Do If Your Teenage Daughter Is Cutting
Finding out that your teenage daughter is cutting themselves is shocking, and extremely painful information to hear. But being equipped with the right information and having a game plan can make all the difference in getting your precious daughter help.
First off you must ask yourself what is cutting. Cutting is when someone decisively injures themselves by breaking skin and bleeding, but they are not trying to commit suicide. In actuality, cutting is a way to deal with the pain you teen is experiencing. Teen girls’ report they cut themselves in order to cope with or relieve emotional pain, or to feel something when all they feel is numbness. Marks or cuts are typically kept well hidden under clothing so that she can continue this way of coping with her emotions. Teenage Girls are more likely to cut than are teenage boys.
If suspect your teenage daughter is cutting here are some warning signs to search for:
Cut, scratch, or burn marks on arms, legs, abdomen, etc. But these marks can be anywhere on the body that can be well hidden.
If you are finding sharp objects (knives, razors, safety pins/needles, push pins, or broken glass) in your daughter’s room or belongings.
If your teenage daughter has friends that are cutting themselves may be a good reason to be disturbed.
If your teen wears long pants or shirts all the time, even on hot days, in order to conceal the evidence of cutting.
If she often insists that she be left alone when she is upset or depressed.
If you suspect and confirm that you teenage daughter is cutting please take the next precautions:
Take your child to the hospital if the injury is bleeding significantly or seems to require stitches.
Connect with a mental health professional immediately that is qualified and specifically trained in treating self-injury. Be sure to ask if they are experienced with teen girls and cutting.
Listen and listen some more. As hard as it may be, you must hear what your daughter has to say.
Let your daughter know she is loved, and that you are here for them.
Participate in her treatment. Often times, support from family and family counseling is necessary for a successful recovery from cutting herself.
It is important not to freak out. Despite how you are feeling, try to stay calm and collected. Yelling, demanding her to stop, will not help the circumstances. She is not doing this to make you mad, or to be malicious. Your daughter is in pain and does not know how to handle it. Take a deep breath, count to 10 and express to your precious daughter that you will do what it takes to get her help.
Call Re-Creation Retreat if your teenage daughter is experiencing episodes of self-harm including cutting. Time is of the essence and you need to act immediately. Call one of our family advocates at 385-414-8865. We are here to serve you and your family.