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Old 09-13-2011, 12:23 PM   #1
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Default Advice needed - 14 year old girl hurting herself

I posted this in Family Matters but thought that there might be a teacher that has come across a situation like this...any input?

Hi everyone,

My sister just told me about my niece who just started grade 9 last week and she just found out that she has been hurting herself.

My niece has always been a positive girl, is an A student and is a really good kid. She won all kinds of awards from her elementary school and has always been well liked.

This past summer she started being "goth" and has changed her looks some...just lots of black eye makeup and different clothes.

She started grade 9 last week and has to wear a uniform. But, her friends from grade 8 know that she is goth now and won't talk to her. Her best friend and her are both goth - both this summer - and well now we find out that the two of them are hurting themselves.

My niece told my sister last night about it and today she found a knife in her room. She also found her diary and yes, read it and of course she talks about all her feelings in it.

So...I have no idea what to do. I told my sister that this is a cry for help and she knows that and is spending a lot of time talking to her. We just can't believe this is happening.

Any ideas or advice that you could share with me would be helpful.

Thanks,
Lynn
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:20 PM   #2
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Your sister may be able to talk to the school counselor / school psychologist. they should be pretty familiar with self-injury in teens and would be a good resource for the teen if they want to talk to someone during the day. she could also contact a mental health professional - either one through her insurance (if she has it) or a community based teen crisis center.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:48 PM   #3
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Default been there with my own DD

First, my heart goes out to you and your sister.

Your niece needs professional counseling NOW! In my experience (and I am a HS teacher for many years & thought like previous poster that the school professionals would/could help) this is not going to happen for the well-being of your teen. I pray that your sister has insurance or that her community has better support for this type of thing than my community did/does. I depended and TRUSTED the school system to do what was right and best for my DD and it was just the opposite.

Sounds like niece was trying to be perfect (but didn't feel that way) so she found an outlet that was just the opposite. And now she is in a school that wears uniforms and wants everyone to be the same - sounds like more disaster is on the horizon. I hope and pray not but...

Counseling for both your sister (and other family members i.e. dad) and DD/DN is the only route - christian counseling is the best if parties will go to that.

I have had a LONG, hard battle with a seemly perfect, talented, beautiful child who ended up having emotional problems and couldn't deal with them and teenage brutality. Teenagers can and are cruel, mean-spirited, vicious to each other and you guys should find a counselor for teens that understands and can help niece learn to deal with her feelings and peers' actions. Please update me/us - I will begin praying for all tonight. God Bless.

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Old 10-26-2011, 12:20 PM   #4
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My step granddaughter did the same thing. She did it because she is hurting, she was diagnosis as being by polar and adhd, my daughter sent to a doctor who helped her work through her problems. Also the put her on two different medications. She is now 20 yrs old and she is doing fine. Please help her before it is to late
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:08 AM   #5
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I'm from England so our school system runs a little different, we have 'mentors' these are adults who help the children through this situation and get them the right help. So I do agree with everyone else here, she needs help as soon as possible.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:12 AM   #6
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Please encourage your sister to get her professional help immediately. I went through this same thing with my daughter and the root cause was not one I could help her with. I thought a lot of what she was doing at the time was just being a rebellious teen and it took a serious car accident which could easily have ended her life for the root cause to come out and for her to get the professional help she needed. Please understand that I just want to help another mother avoid the heartache and pain my husband and I went through because we didn't intervene soon enough. If either of you are active in your church, start bringing her along and getting her to participate, not easy I know, but if one of you is there, it will be easier for her. Getting her involved in other positive activities no matter how reluctantly, will help, it just takes lots of patience. I will be offering prayers for your family for strength and wisdom to guide her back from the path she is on.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:41 AM   #7
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Default lookng for update

How are you and your sister and her daughter doing? I have thought of you guys often and prayed that answers are being found.

PLEASE let us know...

{{HUGS}} and prayers,

GeryB
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:26 PM   #8
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I just saw this forum, and I too am wondering how your niece is doing. I went through this with my own daughter at the same age/time frame.

She too was a talented A student/athlete with a bright sunny disposition. Almost overnight, she turned into a sullen, disinterested, almost obnoxious teenage girl who would wear nothing but oversized hoodies, baggy jeans, and lots of dark makeup. She had just started Grade 9. And, her personality changed too - she went from a loving daughter to an extremely disrespectful and verbally abusive person that we couldn't recognize, and didn't know how to deal with. We sought counselling, for her, as well as ourselves. My husband and I attended an 8 week session on how to deal with her, and it really helped us. During that time, I too found her diary, and discovered that she was cutting herself. Fortunately for her and us, she had not gone too far with it, as she was only using the broken end of a bobby pin to only slightly cut her skin, but she could have so easily spiraled down into a much more serious problem. When I found out, I was so torn about whether or not I should confront her. Through counselling, I was able to learn new techniques to communicate with her, and I really started to listen to her, not just hear her.

In the end, she seemed to emerge from this to "find herself" again. She resumed her athletics and her grades improved significantly. She kept her 3 or 4 best friends, but seemed to shed several others that I think were dragging her down into their abyss.

Now, 6 years later, she is a University sophomore, varsity track athlete, solid student, with a wonderful, yet small, group of friends. She is also much more respectful, and we have a great line of communication. Not everything is all roses, as she and I clash from time to time (I once threw all of her clothes out on the front porch and told her to find somewhere else to live if she didn't like it here), but on the whole, it is good.

Please let us know how your niece and sister are. There is hope, and I hope the find/have found a new peace.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:44 PM   #9
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U might check with local churches many in my area have professional counselors available at a lower price than if u Were to use the same counselor at their private office itsa service of outreach that provide. Basically they use a spare room the church has so they don't have to charge u as much. We used one when our daughter was being harassed at school BC school counselors usually are tied to the community so they may not be the best one to help if u know what I mean ...i will say a special prayer for ur family
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:45 PM   #10
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I am curious to find out the outcome of this matter too. My stepdaughter was depressed and we sent her to counseling and it didn't do much good. She soon became a cutter...though hidden. Then, one day, we found out that while she was in counseling, she had been molested. Needless to say, heads rolled and lawsuits ensued...but that added to her grief. I am not saying that this will happen to your niece. What I am saying is that you should be able to have access to her at any point in time during a counseling session...and if they say that you can't...run...don't walk out the door!
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:57 PM   #11
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I agree we could come in anytime and were right outside the door we could hear everything but our daughter didn't know we could that way we knew what was happening but she had the comfort of not talking about it in front of us if she didn't want us to hear...we also used a female counselor for her which is what she wanted
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Originally Posted by opal777 View Post
I am curious to find out the outcome of this matter too. My stepdaughter was depressed and we sent her to counseling and it didn't do much good. She soon became a cutter...though hidden. Then, one day, we found out that while she was in counseling, she had been molested. Needless to say, heads rolled and lawsuits ensued...but that added to her grief. I am not saying that this will happen to your niece. What I am saying is that you should be able to have access to her at any point in time during a counseling session...and if they say that you can't...run...don't walk out the door!
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