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MikiAndoFan#1
07-25-2012, 01:53 AM
My 16-year old cousin opened up to me today and told me that she's been cutting herself since she was 12. Her dad is total jerk and she has a crappy relationship with him. She's also been dealing with some problems at school. She's one of my closest friends and I'm very worried about her. :( What can I do to help?

rjblue
07-25-2012, 02:30 AM
Don't freak out. This is extremely common, and most people hide it really well. It isn't done for attention, it's a stress reliever- diverts the internal pain. It doesn't mean they want to injure themselves, or are suicidal. It does mean that she has a lot of difficulty dealing with emotional pain, and she needs therapy to deal with her problems.

There is a lot of information (http://www.crpsib.com/whatissi.asp) on the subject on the internet.

It's very very difficult to be the supporting person trying to help someone with this problem. :(

Wyliefan
07-25-2012, 04:08 AM
I'm sorry, MikiAndoFan#1. :( That's rough. I hope and pray you can encourage her to get to a good counselor.

judiz
07-25-2012, 04:14 AM
went through same thing with family member, let your cousin know you are there for her but encourage her to speak to a therapist ,social worker or school guidance counselor. Let her know they are there to help, not judge her.

Aussie Willy
07-25-2012, 04:32 AM
I am glad your cousin has told you. That is a probably a big step for her. Hope you can guide her into counselling.

Have a look at Jenny Kirk's blog. She wrote quite candidly about the issue of self-harm.

made_in_canada
07-25-2012, 06:32 AM
(((MikiAndoFan))) Just being supportive and non-judgemental is huge. If she hasn't already looked into professional help I'd also encourage her to find some.

For her to open up to you about this speaks volumes of how much she trusts you. You don't have to have all the answers just be there for her unconditionally and if you can, help guide her to some good help.

paskatefan
07-25-2012, 11:47 AM
So sorry to hear this news about your cousin. :( Please encourage her to get professional help. Continue to be there for her.

cruisin
07-25-2012, 04:17 PM
I agree with everyone here. Please encourage her to get professional help. Hopefully, her father will not roadblock her (since you say she has a poor relationship with him). I agree with rjblue, that this doesn't necessarily mean that she intends to do herself serious harm. However, if not treated, these kinds of disorders can become worse and she can develop more self destructive behaviors. Another concern is infection. While she may not be cutting deep enough to cause real damage, any open wound can become infected (especially consider that her cutting tool, of choice, may not be sterile). She can be causing cuts that leave permanent scarring. And, she could possibly cut in the wrong place, with more pressure than intended, and accidentally seriously harm herself. It is really important that she get help, ASAP.

(((for you and your cousin)))

MikiAndoFan#1
07-25-2012, 06:31 PM
Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate it. :) It's such a scary situation. I had no idea she was doing this to herself. :( I will follow your advice and talk to her about therapy.

Simone411
07-25-2012, 06:42 PM
(((MikiAndoFan))) ITA with what others have posted in this thread. I can tell you love your cousin very much. Let her know that you're there for her, and encourage her to get professional help.

skatesindreams
07-26-2012, 10:15 PM
That she trusts you with this speaks volumes about you.
(((((hugs)))))

Encourage her to get professional help.
Let her know that you love and support her; and will continue to do so.

Aussie Willy
07-26-2012, 11:25 PM
Last night on a current affairs program on Australian TV there was a story about this exact same issue. I hope people will be able to watch it as it could be blocked but there is a transcript of it underneath the video. The girl in it was very brave as she does show her injuries and what she has done to herself which is quite horrific. And I think really drives home what a serious problem this is.

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3554593.htm

At the end there is a link to a study on the topic as well.

Dragonlady
07-27-2012, 12:20 AM
I would add that if your cousin doesn't get help and soon, you should tell a trusted adult about this - her mother, her minister or guidance counsellor. This is not something you should be trying to deal with on your own. Don't blindside her or go behind her back. Tell her if she doesn't get help, you will tell her mother about this. You are not breaking her trust, you are helping her overcome behaviour that is out of control.

cruisin
07-27-2012, 04:32 AM
I would add that if your cousin doesn't get help and soon, you should tell a trusted adult about this - her mother, her minister or guidance counsellor. This is not something you should be trying to deal with on your own. Don't blindside her or go behind her back. Tell her if she doesn't get help, you will tell her mother about this. You are not breaking her trust, you are helping her overcome behaviour that is out of control.

Good advice.

quartz
07-27-2012, 05:17 AM
I went through this when my daughter was 15. Scary as hell, and I have a scar on my heart for every cut on her body. She refused counselling or authority figure help of any kind, and so we had to resort to some tough love tactics. I continued to tell her I loved her no matter what, even though I hated the behavior, and continously encouraged her to focus on all the blessings and positives she had going for her, and tried to get her to find more healthy outlets to express her anger stress and pain. Eventually she overcame her cutting on her own, but I know that most people will need the help of a professional counsellor.
Keep on loving your cousin, show her you will never, ever, give up on her, and really stress the need for professional help.