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Self Harming Teen turns on other Self Harming Teen

I have a stepdaughter (14) that has been self harming for a long time, she is under the care of a pyschologist and other practioners. My daughter (15) has self harmed only a few times but is suffering bad anxiety which we are trying to deal with naturally, she has also seen a psychologist. My stepdaughter has been with me part time since she was 3 and then full time since her father left when she was 10.


We have been trying to help my step daughter to stop self harming through exercise and other things which seemed to have worked but she walked in on my  daughter self harming on Saturday night. She flew into a rage follwed by fits of crying and panic which lasted until she went to sleep last night (Sunday), she wrote dreadful things about my daughter where she could see them, stabbed her pillow with a knife a multitude of times (destroyed the pillow) and called my daughter an 'attention seeking whore'.


My daughter has always been helpful and non judgemental towards my stepdaughters self harming. I am very disturbed by my step daughters behaviour and to top it off she acted ike nothing was wrong afterwards. This morning she was overly joyful and very excited that she was going to the Dr.


We have booked her back in to the doctor this evening but I was wondering if anyone else has dealt with this. I am very upset by this behaviour and am concerned now for my daughters safety.

Re: Self Harming Teen turns on other Self Harming Teen

Hey there @Becca3017 


First off — I had to make a quick edit to your post to remove the specific types of self harming you described. Reading any kind of specifics can sometimes be a trigger for those overcoming self harming behaviour.


It sounds like it's a very stressful situation for you to be in.

Being that ReachOut is primarily focused on young people and their experiences, we might be a bit lacking on members who are parents and have gone through something similar, however, if a member wants to share their experiences as a family member that has been in a similar situation, hopefully they will post soon.


Everyone copes with things differently. Your daughter and stepdaughter each have their own sets of challenges and the way they cope with them is inevitably going to be different as a result.

While your stepdaughter is overcoming her self harming behaviour, seeing your daughter engaging in self harming could have been very frustrating for her if she's struggling to cope with getting through it herself. It may have been triggering in some way, too, which might have been difficult to handle.

That said, violent and threatening behaviour is never acceptable. Did you let her doctor/psychologist know about it? It could be important in terms of any medication she might be prescribed.



Re: Self Harming Teen turns on other Self Harming Teen

Thanks for your reply Lex, she is with the doctor now, my partner has gone with her as I am a little shell shocked and didn't want to get emotional in front of her, he will definitely let the dr know what has happened. I will update everyone on this as we work through it. It was quite a frightening thing to witness and it would be beneficial for others to know how we progress I think. Thank you also for the edit, I will take more care next time Smiley Happy

Re: Self Harming Teen turns on other Self Harming Teen

Hey @Becca3017 


Welcome to the forums. It sounds like you are going through so much at the moment and I can only imagine how you felt after that happened to your daughter, it must have been terrifying. I can understand how confused you would have felt after the next day and she acted like nothing happened. 


I think Lex is right about coping differently and having different triggers but I think this is something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible so everyone in your family understands that, it is not acceptable to act like, maybe you could get the doctor to help out and get some mediation for all of you. 


Let us know how you go and you are such a wonderful mum for caring and supporting both your daughter and step daughter through this, many teens dont the get this and it is amazing to see you actively helping them through this


I hope everything goes well 


Take care. 

**Believe in the power of you because you are your own hero**

Re: Self Harming Teen turns on other Self Harming Teen

Hey @Becca3017 


Sounds like a really concerning situation. I really hope the doctor has helped?