Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cutting Or Suicide 11.4.13

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,                         
Our daughter was bullied last year at her school with a half-naked picture sent by her boyfriend to his friends and then it went all over her school.
We immediately sent her to a private school in October, 2013. She seemed to be doing well until last month when she has become moody, sad, depressed and lashes out at everyone.
Even though we started taking her to a therapist, it turns out that the new school has some girls who found out about the picture and she is now being ostracized by them. Subsequently, she cannot move forward and started cutting herself.
The school brought all the girls involved into the office and now one of them has verbally threatened our daughter and told our daughter to go and kill herself. This girl denied saying it so my daughter doesn’t want to go to school, won’t talk to us about it and the therapist told us to look for signs of suicide attempts. The school didn’t do anything.
We don’t know what those signs are? The therapist said to see if she has withdrawn from activities, if she isn’t doing the things she used to love doing and wants to know if she says anything about not wanting to live or that the world would be better off without her. She is doing all the same things but not enthusiastically.
She has not done any of those things to us or around us, however, we found razors on the floor and her knee area was marked up from the razors but she didn’t bleed a lot. We called her therapist and her therapist said to take her into the hospital.
Our daughter didn’t want to go to the hospital because she was afraid those same girls would find out about her cutting herself. Our daughter said she’ll never do it again.
My husband told our daughter that this is becoming ridiculous and he’s not going to put up with it. Of course our daughter ran out the door and came back in an hour. When she came back, she said nothing about it and neither did her dad. I’m so mad at him!
Our daughter is fifteen. Her therapist says she’s guiding her, but we are afraid that our daughter may try to commit suicide. Is cutting necessarily suicide attempts?
Cutting or Suicide?

Dear Cutting or Suicide,

Self-harm may happen in levels and, just like drugs, it may escalate until nothing is enough to take the emotional pain away except death … in the eyes of someone who is cutting. That is not to say that your daughter is necessarily at that last level. We don’t know.

It’s excellent that you have her with a therapist. You may also want to also contact the National Suicide Hotline together: 800.273.8225. It would benefit all of you and your whole family including your younger children. You and your husband also need to find help together so you may draw your whole family closer together.

Here are some of the signs of cutting and suicidal behavior:

• Alternating sadness with anger - that doesn’t seem to go away
• Withdrawal from others and activities ( especially if they enjoyed them)
• Wreak-less behavior i.e. changing behavior, taking drugs or letting academics go and changing her life around a lot ( not being consistent in her behavior)
• Secretive about activities and length of time in restroom or away from home
• Announcing that they can’t “take it anymore”
• Finding unexplained marks and/ or scars (if you suspect your child is cutting, take her to have a complete physical and explain it as her yearly physical). Tell your doctor about your suspicions

Here are some of our opinions:

• Take any threat seriously
• Don’t tell them they are wrong ( they feel worthless as it is)
• Take them to a hospital and/ or seek medical help immediately
• Don’t be embarrassed by their actions or ashamed – it’s about them - be a leader of love and empathy
• Teach our Triangle of Triumph – help them to understand they are victims of being bullied but they CAN learn to become survivors by our Define Yourself Before Others Do program, and finally teach them how to be leaders by becoming involved in mentoring programs (after they have healed), church, school and community activities.  CALL US IF YOU NEED MORE GUIDANCE : 928.515.9996
• Insist on seeing all phones and social media or take it away
• Most states have laws against bullying
• If the schools are not helping – call the police

Help us change the society our daughters live in … from environments of negativity, entitlements, and punitive bullying. Help stop the abhorrent reality TV shows (that have bullies as the stars) and other seemingly acceptable behavior in our world, to a CIVIL society where confidence, courage, creativity, civility and elegant carriage are the high standards of leadership! This is what your daughter so desperately needs.

And she needs the feelings of worth and love that she may receive by becoming a leader and mentor herself. Your unconditional love and acceptance of her is crucial.   We know you love her by writing to us for help. Let her know that you have done all you can, but you want to do all she needs for her to help herself.


Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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