Needing advice on how to handle my daughters mental health issues

I need some advice. I’m currently 16 weeks pregnant with four older kids ages 1, 6, 8, and 12. The 12-year-old has had some mental health issues. We are trying to get her into therapy, but our insurance is tricky and only covers certain doctors, and we’ve been having a hard time financially, and paying for more copays is going to be hard on us. I found out this morning from the school counselor that she has been cutting herself. I’m so frustrated because we have addressed this several times since she came to live with us this past summer. She was living with her mom, but my husband is the only person who has legal custody, and he wanted her to come live with us so they could spend more time together and have a closer relationship, but she doesn’t seem to want to put forth the effort to make that happen. When she first started cutting herself last year, my husband sent her to a behavioral health hospital. She definitely doesn’t want to go back there, but I’m afraid if she continues cutting herself, my husband is going to send her back. He takes what I say into account, but I’m afraid he’s eventually going to get so frustrated about this and will send her back. She is dealing with a lot, and we’ve tried our best to be understanding of that, but she refuses to come to us with anything she needs or wants. She won’t let us know when something is wrong. She absolutely refuses to try to be a member of our home, no matter how much we try to invite her to be. She has chores just like the other kids, and she refuses to do them. We’re trying to teach her to take the initiative and be responsible, but at this point, we’re not getting through. It’s like talking to a brick wall. This has been the biggest stressor through this pregnancy so far. Her mom had a plan in place where she would make her get up every hour at night and strip down to prove she wasn’t hurting herself. While it worked for them, I don’t think it’s going to work for us because of the other kids. She shares a room with the eight-year-old, and it isn’t fair to make the 8-year-old lose sleep because the 12-year-old wants to hurt herself. I’m at my wit’s end trying to figure out what to do. Does anyone have any helpful suggestions? I don’t need to be judged. I feel that I’ve done everything I can to be accommodating of her issues as I grew up with depression, but I never resorted to cutting myself. I’m trying so hard not to stress out about this, but it just isn’t working.


I would honestly send her to behavioral health. If she won’t stop. She needs to see the outcome will not be in her favor. Not to mention she is a safety hazard to not only herself, but each and everyone of you all around her including your children.

Ma’am you have other children in the home, She doesn’t want to go back in patient care bc the BEHAVIOR is addressed, I’m gonna have to go with dad in this one. She needs help you cant provide, she NEEDS inpatient care.


You need to find a support group for you to educate yourself on cutting. It isn’t just stop it thing ,say stop it and she is like oh ok …this is like telling a depressed person to stop being so sad. Oh thanks, I never thought of that.
It is releasing pain that is in one’s body…the blood , yea that’s her pain pooling out. This is a cry for a deep pain , help. She can’t stop , it’s a way for her to control somthing like someone having an eatting disorder. Good luck and be patient


As a parent of a cutter I can tell you that there are some deep underlying issues…I tried everything but one day I took her to an in patient hospital…it nearly bankrupted me but I would do it all again…she is a nurse and is engaged to be married…


The behavior isn’t the problem, it’s the symptom of an emotional issue that needs to be addressed. Cutting, while disturbing and often misunderstood cannot be fully addressed at a hospital or crisis center. It sounds like she needs a full time therapist and perhaps a psychiatrist for medication intervention as well.


Just reading this, your kind of talking about how this effects you, and not really focusing on her. She needs the mental health help. You really just need to find a way to make the copays and get her enrolled. It sounds like she has been bounced around, I don’t blame her for having a hard time assimilating into this new family. Her entire life has been flipped upside down, she needs someone who can help her deal with her emotions. Reach out to her doctor and see if the social worker or case manager can help find you free or low cost programs.

Check with the school. They should have grants for therapy during school hours. I believe that’s what my daughter is in. She also cut herself. What’s going on at school? At moms? Does dad need to be more involved? Jealous of the new kids? Plan a bonus mom and daughter day out. Just you two.

At 12, it would be age appropriate to discuss hurting herself. Does she have a safe outlet for her stress/anxiety/overwhelming feeling? If so, encourage use of it. If not, create a safe outlet (temporary tattoo markers, drawing, playing music). I told my son if I cant keep him safe at home he has no choice but go to the hospital. In our case it helped. We starting using positive feedback and occasional rewards to modify his behavior. Rewards were in writing to avoid manipulation. We started going out once a week and he would end up talking on his own in the car.
The social worker at the hospital she went to may be able to direct you to providers to help with therapy or other services…

5 children? The cutting is very serious. She wont stop. She is a danger to herself and others.Get that child out of the house and into a in treatment hospital. If it was my child I wouldn’t care about the price. You will have to get a referral from your pediatrician. That should help.

It is not her job to try to fit into her family. Get her some help.


Concentrate on her feelings, moving from one parent’s house to another is a difficult transition for a preteen. Let her know that you are there for her for anything that she needs. Don’t distance yourself no matter how hard this is for you and the rest of your family. She probably feels like she’s lost everything in the world and doesn’t know how to deal with the changes. Every girl needs a mother and a mother figure. Someone they can go to for everything. I don’t think it’s right for her mother to wake her up at every hour at night to strip down and make sure she wasn’t cutting herself. How can she function being awakened at every hour? I think that was wrong for her mother to do that just to reassure herself that her daughter wasn’t cutting herself. Open your arms wide open and let her know you are there for her and that you will continue to be there for her. You may be the one thing she needs. I wish you luck and lots of patience and prayers for you and your family.


My heart hurts for you my son is a cutter he’s 16 and it’s been a issue since he was 12-13 he’s been to multiple therapist he’s had inpatient treatments for weeks at a time. He suffers from severe anxiety and depression me and his dad are divorced we both are remarried and with other children. I really have no advice my only thing i can say is no matter how hard it seems or how much it may seem like she doesn’t care the more attention love and affection will eventually get into her my son has calmed down some it’s not as bad as before it’s minor scratches here and there but he told me one day thank you for never giving up on me. Keep pushing for therapy keep trying with her. I wish you all the luck and love mamá

  1. I have a few friends that were cutters… and their friends that were cutters, and worked with kids in emergency childrens shelters that were cutters… they all had the same thing in common… Rape /Sexual assaut… “Something” at one point has happened to this girl .

  2. Its more than obvious you know absolutely nothing about “cutting”… Its not done for attention or pity… they cut to use the current physical pain to take away from / temporarily forget emotional pain from some sort of past trauma.

  3. Its not working because even your post sounds selfish and cold… “Youre” pregnant, “isnt fair to the 8yr old” “the other kids”, “I” grew up with depression and never resorted too cutting myself"… “paying more for copays will be hard on us”…
    This whole post is about how her mental health is an inconvenience to you, not about wanting her to get well…If I can tell that through a chatroom post, she 200% feels that from you in person and joining a family in which she feels as though shes an inconvenience to simply isn’t going to happen.

  4. Figure out what therapist is covered, what you can cut back on to make the copays happen, and get the girl some help.


She was already having issues and her dad brought her into more chaos by bringing to live with him!! Maybe she needs to go back to mom’s and mom and dad work together to get her help!! Right now it sounds like you are blaming her for your financial situation among other things!! Maybe she’s picking up on that and that’s why she doesn’t try to be part of the family. Yes she needs some serious therapy, but she also needs to feel like she’s not the cause for all the problems in your household!!


This child needs support and a person she can rely on to support her. She needs someone who she can open up to. When anyone causes self harm they are doing so as a last resort because they are dealing with issues they can’t see another way to control them. Please get her some professional help but also make her feel loved and wanted in your family.

From a former cutter, Cutting is a pain that can be controlled where as emotions are hard to control. Cutting takes your mind off of emotional pain and focuses on something you can touch.


I was a cutter when I was little. I had MANY triggers not just one. The biggest was not having anyone to confide in without being judged to compared to others. My Gramma was my only safe place because I felt NEEDED. That could be the key or may not be. If you are the one initiating trying to help, keep doing that it will be appreciated in the future but honestly she probably needs that from her father more without being sent away. That looked like rejection to me when I was in that situation. Family counsling may be best. Good luck mama I know its scary. She WILL grow out of it when she finds her calling

I’m so very sorry that y’all are going thru this. Check Catholic Charities in your area. They will work with you regarding your income … it could possibly be free. You do not have to be Catholic to go there. They are just there to help.

Hug her, she needs validation, love on her as much as possible sometimes with depression and anxiety or other mental health issues, its hard to explain the emotions happening and thats just for an adult imagine what its like for a 12 year old. She does need professional help as well dont get me wrong, but she needs some one she loves to give her validation, sometimes perfect strangers dont help with that. from experience though, you will be surprised how much just hugging her with all the love u can project and telling her she matters and what shes feeling doesnt make her a crazy person will help with whatever shes struggling with too. Praying for her and for your family :pray:

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