Suspicious Scars on Teen's Arm

Updated on February 24, 2014
C.A. asks from Cameron, NC
8 answers

This morning I saw some scars on my fifteen year old daughter's arm while she was sleeping. They weren't open wounds they but didn't exactly look old. There were maybe four on her right arm, in perfectly straight lines. She just finished treatment for bulimia and depression and I know she's struggling with coping with a lot of things right now. I asked about the scars and she got very angry and defensive, claiming that she fell on the concrete. I pointed out that the scars had to have been from a knife and she just stormed off. I want her to talk to me but she won't. How should I deal with this?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

Serious issue, this is bad. Call in the reserves whether it's a counselor she dealt with at the treatment center or hopefully she's seeing someone now. This is serious bad.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Anchorage on

Cutting is very personal and private, that is why she did not want to talk to you about it. People tend to personalize it ("how could you do this when we love you so much" ect) making the cutter feel guilt and shame for cutting, when at the moment the cutting is really the only way they know to deal with very complex emotions they can not process.

For yourself, read the book "A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain" by Strong, Marilee, it really is the best book I have found about self mutilation. I am a cutter, and it helped me to understand my self better, so it may be a good read for her as well.

For her, find a therapist that specialized in self harm and will not judge her for it or try to push a Borderline diagnosis on her just because she cuts. She needs someone who can help her learn to find better ways to deal with her emotions who she knows will not be hurt by her actions. But even many therapists are not well versed in self harm so it may take some research to find the best person to help your daughter.

Blessed Be

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Get her back into treatment ASAP. Like now. Don't delay. I know I sound harsh, but you must know she is cutting herself, which is common in teen girls with issues like hers, and she is crying out for more help, and the longer you wait, the more it will escalate. Put in an urgent call to whatever person or program was treating her for the bulimia and depression, or get her to the ER, preferably to the closest Children's Hospital that has an adolescent department. Do not wait because this is serious and she could do some major damage. Do not take no for an answer. Make her go with you. Do not leave her alone.

Please do something now. I cannot emphasize enough how serious this is. Good luck.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Nope, she needs to see her therapist or go back into treatment ASAP.

Please mom, do not freak out and do not go into denial. This is most times to be expected. It is very difficult for people, children teens or adults, who are emotionally fragile to really find their peace, confidence and skills to handle their emotions and self view. It CAN be done. You are doing good by noticing and now letting her know you are going to make sure she continues to get the help she needs.

Unfortunately, this is not a one time treatment or occurrence. She has a lot of work ahead of her because she is still fragile, she is young without a lot of experience at handling her stress, her worries and her self confidence.

Stand with her and let her know you are going to continue to help her.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Considering her history, she sounds like she's cutting. Definitely one for the therapist, not Mamapedia

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Get her help right away. Be on the alert for this. I have a son who discovered this with his girlfriend years back and he insisted the parents know. I have dealt with this in my job, and ran, literally ran to the school social workers. If there are school social workers or counselors please have them be on the lookout. you have been through a lot,love your daughter and I know there is a lot of help out there, so work on it right away. HUG



answers from Dallas on

Therapist. She's not coping well and she needs help. Cutting is a way to manage emotional pain on a physical way. It's a pain that the person who is cutting feels they can control, because the emotional pain is too much.



answers from unknown city on

AKmom has given the best response. Your daughter needs specific counseling / therapy from someone who is non-judgemental. Often, cutters are not consciously looking for help; rather, they have found the only way to deal with intense emotions (not even always negative emotions). Now, your daughter needs help learning better ways to cope, then to go beyond coping, to really living. It is very important to not over react, and to not take this action personally. She is not doing this to hurt or upset you, you have not failed her. Do not rush her into the hospital, that is going to push her far away from you. It sounds like she has just begun experimenting with cutting. Contrary to popular belief, cutters are not practicing or preparing for suicide. Your daughter does need help right away, but taking her to the er would be for when you feel that the only way too keep her from killing herself, is to have her there, sedated and strapped in, or of course if there was a physical emergency.
It sounds like you are pretty on top of things hun. Just be there for her, support her, make sure she can talk to you about anything, and make her see the counselor.
Love, Hugs, and Prayers

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions