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How to tell if she's depressed or being selfish
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How to tell if she's depressed or being selfish

Hi everyone

I'm probably going to sound like a horrible parent, but I can't figure out whether my 12yr old daughter is depressed or being plain selfish.

My daughter has started cutting herself, but it only happens when my husband and I don't give her what she wants.  When she wants more money or wants to go out late at night or go spend an entire week at her boyfriends house we say no, so she goes to her room, cuts herself then comes to show me.  I try to talk to her and ask her why she does this, so she starts telling me that I am a horrible parent and that I don't love her, she says things like "oh you just want to hit me don't you" or "if you could have a "do over" you wouldn't want me".  When I pry more she gets very frustrated with me then starts telling me that she's depressed and just wants to die.

We try to spend more time with her, but she tells us to go away and then complains we don't spend time with her.  My husband used to take her out for lunch etc, but only stopped cos she didn't want to go and now complains that he doesn't.  She's even stopped us from spending time with her 4yr old sister cos she accuses us of favoring the other over her.  So the only outing my 4yr old gets is grocery shopping day.  Meanwhile my 12yr old goes out with friends 2-3 times a week.

I've started noticing that she gets like this when she doesn't get what she wants.  The day would be going great and we would all be happy chatting and then she'll make a demand we say no so she runs into her room and cuts herself.  I don't believe in giving in as I know this will only make things work, but its getting to the point where you think maybe I should.

I'm currently pregnant with our 3rd child and she wants me to get rid of it, I told her that it is not an option, she shouldn't even be asking me this and if I did it means I wold have to kill the baby, she just shrugged her shoulders and said well I suppose you could look at it that way.

I have made arrangements to take her to counseling, but I just can't help but think she's being a selfish little princess.  I know that there is something causing this.  My husband and I are prepared to be the reason for all this, as we are aware that we are not the most perfect of parents and maybe our problems have flowed onto her, but its just the way she's been acting is making us feel like she's just being a spoiled little brat.

I know she has esteem issues and probably other issues.  I am in fear that one day she is actually going to cut too much and kill herself.  I don't want to give in, but I wonder should I let her have what she wants? am I a horrible parent? is it really all my fault?

Then after all her yelling and wanting to die, she'll wake up the next day with a big smile and go out with her friends. I just can't understand.  I'm in tears when she walks out the door because of sheer frustration.
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I think she definitly needs to go to counsiling.  And maybe it wouldnt hurt if you went too.  She may be cutting just to get attention, or it could be deeper...i dont know and really the only one who can figure that out is a therapist.  I dont think you should give in...but i would absolutly not let her cut herself.  If you say no to her and she goes up to her room...follow her and make sure she doesnt cut herself.  Hide all razors and keep an eye on the knives and make sure that she doesnt get anything harmful in her hands.  Cutting can get to be a sort of addiction.  I know because it happened to me.  Im 17 and Im absolutly not acusing you of anything im just telling a little of my story, but when my parents start to fighting really bad sometimes i cut myself because i just cant deal with it.  I cut myslf when i get upset becuase its a coping method.  but it is dangerous and i would be sure she doesnt get anything harmful in her hands.  Tell her she cant go out with friends at all if she cuts...you cant let her do this to herself.  She will regret it one day and its just plain wrong.  
I think its great though that she will be going to therapy.  thats a step into the right direction.  And your not a bad parent at all...the fact that you posted this shows you really care about her.  Good luck with everything
I doubt she is doing it with the intention to be selfish, she is a 12 Year old and must have some kind of issue or problem that needs addressing.
I suggest taking her to see a therapist, while You may feel You are giving her enough attention she may feel as though you are not and it is her thoughts that are effecting her
I would think that you should know that your child is not acting out because she is selfish but because she has a problem accepting the word NO, she takes everything personally and feels she is not loved, so defenatly she needs therapy.when someone cuts themselves they are acting out on the pain they feel.not saying if you are a good parent or not has nothing to do with it.so if you want to help her stand by her in everyway you can and definately get her the help she needs.  Sandra
Hi Guys

Many thanks for your feedback, its so good to hear from people who have been through what my daughter is going through.  

As a parent you tend to forget what it was like when you were 12yrs old and all you see sometimes is the the way she goes about getting what she wants.   I know that there are more underlying issues that my family need to address.  Sometimes you just can't help think gggrrrr "spoiled brat" because of the way she goes about it, but then when you really think about it, you know that there is more to it.

I have been told that you can't stop someone from cutting, but only try and offer them other avenues to (like writing or just cuddles etc) let their frustration out to try and stop the cutting.  So now I opt to just holding her until she's ready for me to let her go.

The therapy starts next week, so hopefully it will help us all get to the bottom of what's really going on.

Again thank you all for your help, and not making me feel like a horrid parent.  I appreciate hearing your stories and experiences with this issue,

Take care
I think I'm the only person to say something is seriously wrong with your daughter.  

It sounds like you have an intact,  loving marriage.

I have 3 kids and none of them exhibited difficulties when the next was born.

If you truly have a loving intact marriage and family,  and your 12 year old daughter is cutting and wanting you to kill your unborn baby,  she needs psychiatric help.  And she needs to be removed from your baby when it's born,  or she may kill it.  
Newbie,  a day later and after some more thought I have to say this.

Usually girls who cut try to hide it.  They want to cut to relieve their pain,  but they will hide it under sweaters or lie that it was an accident or that the cat scratched them.

For your daughter to walk off,  cut herself,  and present the cut to you after a disagreement is a really serious symptom of,  as you say,  selfishness or manipulative behavior.  

In family counseling maybe you can work through the dynamic here.  I don't see depression - I see a girl who is totally self-focused and will do what it takes to get her way at any cost to anyone else.

Best wishes.  I think you are very lucid in your descriptions,  and very astute in your observation.  Prayers this can turn around.
When I had read this and everyone else's comments..RockRose sorta has a point. I am 15 and I also cut, their is only one person that knows because I hide it from anyone else who has asked about it. I feel as if you're daughter is definitely doing this for some kind of attention. Their is no way that if she was really cutting to "take away" or cope with any emotional feelings she may have that if she was doing it for those reasons, she would have never showed you right after that she was doing it. I don't really understand why should would do that to maybe get what she wants but then again I don't know your daughter, only she knows why she's really doing it. It could also have something to do with her school life. I remember when I was 12 and it was a pretty awkward stage you go through, but it's good your starting to go to therapy. Hoping that all is going well! Best of luck, remember to just keep your head up. Everything will be ok!
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