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Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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my 14th year old daughter who is a very social and friendly

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my 14th year old daughter who is a very social and friendly kids told us that she had taken pills to take her life away a year ago. When digging for more she told us that the reason why she did it was because she was not happy and that prior to that she had cut herself. We tried very hard dig more but she refused to answer. m wife and I are very puzzled about this as it took us for surprise. We are making efforts to see a psychologists but she refuses to go.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mina replied 5 years ago.

I am sorry to hear that. What do you think made her tell you now, a year later that she tried to kill herself? This piece of information is not easily said without a certain reason e.g. she feels she needs support but does not know how to ask for it. If you can tell me a bit more I may be able to help with some suggestions.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
she told us because we took her to a specialist as she is a little overweight and when the dr asked her if her weight was an issue for her she got very defensive and starting to sob. When she got home after school we confronted her and apologized if this made her uncomfortable but an interesting thing was that at the dr she said to her mom "i dont tell you anything meaningful" this is what trigger us to investigate. first we thought it was the weight issue but she repeadily says that that is not and I truly dont think it is as she is not a sad kid. Actually she is very social and never has shown any signs of being unhappy because her weight.
Expert:  Mina replied 5 years ago.
I see. Well, there are usually reasons why an adolescent may hide important and "meaningful" things form parents. Usually, it is because they feel that if they talked they would be blamed or pressurized or not understood. It is very important for you to understand that she has not obviously been happy the last few years as you have thought all along. You need to admit this to yourselves, which can be a hard thing to do as it can elicit feelings of guilt such as "how did I not realize this". To tell her things (and I am not saying that you do, I am using it as an example) such as "but how did this happen, you have always been a happy child" does not help at all because then she feels that you cannot contain her feelings of sadness, desperation, anxiety, anger or whatever intense feeling led her to cause pain to herself. Dismissing feelings will only lead to further isolation.

Therefore, I would advise that you approached her with sincerity telling her that you feel guilty for not being there for her when she obviously needed you more. Ask her to tell you all her complaints about you whatever those may be. Do not focus on the attempt so much as this is just a symptom of her desperation at the time. So ti would be best to listen to her and encourage her to talk about herself, accepting everything without passing any judgment on her.

If she still denies seeing a therapist, then I would strongly encourage you to see a child therapist//psychologist to receive some more specific advice and guidance. You can explain your views and see what you could improve in your communication with her.

It is a good thing that she told you. This shows that she still believes that you can help her. It is now all about proper handling so she trust you to take her to a therapist. It will take some time but if you try and work on your relationship then she will be able to move on and work on her issues, whether this is bullying or a traumatic incident.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to share any feedback on these thoughts

All the best

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