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My 10-year-old daughter is going through a difficult time at the moment thinking that she is overweight and that nobody loves her. She has cut her own fringe off twice and has now got hold of my razor and shaved her eyebrows off. I am so worried that her behavior is a warning sign of self harm.

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  • Welcome to the community and thanks for your contribution. Even if this is the beginning of self-destructive behavior, perhaps seeking out a professional wouldn't hurt. She is headed into an age and stage of life that is difficult for almost any kid anyway so having an ear to listen that is impartial and "safe" at the same time might really help. Jan 12 '14 at 20:47
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What you've listed are 3 symptoms of excessive obsession with self-image... thinking she's overweight, nobody loves her (probably b/c of her perceived appearance), and then being actively destructive to her visible appearance. Because you have identified these symptoms as unrealistic, it is definitely best to seek the advice of a psychiatrist as only they can evaluate the entirety of your child's state and recommend a balanced approach.

As some background: my child had some issues which I found concerning and upon taking her to a therapist, she was diagnosed with some issues which the Dr recommended some treatments for, including dietary and sleeping changes, therapy, and medication. My daughter is now doing much better.

Two additional points: 1) If the Dr wants to just throw meds at your child, seek a second opinion; and 2) in the "worst" case scenario, seeking professional advice which results in a "don't worry" diagnosis causes no harm but will give you comfort.

I wish you and your daughter all the best!

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    I would add that any time there are behaviors or symptoms that worry you for which you are planning to seek help (doctor, counselor, or other), it is always helpful to have a journal of events. Besides the events you mentioned, you should also log self-deprecating remarks, self-isolating behaviors, crying, etc. The idea is to present a complete picture of how you are experiencing your daughter. Best wishes.
    – MJ6
    Jan 12 '14 at 22:46
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    Thank you all very much for your advice I have booked my daughter in to see her dr and have also spoken to the nspcc who have advised me of some steps that I need to take, I have had a meeting with the head mistress of my daughters school and asked her to keep a close eye on her and make sure no bullying is taking place as this would obviously lower her self esteem further. I am taking the situation very seriously and will not rest untill she has been properly assessed and is receiving the correct form of treatment. My beautiful little girl will be happy again Jan 13 '14 at 16:24
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It may just be a fashion choice, she may be trying to figure out what feel like her it’s not always a bad thing when your child does something out of your comfort zone especially in her early and teen years, and if you do get a professional make sure it someone she feels comfortable with and that she can trust because otherwise it will make things worse, I speak from experience when I say that your child needs to be able to trust the person she is sharing with

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