I have a 13-year-old daughter. She has had a tantrum tonight after her and her sister got in a little argument. My 13-year-old daughter got to the point where she got physical with my other daughter. She then grabbed a knife and I had to take them and hide them. She went to my room, started to kick around and made a hole in my wall. She finally calmed down and fell asleep.

I don't know where to get help for her as this is not her first outburst. She she's in therapy. I need answers. I feel very frustrated. I don't want her hurting any of her siblings. Could there be something wrong with her mental health?


3 Answers 3



Picking up the knife, presumably in a threatening manner, indicates serious instability. This is not a run-of-the-mill teenage emotional outburst. She is quite possibly a danger to someone else or to herself. She effectively threatened homicide or suicide.

This young lady needs to be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Her situation is well beyond the capabilities of the school counselor or a family therapist. You could call one of them and get a referral. You could call a family crisis hotline or suicide prevention line, or you could get in the car and drive to the emergency room.

And ... if the knife things repeats, call 911 or the local equivalent.

Good luck, to you and to your daughter.


I believe the police department handles assault and battery. I'm sorry. I know it's your daughter, but when we progress to using weapons to convey threats and we're perceiving these threats as legitimate, you have a responsibility to your other daughter to do something about this immediately. Failure to act in the best interests of your other daughter could result in both being removed from your care.

It sucks. But there comes a point when more extreme measures are taken. I sincerely hope that your daughter gets the help she needs and that this all gets resolved quickly and safely.


Yes, there is something clearly wrong with her mental health.

Whenever any child shows acute signs of self-harm or other-harm, you should take them to get assessed for everyone's safety.

If you are in a large city there are likely to be dedicated psychiatric ERs. If you are not, a normal ER may have to do. Alternately, local inpatient psychiatric facilities can do assessments (though usually by appointment during normal business hours) and recommend outpatient or inpatient psychological care as needed.

Your child's therapist should be called immediately for advice; I am sure he or she is plugged into all the local options for psych assessment and can give you meaningful guidance.

Use the police only as a very last resort, if intervention is immediately needed to prevent harm. They may harm or arrest her and/or anyone else around fort a variety of reasons; get professional help immediately to avoid that eventuality.

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