Our expert says:
The answer to your opening question is no, no really, not like that. When one is depressed, one doesn't usually handle the usual challenges of child-rearing as well as one would at other times, and when mom or dad are not quite themselves, a child tends to act up more. Remember, it may be very reasonable to hate some of what the child does, without any need to hate the child herself, the doer. But it is troubling for a child to be deliberately mutilating or harming herself in the way you describe, and I would prefer such a child to be seen by a child shrink for assessment, just to be sure of what is going on.
Meanwhile, talk calmly to her about the crisis, explaining how you feel frightened when you see she has hurt herself, and you can have a temper tantrum just like she sometimes does, and its not a fgood idea for either of you to do so. Apologise, saying cleaerly that you are sorry you got so upset and for what you said. See the shrink with her, so you can both work on avoiding these crises.
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