Our expert says:
There are aspects to your daughters behaviour that are normal for a teenager, but overall her presentation is concerning for such a young teenager. Many young people are having piercings, (or are arguing with parents who wont allow them to), but to actually do this herself is not typical behaviour.
Some of the moodiness and confrontational behaviour is also typical of the early teen years, but it can also be linked to drug use. Being moody and overly tired can be indicative of cannabis use. The self-harm in the form of the burn is also something that indicates emotional disturbance in your daughter. During adolescence as people become increasingly self aware they think about death, suicide and behaviours such as self-harm. However, acting on this is not typical.
I strongly recommend that you take your daughter to see you family doctor. I also think it wise to have a drug test conducted to at least eliminate this as a problem. The only way you will truly know if drugs have been used is to have a test. In conversation with your doctor I would also discuss a referral to a psychologist who specialises in adolescent mental health for an assessment.
Someone responded to your question by mentioning the movie Thirteen. Whilst young people can be influenced by what they watch, acting out extreme behaviours such as burning and self-piercing goes beyond this.
As a mother, you know your daughter very well, and I recommend you trust your instincts. You are sufficiently worried to contact me here on the website, so follow your instincts, and get things checked out.
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