suicidal teen or drastic call for attention?!?!?!

Melissa - posted on 01/24/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I have a 16yo son who, growing up was always very emotional. As he aged it seemed to transend Ive found out he has been cutting himself, not on a daily basis but has the marks to show. Hes been struggling w/school, girlfriend & sex, friends & home life, Ive always believed he wouldnt smoke,drink or do anything that harmful to his body I found proof he has, am I wrong to search his room read his private notes between him & his girlfriend? We always had a very close bond but I think Ive been fooling myself, his grades were dropping so we narrowed his girlfriend time from a several days down to 3 days & shortened the hours which made matters worse we have been riding him constantly school comes first & he needs to concentrate on studies in order to go to a good college, enlist in the military etc...he doesnt really hang w/friends & all seems to do is worry about his g/friend, are we being to strict to limited? I can elaborate more if you have the time & patience. Is there anyone that can understand or delt w/similar situations open to give some advice? My husband thinks its a cry for attention however I know its more, Im desperately in need of help to help my baby....I feel so lost right now...PLEASE???!!!

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Jennifer - posted on 02/11/2009

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I went through a similar stage when I was a teenager.  I think you have every right to do whatever you have to to get the information you are looking for.  If he is not talking to you how else are you ging to know what is going on with him.  I remember when I went through this phase what really helped me was to keep a journal, I could write whatever I wanted there and I would feel better because I had gotten it out.  Friends are also a good way to vent, sometimes kids just can't talk to their parents because we try to hard to solve their problems for them instead of letting them get through it on their own.  We have different ideas about how to handle different situations and he just may not want to hear what you have to say.



 



I know I was too ashamed to talk to my parents, I was afraid they would be mad at me for cutting myself and would try to ground me or discipline me.  That is the wrong way to go because that can just make things worse.  If he is depressed or unhappy then punishment will only make him feel worse about himself...or angry and it will push him away.  You are in a very tough place as is he, you both want help but it's really hard to know what will work.  Even if this is just a cry for attention listen, maybe all he needs is some support to know that it's ok to feel bad, angry or whatever he is feeling and that if he ever needs to talk you will listen and not be judgmental....just listen.  If all else fails maybe try having him talk to a professional.



 



I hope this helps, just don't ignore these signs because there is obviously something on your son's mind.

Tami - posted on 02/11/2009

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My girl's father passed away in Sept of 07, I found out my 13 yr old cut herself on her arms. It was definately a cry for help. She was hurting so bad, she just wanted to take the pain away of losing her Daddy.



I got her into counseling, granted it didn't last long because the place I took her hasn't followed up with us. She's still hurting but she is doing ok with that aspect of life. I just have to keep an eye on her.

Rachael - posted on 01/27/2009

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Melissa,



Just was checking to see how you are doing and to see how things with your son are going?

Katie - posted on 01/27/2009

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My daughter went through this at 13-14 years of age. At 15 she came out to us that she is gay. It was the burdon that she was carrying and was so hurt and confused about that all she knew how to do to make herself feel better was to cut. She stopped. BUT, only after her Dad and I had made it very clear that she has no need to cut. She can tell us anything (and we proved it) and she'll still be the same loved child she always was to us. She's ADD, and depressed and is not good in school. BUT, she stopped cutting. Something really deep must be bothering your son. You must get him some help. Ask to see his arms and legs and his torso every single night if you have to. We did this with our daughter and my explanation was that I had to make sure for her own good that she was no longer cutting. When she knew she couldn't hide the pain anymore she came clean about what was bothering her. YOu have to get him to talk. Don't worry about the girlfriend. Maybe she's the reason for the problem?

Katie - posted on 01/26/2009

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Melissa,

I agree 100% with Rachael. Your son needs help and he needs it now! Call the hotline she listed to get your son the help he needs. My sister-in-law's brother-in-law just lost his sister to suicide. They didn't see the signs until it was too late. Follow your instincts!

Rachael - posted on 01/25/2009

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I definately have the time and patients. It must be so hard to see your son struggle like that. I don't have experience with a child going through that but when I was 17 my mom committed suicide, I found her/tried to revive her....terrible! Looking back there were SO many signs, I was only seventeen and was consumed in the world revolves around me teenage brain. I know it wasn't my fault by any means but of course I wish something could have been done.



I think that your instincts or the voice of reason in your head is ALWAYS right on and with your son's life, safety, happiness it is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry....that I do know from experience. Your title to your post already shows that you think you might have a suicidal teen, your probably already seeing warning signs or you wouldn't have put that??? Please call a suicide hotline and get "real" "professional" help and advice as far as what to do or how to approach your son. I think you should really call IMMIDIATELY! Here are a few national, free, 24hr hotline numbers 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or  1-800-784-2433



My first concern is that your noticing cut marks, to me that is a huge warning sign that things are not right with him. I am so sorry you feel lost, I can't imagine how hard all of this is on you. Have you thought about or looked into counseling or treatment for the cutting (even if he doesn't do it anymore or not often the fact that he did it shows that emotionally he is hurting). Have you talked to teachers about his issues? I hope you take everything he is doing seriously...it sounds like you do. Kids that are 2 act out for attention, kids who hurt themsleves are hurting inside. Something else is probably going on if he is having difficulty in school, it is usually a good indication of problems. What is going on with his home life, and with friends? I will wait for you to write me back before I elaborate more but I think you are right to be concerned, I am so sorry you are feeling lost! You can message me directly if you don't want to post back here.

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