My 15-year-old daughter has confided in me that her boyfriend is cutting himself. What should I do?

Karen - posted on 03/17/2013 ( 170 moms have responded )

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My daughter has been dating this boy for about five months, not too long after she first met him. When they first stared dating, he told her he used to cut himself but he was in therapy (at the time) and hasn't cut himself since they started going out. Last night, however, he texted her and told her he'd cut himself again. She is beside herself with worry; she spent hours crying and talking to me about this last night. I'm worried about him, of course, but I'm also very worried about my daughter -- he's asked her not to tell anyone and is trying to convince her that it's not a big deal and that her making it into one isn't good for him. I feel like he's trying to manipulate her feelings, and I think this is too much of a burden for my daughter to bear -- I'm not even sure how to handle it myself! He seems convinced that therapy won't help him, and doesn't seem interested in trying to get help. He seems like a good kid in general -- and he's always treated my daughter very well. But I don't really know very much about his family, and am not sure I feel comfortable telling them. What should I do?

Update: My daughter convinced him to tell his parents, which he did. Their reaction: His father got angry and as punishment, told him he couldn't see my daughter; his mother hasn't said anything to him about it at all. This has apparently been going on now for 3 or 4 years, so I'm getting the sense his parents may be fed up and are possibly no longer taking this seriously. My daughter told her boyfriend he absolutely has to get help and has to start therapy again or she won't be able to continue to see him. He agreed, but since his parents aren't acting, nothing has happened so far. My daughter has decided that in order to make sure he gets the help he needs, she wants to go in and talk to a guidance counselor at the school about this; I'm going to go with her for support and to get some advice on how to help my daughter handle and get through this (which is really what I was looking for advice about). She know this might make him angry, but she also knows that it has to be done.

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Kara Marie - posted on 03/24/2013

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This is a very delicate subject, to say the least. I used to be a cutter and I cut for a very long time. I started as a teenager, at the age of 13, and I wasn't able to completely stop until I was 25. I am now 30 years old and I still struggle with the urge to cut. It isn't something that simply goes away, unfortunately. I wasn't able to stop until I found a good therapist and got some of my issues worked out. It sounds, to me, like his father, at the very least, is part of the reason why he is continuing to cut. I am only making that assumption based on the way his father reacted. It may be that he (his father) just reacted that way because of his concern for his son, but I am wondering if your daughters boyfriend might want more of an understanding relationship with his father. My parents found out when I was 14 that I was cutting because the guidance councilor at school figured out that I was doing it. I was very ashamed and hurt and had a mix of feelings when my guidance councilor and mom approached me about the issue. The good thing is that your daughters boyfriend is honest about it. Being honest about being a cutter is a huge step in the right direction. The fact that he wants help is another good step. Getting too many people involved, however, may just make him shy back into his "shell" and shut him down, emotionally, which will just make things a lot worse. What your daughter needs is an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and patience. At that young of an age, it is hard to obtain the patience needed to help someone in her boyfriends situation. I had many friends, when I was a teenager, but still felt very alone in the world. The best advice I can give you is to encourage your daughter to keep, at the very least, a friendship with her boyfriend so that he doesn't feel abandoned by the person he was able to confide in. He is reaching out to her and cutting off all ties will definitely hinder his healing process. You and your daughter seem to have a solid, trusting, honest relationship, which will definitely help her during this time. He wants to be able to confide and open up to her, and instead of always feeling like she needs to actually take physical action, he may just need her to listen and be understanding. He needs an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean/cry on, also. You can send me a message if you need any further advice or help. I always try to use my past to help others in need.

Niki - posted on 03/19/2013

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Ok. I understand your fear is for your daughter but as someone who used to be a "cutter" myself, I'm going to give you a different perspective. As hard as it is to understand, when he told your daughter that it wasn't a big deal and that making it into a big deal isn't good for him, he's right. I assume this is something he got straight from him doctor. Cutting is a form of coping and although it obviously isn't the healthiest way, it IS a lot healthier than most things that he COULD be doing and has the least risk. It is extremely rare for cutting to cause any lasting harm and can give the release he needs to keep him from doing something that could cause lasting harm.
In no way am I saying that he doesn't need help. However, your daughter may be the only person he trusts to talk to about his problems right now and if he feels that she has betrayed his confidence he may not confide in her anymore and this IS dangerous.
I think the last comment had the best idea when they said to talk to your daughter. Explain to her that his actions and feelings are not a result of ANYTHING she has said or done and she can't "fix" him. Also, educate yourself and her about cutting so she can understand that as scary as it is, it isn't what most people think which may be able to give her some relief and ease some of her anxiety on the matter.
I would definitely hold off on reporting this to ANYONE (counselor, parents, etc.) unless of course he threatens to kill himself or she feels that his actual life is in danger.
I'm sorry that this may not be the advice you wanted to hear, I just feel that as much as your daughter is your responsibility (not him), there's more to this situation.

Denise - posted on 03/19/2013

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I have been there with a son who did cutting. A brother told both the girl friend and her mother that he was going to committ sucicide they did nothing on the night he told them this he went thru with his plans had either one of the called my parent me or someone he would still be alive instead the other mother did nothing told her daughter to do nothing and my mother and sister woke the next to find my brother had hung himself. The boy is asking for help by telling someone it is too much for your daughter to handle but he is asking for help. Please please give that too him via his parents then get some for your daughter and yourself on the importance of keeping the great line of communication the two of you have open , how proud you must be to have a child her age coming and discussing these important issues with you instead of just with her friend. As for my son the girlfriend confided in his sister my daughter who then came to me and we got him help . Offered the girlfriend the same to this day they are married with two sons. Also at 15 I had the same thing happen to me a boy I had just meet wanted to be boy- girl friend etc but threatened his life I called the hotline sent help to his house. Please please contact someone get this boy some help ! , And take care of your daughter whether it be keeping her apart, taking it to just friends etc. I old rather be safe than sorry and risk both the boy and his patent being upset with me for saying something than keeping quiet pulling my daughter away and find out he is stilling cutting himself with no help he will slow to ask for help again since when he did no one acted.

Jennifer - posted on 03/19/2013

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I agree that it is a cry for help. I am a former cutter and cutting was my was of getting relief from whatever I was feeling. Usually anger for me. Anyways, my first thought is that your 15 year old daughter is to young to deal with such a huge burden and its great that she came to you for support. If this was my child (hopefully I would notice something like this) I would want someone to tell me. If you cant go to his parents, an adult within the school system like a counselor, with the ability to help him, definitely needs to be involved. I cant blame your daughter for wanting to distance herself, although if the boy is using cutting as a way to get her attention, it could get worse. I also agree that things like this can go wrong and probably get ugly before they get better. In the long run though...he needs help.

Brittney Olson- - posted on 03/20/2013

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Hello. First off let me say that you have apparently raised a very loving and smart daughter. I have first hand experience with family and friend who have cut before. You both are doing the right thing by talking to the guidance counselor bc she can get others involved so that you guys don't have to be the ones to do it. Also you both and her boyfriend should read my friends book. Her name is Shannon Rowell and she grew up cutting, doing drugs and many other things but has turned her life around and is now a mental health counselor. Go to her website at www.chainsbebroken.com
I hope he gets the help he needs and the best for you all.

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Owl - posted on 03/05/2017

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I agree a guidance counselor is the right move! Sounds like the parents might not be giving the right support! At least the counselor can watch personality changes and keep an eye out for this kid during the day! Tell your daughter she is being a great friend! Not saying anything and having something happen would haunt her for the rest of her life! If she is real with him about this saying she loves home enough to lose him as a boyfriend to know he is safe and alive!

Gabrielle - posted on 04/30/2013

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I cut myself as a teenager. It was during a very hard time (I was never abused), but it helped me deal with what I was going through. When my parents found out they were very angry/dissappointed. Luckily for me they also showed love and concern. I think that boy is reaching out for someone to help him. If that is you stepping in because his mother won't, then good for you. Going to see a counselor at school is a great idea. I went to see my doctor who immediatly wanted me to go on anti-deprssants. I am glad I didn't. Instead I turned my stress/depression to exercise and it helped me alot. But the most important thing was knowing that there were people who cared about me. You and your daughter mught be the best thing to happen to this boy. Good luck, and try not to judge him too harshly - this will be something that passes with help!

As a side note - if he is in anyway showing aggression or extreme anger towards your daughter then I would put her safety first (I am sure you are anyways!) and not allow her to be with him until things are taken care of!

Holli - posted on 04/27/2013

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Post number 3 form me... The reason I don't immediately think of a psyciatric disorder is because most don't start manefesting until late teens to early adulthood. Having a history of cutting himself looks like more of an abuse situation rather than "going coo coo for cocoa puffs".

Holli - posted on 04/27/2013

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Oh yeah, as far as their relationship, explain to your daughter she is NOT the cause of his distress. She can be there for him emotionally as long as she keeps herself healthy and keeps up with her school work. Forcing them to end their relationship based on his possible abuse could shatter this already fragile boy. It also gives the wrong message about bailing in marriage when things get tough, which frequently happens.

If he is being abused and acting out as a result, this is no different if your daughter were to be raped by someone and (natually) having issues as a result. Not to compare a child to an animal, but it is nature (even in humans) to cherish the friends and "adopted family" who stick with them and even help them in tough times. This goes for abuse, children rejected by their family for their sexuality, and/or children rejected for having special needs.

Holli - posted on 04/27/2013

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Self cutters are generally NOT a bad influence to friends and even their eventual children. Most self cutters are descrete about it and hide it. If they tell someone, they are inadvertantly seeking help and they trust the individual quite a lot. Form him to tell your daughter is nothing short of amazing. Many self cutters have suffered physical/sexual/emotional abuse. They stuff their feelings and either a) cut themselves as a form of release or b) in severe cases, if they are no longer being harmed, think they have to continue the harm to themselves because the "deserve" it.

Cutters who are just "looking for attention" will have a different attitude towards self harm. They will talk about it non-chalantly if not even bragging about their "trophies". Self harmers often feel shame about their abuse and their self abuse. They don't want any of it and seek a support group. Even if your daughter and this guy end their relationship, she is acting as his rock. Seeing as he had stopped the self abuse, there is a trigger than recently happened to start it up again. Considering how his family is acting, it could easily be something in his home, or something he may have told his family about and they didnt believe him. This is often when a family member or family friend sexually abuses a child. Some parents tell the child how horrible they are for lying so the abuse continues in many ways from different people.

School guidance counsellors are a great start. They can bring in child psychologists if needed. Some children may be angry at first if you go behind their backs to seek them help, but often times they are or will become thankful for you looking out for them.

Alisha - posted on 04/25/2013

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Yes he needs help but I wouldn't let your daughter date someone like that. Is this the kind of man you want your daughter to marry one day or to be the father of your grandkids? Cut their relationship off, you're the parent. Tell her she can care and hope he gets help but that's not the boy for her.

Hillary - posted on 04/24/2013

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As someone who has been a self harmer in the past I can tell you one thing for sure-he needs help. Whether he thinks he needs the help or not.
Call the school counsellor and tell him/her what is going on.
When I was cutting and I started at 14 so close to his age I only told a few close friends. I told them I didn't need help and that it wasn't a big deal that I was fine. But I wasn't. I wasn't okay, I was hurt and upset and I needed help. I told people because I WANTED help and secretly hoped someone would tell the counsellor at our school. I don't think he is manipulating your daughters feelings, I think he is scared. He is scared of someone finding out and sending him to therapy again. Maybe he had a bad experience with it, maybe he feels like a freak for cutting. I know I did for both.
Cutting is a serious issue and he needs help on stopping now before it gets to far. He will regret it once his arms are covered in scars and people look at him differently, he will regret it once he loses people he is close to, he will regret it once he ends up in the hospital if not the morgue for attempting suicide.
So to sum this all up, tell someone and tell someone fast.

Suckie - posted on 04/24/2013

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Young girls are usually very influenced by friends and boyfriends. I know she is concerned and probably smitten with tis boy but i would try get her to take a step back and get on with her own things . This has obviously been going on for a long time and he clearly is crying out for help with issues he may have . You dont want this to affect her and if you believe he is manupulating her then she needs to stop her relationship with him .As she gets older and if the relationship progresses this manupulation can get worse . I wouldnt want my daughter dating someone i knew had issues like this even thoug i feel sorry for the boy. Its not your problem

Jo - posted on 04/23/2013

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I am thinking that a lot of mothers are not using the resources available to them to help their children and others. We have to look out for all children. Call the school psychologist or nurse and report it. Save a life. Preserve a future. I report everything. I've been saying something about what I see all my life. Call a police officer, they can help. They are trained to offer compassionate mentoring. One mother in the next town called the police to say she couldn't get her son to do his homework. Not only did they speak to the son and his teacher, they helped him with his homework. We are mothers, hear us roar!!

Rebecca - posted on 04/20/2013

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Some people use food or push food away and this is also self-harming and it is dangerous. Cutting, can be seen immediately. That, I think, is probably one reason people get so upset and scared to see someone they love doing this. Substance abuse, weather it be food or drugs is just as bad as cutting yourself. It seems that any of these reactions to stress around us can trigger any self abusive behavior. I have family members who have many of these issues and one thing for sure is they don't like their self. We have to learn and teach ourselves and our children to Love ourselves. What we think and feel matters. We are not less than others. The bible instructs us to Love others "as" we Love ourselves. Words of encouragement can go a long way for those who try to harm theirselves, it is good for all of us.

Rebecca - posted on 04/20/2013

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Cutting is going on everywhere today and it is so sad to see especially since other kids mimic their piers. Your daughter sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders. I would just keep talking with her and encouraging her concerning helping this person. But let her know, as you have, that this is Not ok, and that she may need to strengthen her Boundary lines with this person until he gets help. She needs to be assured that in this life we have No control over other people, we can help them, encourage them, and lead them to water but if they will not drink we have to love them and ourselves enough to let them go.

Rhiannon - posted on 04/06/2013

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It's not just books that I have read that make me knowledgeable on a subject like this, but the fact that I lived it. I have only stopped cutting in the last 5 1/2 almost 6 years. I still have urges to do it anytime I become overwhelmed with anything I dealing with! It took having Children to finally break my walls down. Cutting was my way of letting go anything I was dealing with. I started self harming a month or so before my 12th birthday and it started small. I have used anything I could find to harm myself. So yes I studied the topic because I wanted to know why it was so easy for me to harm myself, everytime something happened to me that I could not handle.

Carrie - posted on 04/05/2013

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Ok so self mutilation is not a cry for help in some way? He may not be seeking attention, but he obviously is in some sort of turmoil within that he cannot fix himself. How you cope is a choice and not always an easy or obvious one, he may not know how or have the tools to try other ways if coping, that is why what the daughter did was the right thing to do. Whatever you want to call it by any phsych book you read, it still means that he needs help from someone. I'm sure that the daughter asked what he was feeling and even if she didn't telling another adult as she did was the right thing to do so that they could ask the right questions. Sharing his secret with her may have been his way of asking fir help, nobody knows but that young man. No I have not read any books or taken any courses to know technical terms or theories, but from what I read and the depression I have felt, I do understand that there are a dozen or more different emotions that go on within someone who cuts themselves to relieve the pain inside of them and feel like they have regained some sort of control. I did cut myself briefly years ago, and I remember the feeling of despair. I DID NOT want to kill myself but I felt like I couldn't hold in anore pain, I needed an outlet. This boy may have issues that can be resolved over time, or they may be a lifelong struggle, either way he needs someone who is qualified to help him figure it out.

Rhiannon - posted on 04/05/2013

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Ok first off its Not necessarily a "Cry For Help"!!! Cutting Himself if its not in a place that can kill him and its Superficial then it's considered Self Mutilation! I don't know this Young Man or his situation, but I know a tremendous amount about Self Mutilation and Suicide attempts. My Mother is a psych nurse and at 15 I read every psychology book she brought home. Also my sister has Bi Polar Disorder for the last 16 years so I have Tons of first hand knowledge and experience!!!! If he is into self mutilation then it is the farthest thing from attention seeking. He is cutting to cope, it's his release for emotions of any and All kinds. Again I don't know this Young Man but I know a plethora of information on Self Mutilation and why people do it to how they do it. Self Mutilation is done privately and rarely do they allow people in their lives in enough to tell them they cut or self harm. If they do tell people it's because they trust that person to the fullest extent. People who self mutilate don't do it for a "Cry For Help" and people who think that are simply ignorant on the topic. If he shared his secret with your Daughter, he trusts her. Being worried about him is normal, but not much can be done to change them unless they feel they want to change. Usually people who self mutilate have a lot of overwhelming emotions and the only way they can alleviate some of them is to cut or harm themselves in some way. Yes it's scary to outsiders or people that don't know much about it and care for a person who self mutilates!!! Self mutilation is their way of coping or

Carrie - posted on 04/05/2013

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It is a cry for help, and since his parents are not looking like they are wanting to help him anymore, I think she is doing the right thing by going to the school counsoler. She went through the right steps and NO she is not to young to deal with this because it happens more than we know. Hopefully he will get some help before his depression goes too far. Good luck

Becki - posted on 04/05/2013

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Cutting is serious, I can freely admit that at the age of 21 I still cut on occasion (not as much as I did when I was say, 13 until the age of 17 but there are still instances). Cutting isn't used to manipulate emotions of others, nor is it drug related. I don't do drugs and most of the people I know who cut don't touch them either, it's wrong to assume that this young man is. His actions are probably aren't evil intentions to manipulate feelings, there are easier ways to do that than to cut yourself, why harm yourself when you can use words? Cutting is to regain control back into your life, for instance having an emotionally abusive or distant relationship with your parents, or not having friends and so forth, where you have no control of your own life. Cutting isn't usually a suicide attempt or to make someone love you, it's just his way of being listened to. It took me years of cutting before anyone sat me down and asked how I was doing, as a person not as a cutter. My advice is, your daughter has been a great person for him by alerting his support group (family and by confiding in you), it will be a hard time but the last thing he needs is another person walking away and leaving him. I hope it pans out well for him, you and your daughter.

Kim - posted on 04/03/2013

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My suggestion is this boy has serious problems.going to the school is the right thing to get the boy help.as far as your daughter she needs to walk away from this relationship. She is too young to deal with it.

Amanda - posted on 04/02/2013

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im very sorry to hear this, i think u and your daughter has handled this very well so far, hes reachin out for a cry for help!!! im happy she told his parents!, he probabley reached out to her cause, their not able to handle this situation properly, the guidance counselor, will be able to instruct him better than yourself & your daugther can , but also be able to guide his parents!/ guide his parents to help him cope through this, you might not think their acting apon this although, there are two side to this heart breaking situtation , id still be weary of him being manipultive, but because she able to get support off you im sure she wont get sucked in, your daughter should be very proud that she has a mother that she can talk to about these things ! ggod luck i hope everything works out x

Holly - posted on 04/02/2013

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ok i am coming in a little late here... but i think that perhaps you need to talk it apon yourself to contact his parents. they should realize that she convinced him to come clean, that she truly cares about him and his safety. Perhaps you and them need to come together and talk to the kid, and let him know that he shouldn't hide things from people who care about him, which you all do, you care about him because you daughter loves him, and of course his parents care about him, but perhaps they are worried for him, and are thinking they are doing what is best for their son, but if it weren't for your daughter, they wouldn't know!

Chidimma - posted on 04/01/2013

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I am a bit worried about the fact that your daughter is having intimate relationship at age 15 maybe be so of the term 'boyfriend' used! Isn't it better if she just had him as a friend? Back to the issue...the steps she took is quite commendable though as a 'friend'!

Aida M - posted on 03/29/2013

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Daniela, it feels that way because your sense of duty and caring for the person or persons involved. I know how challenging it is when you are doing the right thing, see it as a temporary with life lasting impact for the best. I wish someone would have done that for me. It does feel like a while, but everything will be all right.

Daniela - posted on 03/29/2013

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Well i think u should go to family therapy thats the best advise i can give u but i would like some advised i have a problem myself i open myown dcfs case and i know it was the best thing to do but sometimes i feel like i started something i cant finish.

Cathy - posted on 03/28/2013

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Your daughter is very brave strong young lady. You taught her right it shows. May God work thru her to help this young man find help. Hod Bless

L - posted on 03/27/2013

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Hi
I have important info for you. This boy is crying for help. He must be going through a depression. Please have your daughter give the boy this info.
There are criss help phone lines. These numbers are free and confidential.
This boy could take his life if he is not careful. He needs a safety plan. If he is feeling at risk he can call the following numbers. Your daughter can remind him also.
Youthline 1877- Youthline , Crisis Line 1800 273 8255, Covenant House 1800 999 9999, , Suicide prevention 1800 273 8255 , also online suicide hotlines.com and kidshelpphone.ca Your local hospital should have a crsis unit too.You can test these phone numbers to make sure they work in your area?
Please give this list to the school also.

Renee - posted on 03/27/2013

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I think what your doing for your daughter is great and shows how much of a great mother you are. I would do the sane for my daughter. Your daughter also is doing the right thing. Guess she learns from the best! Good luck with everything.

VirginiaLeah - posted on 03/26/2013

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I can speak from experience here in saying he most likely has a difficult time at home, and probably with his peers. From what you and your daughter know of him, he is a good kid. Unfortunately, his parents don't know how to deal with everything that comes with an adolescent. He doesn't want to cut himself, if he did, he would never have said anything to anyone. He cuts himself to relieve emotional pain that he can't get out by talking to people who should be supportive (his parents). Your daughter going to the school counselor should be a great start in getting him the help he needs. They will have to meet with the boy's parents after meeting with his teachers to see if they agree. Hopefully this will make his parents more willing to help him, they might also need some help as well. He definitely needs a good friend. Best of luck, and it's great that you are supporting your daughter in this!

Teresa Ann - posted on 03/26/2013

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Hey Karen,
Sounds like your daughter has taken some really healthy steps...Knowing that cutting is not about someone wanting to take their life eased my fear when my daughter was cutting 8yrs ago. She has since stopped completely it's been 5yrs now. My concern is for your daughter it is a lot to handle for someone who is so young. She is right to encourage him and yes he may get upset but he needs help from the people who know how to help him. What we found out in the end after my daughter did get some counseling was devastating (a family member had been sexually abusing her) but in order for us to stop the abuse and start healing for my precious daughter intervening was key. I am glad to see you are going with her. Praying for you all...

Teresa

Cristina - posted on 03/26/2013

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Hi Karen S,

There is no easy answer to your question, that is for certain. Please don't take my post as a "must do", but just simply as my personal opinion. In no way do I believe that they are the only way to go about this, but only how I would be looking at it if I were placed in this situation myself.

I understand your concern for this young boy, but I also understand your concern for your daughter. Decisions that you make regarding him will certain influence any future decisions your daughter makes. The unfortunate part is that you simply cannot predict exactly how your daughter will react to the decisions.

You are right that your daughter is too young to deal with this heavy burden *ON HER OWN.* He definitely needs professional help and going to the school councilor is an excellent start especially if his parents seem unwilling to seek it out themselves. Those who have posted excusing his actions as simply looking for attention need to realize that going to the extremes of cutting yourself 'simply for attention' is a HUGE cry for help, regardless if it's attention seeking or not! If he feels like he's not getting the attention he wants, then he could potentially decide to try something more drastic which can result in suicide. It is absolutely amazing what they will convince themselves of! "Cutting doesn't seem to get their attention anymore....when they find my cold dead body on the floor, that'll get their attention!" It's not an "ah-ha" moment for them, it's usually anger that drives it.

With that being said, unless you are a trained psychologist/psychiatrist, it's important that you give support at a distance. I personally think it's a fantastic idea for the two of you to go in and discuss this with the councilor at your daughter's school. She needs to feel confident that she's doing the right thing, and that doing the right thing doesn't always mean doing the easiest thing (such as ignoring it, or passing it off as something minor). Hopefully, the councilor will take it seriously and be able to get him the help that he needs....but sometimes even the school councilors are ill-equipped at handling tough cases like this one, therefore, it will be beneficial if your daughter can remain a confidante to him (but ONLY if she can handle it and ONLY if you can provide emotional support to her because she is going to need it!) I also think it's equally important to tell the councilor what the parents' reaction was when he last told them about him cutting himself. They need to know what they're dealing with both with the boy and with this home life. By the father "punishing" his son by saying he can't see your daughter anymore, it sounds as if he's trying to contain the situation and not let it get out publicly. This is the exact mindset that we need to ERASE in society!!!!

I know a lot of people are saying that she's too young to be dealing with this, and while I agree that he needs professional help, I also think that at 15 years old, she's at a crossroad....not quite an adult, but feeling as though she really wants to help. So, let her help....but at a healthy distance. If she feels as though she's trying to cure him, she's too close to the problem. If she feels as though he's weighing her down with his problems, she's too close. If she feels as though she's helpless and stresses over the situation, she's too close to it, if her marks suffer as a direct result of this, she's too close. She will need you to not only remind her that she is strong and courageous for all that she is doing, but that she can't take on too much and to let the professionals do what they need to do. You don't want to set him back in his therapy. Dealt with the right way, this could actually make your daughter an all around stronger person. Freaking out about it won't help him, but caring just the right amount about him and the situation and not overreacting...etc. will certainly help out. You can't shield her from the bad stuff in this world and you really shouldn't try, but you can help guide her through it in the healthiest of ways, by showing love, compassion and support.

Good luck, Karen! Keep us updated on the situation.

Robin - posted on 03/25/2013

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yes the gf is too young to be dealing with this. She should really find someone else to date.

Aida M - posted on 03/25/2013

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It is so sad when parents are so angry instead of understanding that this is a real illness it is not something that you can just turn off and state all is well is a day to day work. I am happy that your daughter has included you in her decisions to seeking some outside assistance I really wish you guys the best. As a parent it is very challenging to be there as a support not a judge. Wishing your family the best :-)

Sarah - posted on 03/25/2013

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I feel she is too young to be dealing with this. I understand that the boy obviously needs help and your daughter is strong for wanting to help, but his parents are probably fed up with it because most kids that do that are only looking for attention. He does need to see a counselor as to find out why he is feeling so insecure but making a big deal about it is only feeding the problem.

Robin - posted on 03/25/2013

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The parents of the boyfriend need help. they seem like they do not care. I have a child like this also. I got her help. I cannot ever give up on my child. The father seems cruel. The boyfriend needs to see a psychologist to get medication. he needs a councilor to deal with his feelings. some people cannot cope with stress. they then cut themselves their coping skills are not like normal people. they cannot cope with things. Then they cut. These teens must take anti depressants. They must go through therapy, They must she a psychologist as soon as they cut. The daughter is doing the right thing to get the school involved. This will force the parents to get him help. Your daughter may be saving her boyfriends life.

Holly - posted on 03/25/2013

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I realize that this is probably an impossible feat, but I would convince your daughter to give up the "relationship" to be friends until he gets the treatment he needs and gets better for a longer period of time. She is too young to have this sort of burden. She does need to tell people who can watch over him. I have known people who attempted suicide. If it were not for the people who put them in a hospital and did not continue to put up with the little cries for help these people would not be here today.
Your daughter does not need to be the one to help and heal this young man. He does not have the capacity to handle the ups and downs of a relationship until he gets help and helps himself.

Aida M - posted on 03/25/2013

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Your daughter is a sweet and kind person, and the values you have taught her is showing on her deep concern for the well being of this boy. The one thing I know as a care taker is that you can not change another human being with a very serious problem and your daughter should not feel she is responsible in any way. Manipulation is one and is a matter of time when the shifting of guilt begins and your daughter will face fear that whatever she does may cause him to become manic. This young man has to want to change himself and if he cares enough for your daughter he would reach out to a professional, being in a relationship may be the very stress that he may not have the ability to deal with (he may not want to accept this for fear). It is not easy to see someone you care hurting themselves, but it is even harder for the emotions you deal with when someone you care begins hurting themselves. I will keep your daughter in prayer, but I counsel you guys to reach for professional assistance, before it gets more serious.

Diane - posted on 03/25/2013

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I didn't originally respond, as I had to think about it. I cut myself as a teen, was later diagnosed bipolar. My daughter cut herself as a teen and as an adult, and is also bipolar. I'm not suggesting this boy has a serious mental disorder, but I'm suggesting he be encouraged to seek out the school psychologist, counselor, whomever, to confide in, and tell them his parents' response. Many many times there are people in the school setting who can put a young boy on the right path, and yes, it may be intervening with his mother to get him counseling. But, if he refuses to get help, you need to have a back up plan in encouraging your child to jump ship. By you getting involved, and encouraging her behavior in this, you are pushing her towards unhealthy relationships, of which she already belongs, absolutely no boundaries, which is evident to me, and her best interests are not being taken care of. Do you want her to always be the care giver in an unhealthy relationship, or, an equal partner whose interests come first, or, 50,50 at best? I'm rather shocked at your willingness to take this on.

Pamela - posted on 03/24/2013

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Seems as though you have already taken the steps necessary to do what you can. Supporting your daughter instead of criticizing is the best thing to do for both of them at this moment.
It is a tough call for her, but when you love someone you want to help as best you can!
The highest and best to all concerned!

Brenda - posted on 03/24/2013

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I agree w/Barbara. There is something wrong in his family dynamic. Plus, kids don't cut for no reason. It's a release for them. The physical pain distracts them and lets out the emotional pain. Something needs to be done. And his father sounds abusive. Punishing your child for cutting himself? That's a cry for help not a behavior to be punished. I'm sorry your daughter is going through this. It's very hard for anyone to see someone they care about hurting themselves much less a teenager. I hope he is able to get the help he needs. As for your daughter, remind her she can't force him to stop. He'll only stop when he decides. And reassure her it's not her fault is he is doing this or if he doesn't get help. She can only do so much.

Samantha - posted on 03/24/2013

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I am now 35 years old, and a mother of two young girls and a step mom to two teenage boys, and I used to be a cutter, as a matter of fact, there have been times where I recessed for a day every six to eight months. It is not because there was ever any dysfunction in my family. Some people cry. Some people binge eat. Others write poetry. I cut. There was no abuse or drug use in my family. No neglect or anything negative. I just went through a bad break up as a kid and found this way to ease my pain and at times, I resort to that to relieve my pain if I happen to be arguing with my husband or parents. I did find therapy in my 20s, began anti-depressants, and it helped me overcome the addiction of cutting. I used to do it every single day. Just to do it. It is a high and it is very addicting. It isn't a cry for help, or a suicidal act. It is a coping mechanism. Sometimes the pain from a cut is easier to deal with that emotional pain from whatever you may be going through. It can be very scary, but it is more common than you think and usually people grow out of it if it isn't too severe (breaking bones, getting stitches, ect.) From what I read, you did the right thing. He is getting help. But know, like any addiction, if he doesn't WANT the help, it won't do him any good. It has to be his decision to stop. Its yours and your daughters decision to continue being in his life.

Anita - posted on 03/24/2013

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You need to report this to a child safety person or the police. A child's safety is more important than anything!!!

Michelle - posted on 03/24/2013

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Definitely go to the school principal/counselor or social worker. He will thank her later in life

Barbara - posted on 03/24/2013

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First of all I commend you as a mother that you have indeed raised a very "in touch, sensitive and mature daughter." Hats off for that. There are several issues going on here. First of all, something obviously is dynamically wrong in his household family makeup. he needs help expressing his pain, not self-damaging behaviors the way he is. His feelings all along have not been acknowledged the way they should have been during his young life and I definitely discredit his parent(s) for that. Shame on his father for his absence in his son's life and he probably needs mental help as well. He's grossly out of touch with his own son, if the boy is his son. If not, that's a whole other ball game issue. Secondly, for your daughter to stay with him, I'm not so sure that's a good idea. He could be set off in some other situation and hurt her. Thirdly, you have GOT to explain this situation to the school officials and if they turn a deaf ear then call the local Social Services and advise them. They can at least give you some advice on how to speak to the parents. Good luck and May God keep you all safe from further harm.

Jody - posted on 03/24/2013

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U definitely need to go with h or else call the lical police. thats abuse if the parents. are not doing anything

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2013

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I myself have cut before. not as bad as some but it gives a relieving feeling of emotional pain. When someone upsets me I feel like doing it. But I have told very few people about it. sounds like yall have a great relationship and yall will be fine. I would tru to help the boy bu the minute it gets to be to much for your daughter I would get her away from him. but if he takes the help and doesntbuse the cutting as a getting his way type of thing then cool.

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2013

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I have encountered this myself. MY 14 year old started seeing this girl that claims she cut since she was 12. Then I caught him cutting. He said he has cut before but I would have noticed Im pretty sure. Anyway later on he told me he did it so she would stop. and they stopped together. its a verdangerous addiction, self mutalation disorder. His father doesnt take ir seriously and says hes just doing it for attention. true or not. needs to be addressed.

Nicole - posted on 03/24/2013

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I can tell you from experience that her doing that will only make him mad most likely and well cause lots of problems. There isn't much anyone can do about it but him. He has to be willing to get help but I doubt that he will want to. You can't force him. It will only make him cut more. I'm sorry that your daughter is worrying about it and is so upset. There is really nothing anyone can do about this.

Jerushah - posted on 03/24/2013

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He is reaching out for help. By telling your daughter he is hoping to find support in getting better. Most people get angry like his dad did and that only makes things worse. Maybe he should go to counseling more often to try to remedy this. I myself am a self harmer and know what it's like to feel like no one cares and no one will help you. There are all kinds of help out there for him. May he and your daughter should work together to find programs listed online where he can go and get help without permission from his family, since they seem to not care very much. It needs to happen before something worse may come of it.

Chanteasea - posted on 03/24/2013

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This is a very serious condition and often means that he is trying to release pain and or frustration. I pray that after you speak with the Guidance Counselor that your daughter gets peace, she might as well need therapy following this incident. I am sad to hear that the parents are exhausted because he still needs their support and is doing this for a reason. I am saddened also that he is not currently in therapy, he really needs to reconnect with his counselor since at one point he did stop cutting himself. He needs to be aware of his triggers and how to handle them going forward, you are doing all that you can from your perspective with your daughter. I would advise you to connect spiritually, praying for peace and patience during this difficult time and may your source guide you on your next steps. I am sorry that I am not a true resource for you right now, I support you and feel your pain from your post. Continue to allow your daughter to cry and share emotions with you because you two obviously have a great relationship for her to come to you in the first place. The only other suggestion would be to speak to his parents but I really do not advise that...just a thought in case you as a parent has a connection with his mother.

Lin - posted on 03/24/2013

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Speaking from experience with one of my daughters , Ime not going into details, She needs to step back and move on and not get involved,, she is very young and sooner or later meet some one else and want to fimish with this boy , but he will use these threats against her . He may never ever do permanent damage to himself but she cannot live alongside that . She is too young, Seems cruel but it will be for the best, He has issues and needs professional help .

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