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Teenage son is cutting himself

Posted by on Nov. 6, 2013 at 5:59 AM
  • 13 Replies

I have a teenage son who cuts his arms.  He has spent time in a juvenile physiciatric ward for 4 days because of it.  He stopped cutting for 2 weeks and yesterday he cut again. It is not just a few cuts, he probably has over 20 cut marks on his left forearm and 30 or so on his right forearm.  He is in weekly counseling, He is on ADHD medicine and Depression medicine. I am at a loss of what to do anymore. 

by on Nov. 6, 2013 at 5:59 AM
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GleekingOut
by Silver Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 6:54 AM
2 moms liked this

A lot of moms will differ on here for the correct treatments. Moms who WEREN'T cutters or who aren't qualified to deal with this, will say things like "allow him to come to you, don't take away his tools, give him plenty of space" etc. Then you've got the moms (like me) who although may have experience with dealing with cutting -believe  he does need consequences. He is proving to you that he cannot be safe alone, so I would take his door; take his tools and give him different tools - a pillow to scream into, a journal, a punching bag, an elastic around the wrist, things to DISTRACT him from cutting. If he threatens suicide ring 911 and have him admitted. When my daughter was threatning self harm we cut her alone time. She was only allowed 15 minutes twice a day to be alone (besides showering and sleeping). She had to keep the bathroom door unlocked at all times and had no door so we could check on her whenever we needed to. Limit his privacy and alone time - you NEED to keep him safe, but feel loved. Spend plenty of one on one time with him, do stuff that keeps you busy enough so you don't need to look at each other, but you can still TALK to each other. Get dad to do so too. The other big thing with my Daughter (who has aspergers) is I never allowed her to participate in chat rooms for depressed kids. Studies have shown that kids who partake in the chat sites are MORE likely to self harm and become more depressed because of the fact that they are bouncing idea's off each other on how they do it, what they use, where they cut, how to hide it, etc. I also limited her friendship with another mentally ill girl because I knew they would be giving each other "ideas" as such on how to self harm and egging each other's depression on. Tell him even if he needs to wake you up at 3am instead of cutting - to do so.

fantasticfour
by Grumpy on Nov. 6, 2013 at 6:55 AM

 Do you know what is causing the depression or cutting?  Is there a trigger you need to be aware of?  What did the hospital say?   Does his counselor know he's cutting again?

atlmom2
by Susie on Nov. 6, 2013 at 8:36 AM
I have no experience but I agree with this.


Quoting GleekingOut:

A lot of moms will differ on here for the correct treatments. Moms who WEREN'T cutters or who aren't qualified to deal with this, will say things like "allow him to come to you, don't take away his tools, give him plenty of space" etc. Then you've got the moms (like me) who although may have experience with dealing with cutting -believe  he does need consequences. He is proving to you that he cannot be safe alone, so I would take his door; take his tools and give him different tools - a pillow to scream into, a journal, a punching bag, an elastic around the wrist, things to DISTRACT him from cutting. If he threatens suicide ring 911 and have him admitted. When my daughter was threatning self harm we cut her alone time. She was only allowed 15 minutes twice a day to be alone (besides showering and sleeping). She had to keep the bathroom door unlocked at all times and had no door so we could check on her whenever we needed to. Limit his privacy and alone time - you NEED to keep him safe, but feel loved. Spend plenty of one on one time with him, do stuff that keeps you busy enough so you don't need to look at each other, but you can still TALK to each other. Get dad to do so too. The other big thing with my Daughter (who has aspergers) is I never allowed her to participate in chat rooms for depressed kids. Studies have shown that kids who partake in the chat sites are MORE likely to self harm and become more depressed because of the fact that they are bouncing idea's off each other on how they do it, what they use, where they cut, how to hide it, etc. I also limited her friendship with another mentally ill girl because I knew they would be giving each other "ideas" as such on how to self harm and egging each other's depression on. Tell him even if he needs to wake you up at 3am instead of cutting - to do so.


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02nana07
by Ida on Nov. 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM

group hug I have no advice since I haven't dealt with this but hope you find answers soon 

amonkeymom
by on Nov. 6, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Have you tried family therapy in order to find ways of supporting your son?  

Also, it might be time to have your son reevaluated to see if ADHD and depression are really the issues at hand.  It might be something else going on (other than or in addition to) that is causing him to feel the need to self-harm.

(((hug)))

justbereal
by Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 2:02 PM
My daughter cut for a short time bc of bullying. It broke my heart.
romalove
by Member on Nov. 6, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Did you call his psychiatrist?  They need to know immediately and not wait for a weekly session if he is behaving that way.

I have a daughter who did some cutting, but was also severely depressed.  I have found the anti-depressants work wonders for her, but they had to adjust the dosage twice to find what works.  Your son may need adjustment to dosage, and he certainly needs intervention from self-harming behavior.

Hugs to you, this is one of the most horrible things to deal with, to watch your child try and hurt themself.

Apgsteenmommy
by on Nov. 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

 I am sorry :( I did this for years :(( give him your love and support

does he have meds or a therapist?

doxie64
by on Nov. 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM
So very sorry for what you're going through...I can't imagine how difficult that must be to see your child in so much pain, but not know how to help him. Praying your get some resolution soon!
Jessiejack
by Silver Member on Nov. 8, 2013 at 9:12 PM

Look in your area and see if you have whats called wraparound services or communityservice agency. They can help you get the right services for your son. I work for our local agency and have more than 12 families on my case load of 20 that cut. Know you and him are not alone. Look for local support groups at a local hospital for him and one for yourself. If you need to talk feel free to PM me. I am also a mom of a child with server emotional disturbance or mental health.

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