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13 year old boy cutting himself

jeannemarjeannemar 360 replies27 threads Member
I just got a call from the middle school counselor that S2 was referred to her by other kids after a suicide prevention talk and he has been cutting himself! DH is on the way down to the school right now to speak with her. He hangs around with a little group of girls and got in trouble with us for going off with them after school instead of staying for study group. I asked the counselor if these other kids were girls and she said yes. I am anxious to hear how the talk went with DH!
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Replies to: 13 year old boy cutting himself

  • mominvamominva 3065 replies36 threads Senior Member
    If you verify that he has been cutting himself (has scars on him), please take him for an immediate pediatric mental health evaluation.
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  • jeannemarjeannemar 360 replies27 threads Member
    Yes we will call the pediatrician right away. He has been taking Vyvanse for about a year which has some of this type side effect listed.
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  • Emaheevul07Emaheevul07 5890 replies76 threads Senior Member
    I would take this very seriously and follow through with having him checked out by his doctors immediately, but don't panic. Not every middle schooler that does this is suicidal or even seriously depressed, it is a common attention seeking phase with this age group. Regardless of why he is doing it, you do need to take it seriously, because you just don't know and this isn't something to take chances with. The girls that told on him did a very difficult thing at that age and really did your S a favor, now you can get to the bottom of it.

    Be aware, he may be cutting in places where you won't look to see it.
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  • sseamomsseamom 4880 replies25 threads Senior Member
    My D went to the counselor at school last year to express concern for a friend who was cutting. It was very hard for her to do, but her friend's parents were grateful that they could get their D help. The girl was cutting because she was being pressured at home to be a super-high achiever.As the year wrapped up, the girl was no longer cutting, but has switched schools so D doesn't know how she is doing. Ironically, she was moved because it wasn't a high-achieving enough school for her parents' taste. I still worry for that girl.

    OP, sounds like you're going in the right direction. I agree with ema-the reason D found that her friend was cutting was that she wore shorts that rode up higher than the girl expected and revealed the scars.Otherwise no one would have noticed.
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  • jeannemarjeannemar 360 replies27 threads Member
    Just spoke with DH, S and the girls were all cutting. It's on his stomach, so no, we would not notice it.We will call Drs office and also youth minister at church to start. We have pastoral counselor on staff at church, too.
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  • TempeMomTempeMom 2970 replies25 threads Senior Member
    My daughter also has a friend going through this and she, after many tears and restless nights, told too. I also worry for the girl. She too had switched from arms to thighs. And apparently watches some youtube or instagram thing on cutting. So difficult.

    My prayers to you and your family.
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  • DiaphanousDollDiaphanousDoll 110 replies11 threads Junior Member
    edited April 2014
    In all honesty, I went through a period of cutting when I was younger. I was having frequent panic attacks and, as unhealthy as it was, that was my coping mechanism for over a year.

    As somebody who has been through it, don't immediately dismiss this as a mere cry for attention. It's a good thing that you're calling the pediatrician, and if you find out that this is an emotional or mental health problem, offer therapy. Some parts of society may say otherwise, but there is absolutely no shame in it.
    edited April 2014
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  • MondutMondut 188 replies4 threads Junior Member
    jeannemar you say your son has been taking Vyvanse for about a year - was he thoroughly evaluated for possible learning disabilities (such as dyslexia) prior to being diagnosed ADHD?

    The reason I ask is that learning disabilities can easily be mistaken/misdiagnosed as ADHD, and of course medication will not help in those situations, which could then lead to a child's declining self-esteem, self-harm, etc.

    Also, DSM criteria for ADHD says that symptoms are evident as early as 2 or 3 years of age, so at 12 your son seems to have been diagnosed rather late.

    I urge you to get a thorough psychoeducational evaluation by your school district, if it hasn't been done already.
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  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 6656 replies141 threads Senior Member
    Take him to the pediatrician FIRST. Do not take him to the youth minister or the pastor first. What type of church is this?
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  • PhotoOpPhotoOp 1181 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Been there - done that - ministers and other clergy are really not trained to deal with this. It is a psychiatric-medical issue, not spiritual, no matter what church you go to. Hopefully it is a just a medication side-effect. I wish you the best.
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  • missypiemissypie 17982 replies503 threads Senior Member
    Hugs to you. My D cuts. She says she wishes she had never done it the first time because it is very addictive.
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  • jeannemarjeannemar 360 replies27 threads Member
    The school suggested counseling, I thought of the meds first. The Dr is a long time friend and did not wait to push the ADHD agenda but we did start meds last year. We might check on the LD issue though, as he struggles a lot with writing and is also a very poor music reader.
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16636 replies66 threads Senior Member
    Agree this is not a "minister/pastoral" thing - fine for you to have your son talk to them, but cutting is not normal...not on any level, it is a psychiatric-medical issue and you need to get him into counseling ASAP. Either get a referral or schedule directly if your insurance allows it with a qualified counselor. Some one who treats adolescents should also be able to sort hart the "self-harm" issues of cutting and the ADHD and work with whomever is prescribing drugs for the ADHD. Good luck.
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  • moonchildmoonchild 3266 replies30 threads Senior Member
    "...and is also a very poor music reader. "

    Sometimes kids experience pressures that aren't academic at all, but related to family (or self) expectations in other areas.
    Do you have a very musical family where perhaps this son is less gifted? Sometimes if families are oriented toward music, or athletics, or whatever, the child who doesn't fit the mold can have a crisis of confidence in general.
    I obviously don't know your child or your family , but I did want to point out that our kids can be bothered by things that we would never expect. That's what so great about finding a good, compatible therapist. They can often find the root of the trouble and the family has a chance to repair it.
    Best of luck to you. You must be heartbroken for your boy.
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  • jeannemarjeannemar 360 replies27 threads Member
    Re the music reading, we have not pushed music but S decided he wanted to play the violin and has taken lessons for 4 years. His teacher is very kind but has gotten on his case about sight reading because she wants him to be ready to play in high school. I think S and DH and I have a lot to talk about.
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  • limabeanslimabeans 4649 replies105 threads Senior Member
    My heart goes out to you! My son was quite involved with a young girl who resorted to cutting. It's scary to think that it's addictive if it's not your inclination in the first place. If it had to happen, I'm glad it's now. 8th grade is much better than later. You sure want this resolved when he's selecting colleges. Around here, it's not unusual to see a psychiatrist/psychologist for ongoing support.

    It's not unusual for boys in particular to dislike writing; there's a lot involved (message, word choice, vocabulary, handwriting, spelling, etc.) I wish it wasn't true, but boys in general prefer other more 'active' subjects like hands-on science compared to girls. There's a recent article about boys' readiness skills compared to girls in Tuesday's NYTimes. (Search Fidgety boys) Reading music sounds like he's creating his own pressures since that's a very specific skill.
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  • missypiemissypie 17982 replies503 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2014
    D's therapist recommended this book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Helping-Teens-Who-Cut-Understanding/dp/1593854269/ref=sr_1_17?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398895622&sr=1-17&keywords=cutting

    I would recommend it, although there is a whole lot to take in. What it makes clear is that there are different reasons for cutting...somekids are suicidal; many are not. Some want to just "feel something."

    edited April 2014
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  • jeannemarjeannemar 360 replies27 threads Member
    Thanks for all the info and support! He is leaving on a school trip tomorrow - I'm glad none of "the girls" are going.
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  • katliamomkatliamom 12851 replies169 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2014
    My son went through a cutting phase at a time when he suffered a nervous breakdown. Once he got better, the cutting stopped, even though some of his other issues remained. That's my way of saying to OP that while cutting can be a sign of trouble, it can "go away" as you're addressing the underlying causes. Hugs. It's scary, I know.
    edited April 2014
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16636 replies66 threads Senior Member
    ^^
    cutting can be a sign of trouble
    ....I would think it IS a sign of trouble. Well adjusted people don't cut themselves....
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