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10 Sep 2011

Teen cuts
I have picked up that my 15year old son is depressed and took him to see a psychologist and later learned that he has been cutting himself. He has been for 2 sessions and the therapist does agree that he is clinically depressed and that he hasn''t cut in a while (although she never told me about the cutting, I found out by myself). I asked why she didn''t tell me about the cutting and she said that she didn''t want to lose his trust. She wants to see him again instead of referring him to a psychiatrist but my son doesn''t want to go back to her or see anyone. What should I do as I am scared that he might be suicidal.
Answer 335 views

01 Jan 0001

Self-Cutting is a curious behaviour ( years ago I did some fairly major research into it ), which causes alarm and confusion. It is obviously related to, but isn't the same as, suicide. But its an awfully economical way to hugely alarm other people while expressing complex inner feelings. It usually isn't about seeking to die. Its often done secretly, and the person may choose long-sleeved garments to avoid having to explain the wounds.
I would expect with a boy of 15 who is significantly depressed, that it would be wise to seek the opinion of a child psychiatrist to consider whether medication would be adviseable in trying to help the depression. Psychotherapy, especially of the Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy mode (CBT ) would be helpful for the depression and to help him learn alternative ways of expressing strong emotions without self-damage.
Continue talking with your son, making it clear that you love him and that you're concerned that he seems so distressed, and would like him to find help. Explore, if you can, why he doesn't want to return to see the psychologist - is this primarily about not wanting to talk about it or not to receive treatment from anyone, or is there some aspect of seeing her that has upset him such that he doesnt want to see HER again ?
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