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DS14 school called to say his friends think he might be self harming(10 Posts)
Sorry if this is long.
The head of year 9 at DS school called me to say she'd had a long chat with DS this afternoon. Apparently 2 of his friends, a boy and a girl, had been to see her as they were worried about him and they mentioned self harm.
The yr head then called him in to make sure he was ok. He said nothing was specifically bothering him but he just felt a bit low. He told her definitely hadn't self harmed and hadn't thought about it.
She pressed him about it - asked about school work, homelife etc but he insisted there was nothing specific bothering him. I guess because he was feeling sensitive about the whole situation, he cried a bit at that point.
She called me and told me about it all. I told her I had gone through depression at his age and would keep an eye on him to see if he was showing signs. She couldn't tell me which friends had been to see her of course.
She seemed like she was doing her best to help and has left it with me to decide what to do, leaving her number if I need to ask for any support.
DS usually no problem speaking to me and his dad when he feels bad about something. Also his friends seem really nice and he says he can talk to them. He split up with his girlfriend a month ago and was able to talk through what he felt about that with me and with his friends.
We had a big hug when he got home from school and he cried a bit more.
We had a chat about his mood and he confirmed its nothing specific, just feeling down. He has seemed low lately but I put it down to hormones and tiredness. I am inclined to believe him and I feel sure he hasn't self harmed - we went swimming yesterday and he had no marks that I could see plus he seemed really sincere when he said he hadn't.
I am wondering a couple of things. Should he go to the GP? I am thinking not yet but keep.an eye on him. Would anyone here take him anyway? What would they do?
The other thing is - why would his friends think he is at risk of self harm or worse?
Why? He might have said something that left them worried he would. He obviously do not want to talk at this point and may be still feeling very though about the break up but without knowing what he said to his friends, it is impossible to decide whether you should be taking him to the doctor now.
It is concerning that self harm was mentioned, personally I think it would be beneficial to talk to the GP. Depression in teenagers is becoming all the more common and its best to try and nip things in the bud before things get to bad. It's always better to be safe than sorry. I hope that everything improves for you lad. X
Op just found out my ds 13 self harming. Took me a while to figure out and he denied. My dm caught him out.
I’ve called nspcc and they advised I go to see GP for advice. I will.
The one thing I gleaned from trying to get ds to talk is that self harm gave him ‘relief’. ☹️. I’m none the wiser - still don’t know what’s going on but I’m taking advice.
Best of everything to you both.
Even if he isn't self harming it probably wouldn't do any harm to take him to see the GP and they can assess his mood and decide if any treatment is needed.
Trying to hold an ice cube gives you the same feeling as self harming.
I wouldn’t see the GP. (Teenagers and antidepressants are a very dangerous combination)
I would (and I have) find him a private therapist / counsellor to talk to.
It's interesting that the information has come from his friends. Normally the kids know well before we do (I'm a teacher with a MH remit and a parent of a self harming teen). If he has said he's not then I wouldn't push it. And if he has been swimming then unless he's cutting his inner thigh or hips then a recent cut would have been obvious. That said, I don't always see my daughter's cuts for a few days. At the moment take him at his word and do a little bit of private research about how to support him and local counsellors. Don't take him to the GP just now because they won't do anything for him until he is worthy of a CAMHS referral or is very depressed.
Thanks for your support and big hugs to the people who are parents of teens going through this. I was in bits after the teacher phoned so I can't imagine what you're feeling.
On the plus side DS seemed cheerful this evening - more so than he has for a week at least. Maybe the chat with the teacher helped. I will definitely keep an eye on him and read everything I can find on the subject.
I will keep counselling in mind if he gets worse. He can always talk to me or DH and the school has a counsellor on staff I can call for advice too.