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Teenage son gouging, clawing face until bloody

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Old 07-08-2008, 01:47 PM   #1
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Teenage son gouging, clawing face until bloody

Help! My son is 17. Just last week, after an argument with his girlfriend, he clawed his face, neck and chest to the point of drawing blood. He looked like Iggy Pop.... It broke my heart. This is the second time he has done this... only the first time he hid the marks and would not tell me what happened. I know this is from stress, and not knowing how to handle his emotions. I am having him talk to a doctor next week.

He has had Crohn's disease for several years now, and just had surgery in March. Physically, he is improving, but he had to drop out of high school due to his illness. He plans to get his GED and do web design. He has spent a lot of time alone, except for his online friends. He is highly intelligent and a talented musician. He has become increasingly antisocial, though, and now that he is able to get out some, he acts uninterested. He tried Lexapro once before and claimed it didn't help. Since he has been sick so long, he is reluctant to trust doctors, medications and hates taking pills.

Does anyone have any experience with this? He has not cut himself, but drawing blood with your fingernails doesn't seem that much different. Any opinions, suggestions or comments will be appreciated.

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Old 07-11-2008, 05:19 AM   #2
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Re: Teenage son gouging, clawing face until bloody

Hello B,

I believe that you are doing the right thing by having him see a doctor.

If the physician feels that a therapist is warranted at that point, I believe it will be advised.

Lexapro is but one prescription medication; there are many to choose from.

Unfortunately, no one has a way of knowing which one will will bring him the desired results he is looking for.

I am taking a multitude of medications myself; not because I want to but because it is necessary. Sometimes we have to do things that we detest in order to see progress.

Respectfully stated,


Old 08-23-2008, 02:47 PM   #3
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Re: Teenage son gouging, clawing face until bloody

I definitely believe this is a problem associated with SI, for I have done this myself when I was very young but was more out of anger and frustration than anything else. It is a lot like cutting but I found my cutting was more from sadness and other depressive issues and things like scratching myself and hitting myself leaned more towards an anger management issue than anything else.

Counseling may be just what he needs but I find that most of the time the type of counseling needed does not come from Doctors but from someone closer to the age range of the person in question and from someone who can relate to them most, personally. When I was a teenager there was a rec. center in my neighborhood that held a teen counseling group where the teenagers were all assigned another "close to teenage" person that related most to their personal lives. I am sure that there are a lot of places to find help that is along the same lines.

My Brother was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder w/ psychotic episodes when he was 16 and through netcare was assigned a caseworker that was close to his age that picked him up twice a week, they went shopping, to lunch, to games and spent a lot of time talking and it seemed almost a cure all for him at the time. Maybe there is a program like that where you live.

Also, on the medication note, it can be a long process for some people to find a medication that works well with them and then sometimes it's just that they don't need medication. To determine both sides of that, meeting with a psychologist for a psychological evaluation would be best suited.

Hopefully for his sake they will find that he does not need medication and just needs some emotional management.

Good Luck and God Bless.

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