Carving profanity into skin now

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Arttillygirl, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Arttillygirl

    Arttillygirl New Member

    Well the rap boy is back. I am so sad to be here.
    I thought we were on our way up. Things were getting soooo much better. I thought I had my boy back.
    You may remember he was breaking things at my school as a "prank" and trespassed onto an abandoned property and was arrested, and was writing profane rap music and had cut himself.
    Well all that seemed behind us.
    We allowed him to make the decision to leave his private school and attend an early college next year upon the advice of his psychiatrist but now I wonder if that stress is a good idea.
    He quit the nasty music and had a religous experience at church and seemed happier than I had seen him in a long time. We were a very happy family for about 4 months.

    Last night I saw that he carved the f word into his arm. He said he was really angry and was having a bad day-he said a friend did it with a paper clip but I don't believe him, I think he did it himself. He said he is very embarrased.

    Now he has to return to school with bandages I guess. We haven't talked about what's happened this morning. I told him if he damaged himself any more I would remove the door to his bedroom for his own safety. I guess I have to make good today.

    We havent really gotten anywhere with counseling but I guess we have to start again.

    This doesn't follow cutters I don't think. They do this in private places don't they? Not impulsively marring their skin in a place where anyone can see.

    He is on Adderall now and could never tolerate stimulants in the past so I don't know if that's what this is related to or not.

    Any thoughts ladies? I really need help, I don't know where to turn. If feel like these last 2 years are going to set the direction of his life but I don't know what to do. Throwing money at counselors certainly hasn't helped. The church has been awesome. Someone meets with him one on one every week except for these last 2 weeks because of driver's ed.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    You need to talk to his psychiatrist ASAP. I don't think "consequences," such as removing his door,will make any difference. He may not be able to control this behavior, either because his medications are making him worse or his anxiety/depression is causing him to hurt himself (and I think many teens cut themselves on their arms, but some cover it over with clothing).

    Both Adderall and Zoloft (if he's still on it) can cause impulsivity and disinhibition as side effects. It can also make adolescents with mood disorders (if that's what's going on here) much worse. I personally think you need to look at your difficult child's diagnosis and medications very carefully. When was the last time he was evaluated?
  3. Arttillygirl

    Arttillygirl New Member

    He was going 1x every 3 weeks but since he'd done so much better and brought his grades up and seemed so positive we moved it to every 2 months. Boy my pocketbook was going to enjoy that but I guess not.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry. This is tough on parents and families.

    When my difficult child was cutting it was usually on his arm. He often wore wristbands (terry cloth ones) over the marks. He finally quit wearing them at his grandparents' insistence. They needed to know when he was cutting, and the bands hid it.

    I hope you can get in to the psychiatrist ASAP. I also think it is time to re-evaluation things. I know after a few months zoloft made things so much worse. Ohter similar medications have not had that happen.


  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have been a cutter and I always did it on my arms. I know some do it other places but my place was my arm. I didnt carve cusswords into my arm but I do still bear a slight scar with the words "I HATE" on my right arm.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree it is important to have him seen as soon as possible by a psychiatrist. Sending some gentle hugs your way.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    This isn't a punishment issue. This is, "I'm not coping."

    My two cutters - easy child 2/difficult child 2 was secretive but did it on her arms. She covered up. difficult child 1 did it on the back of his hands, his arms etc and would cover it up by drawing on himself with black felt pens. Or not. By the time we saw it, he had done it. There wasn't a lot we could do about it by then.

    I'd be talking to the docs and also asking about the medications and the chance they could be contributing.

  8. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Sorry you are dealing with this. It is so hard when things start to look up to see the situation decline again. I would definitely talk to a psychiatrist and condier losing the adderall. It seems this could be the problem.

    Good luck
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I also think that the point Marg made about htis not being something that punishments have any impact on is crucial for a parent or guardian to get.

    It is very much a signal that the cutter just is not able to cope and needs help. Unfortunately removing the door to his room probably will NOT prevent or stop the cutting.

    I hope that you can find a way to get help for your son. It may be that removing his door makes things worse, as he feels he is being punished. It may be that it helps, as he has less control to worry about. I am not sure which it will be, but wanted to let you know I am thinking of you.

  10. Loving Abbey 2

    Loving Abbey 2 Not really a Newbie

    As a previous cutter myself, I can tell you that until difficult child has some more effective coping skills he will find a way to self-injure (burning, eating d/o, hitting walls/self, etc). It is entirely about coping--it makes you feel real, makes the pain and anger you feel real, and it releases it. That has to be replaced for the cutting to stop. It's also about having some control so taking the door off may make him feel even more out of control. DBT skills training helped me quite a bit. At least for me, it was a cry for help when I thought I didn't want help. And the only times I did it in a visible place and didn't cover it, was when I was really hoping someone would notice and help me. But most of the time when someone saw the cuts and had that horrified, disappointed look on thier face it made me hate myself more and more inclined to cut again. Someone understanding how much pain and anger I was in, was everything.

    Maybe more than you needed to know, but I hope it helps somehow. I am so sorry you and your family are going through this.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I also have to agree punishment won't work and really isn't applicable in this situation.

    Nichole cut everywhere, but mostly arms and legs. She covered it by suddenly wearing long sleeves and avoiding shorts. She sometimes carved words.

    With Nichole we used henna ink and markers to help with the cutting. It worked more than you'd think. (we had nothing to lose) When she wanted to cut, she was instructed to draw on her body instead.

    Still the behavior didn't improve until she became more stable with medications and was helped via therapist with better coping methods such as actually verbalizing how she felt.

    The only thing we did was she knew she was subject to "inspection" at any time. I did it often as it gave me insight into how she was doing. Even now, although she hasn't cut in almost 2 yrs, if I see her wearing long sleeves out of season I ask to see her arms or legs.