Do you think he is cutting?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by comatheart, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. comatheart

    comatheart Guest

    I posted recently about my son recently going downhill again. (Grades plummeted, arrested for larceny etc)

    We've also had other issues going on but I never thought they were related, not I'm not so sure. Tell me what you think...

    For several weeks he is constantly in the bathroom. I mean, constantly. My husband and I honestly thought he was how do I put it...pleasuring himself? (too much information, but that's why we didn't say anything to him about it at first!)

    Then he started going through TONS of toilet paper, like a new roll goes on a 6am before he leaves for the school bus and he is getting a new one before bed that evening! So, we took him to the doctor who thought he must be constipated and treated him for it. Then, last week, one of our other boys came to me and said he saw blood in the toilet after difficult child had gotten up. We asked difficult child about it and he said it had been going on a couple weeks. (!!) We went back to the doctor who ran a stool sample. I just got the results and there was NO blood in his stool sample and no bacteria grew either. Which leaves me scratching my head.

    difficult child had an incident a year or 2 back where he was cutting himself. Do you think he could be doing this again only where we can't see. I've seen him shirtless and in shorts and there's no sign of it.

    He is nearly 16, I don't feel comfortable telling him we need to check him for cutting in areas we can't readily see. What do you think? What would you do?
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I posted a while back about my son thinking he got his period....well to be serious here, this has followed years of his having an itching issue (bottom). Sometimes he scratches so much a little blood is there, and he goes thru lots of t.p. He does get constipated at times and maybe more than he tells me, the doctor said that for kids/teens there can be internal hemorroids (sp? ) and even if not little tears can happen which quickly clot off so wouldnt show up in a test. He definately had more blood a couple of times than just from itching. Tests are showing nothing but they know it is something. We just do symptom care for now.

    However, given his other issues and just to be safe(funny I thougth what you thought first, reminded me of a sitcom) ...Instead of checking can you just straight out ask him? We had an issue in my growing up family with bulemia...ended up best thing was to straight up ask. Or would he lie and lie well?

    Hope it is nothing, he has enough on his plate as do you.
  3. comatheart

    comatheart Guest

    He would lie. He's an excellent liar. I just don't know. I guess it won't hurt to try though!
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Have doctor give him a more direct exam. Hemorrhoids, anal fissure, etc., could cause it. And yes, he could be cutting in places you've not seen but the doctor might.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Soles of the feet are a common place to cut.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    I'd take him back to the doctor. Before the appointment tell the doctor you want a detailed check for cutting, and then the doctor can take him in under the pretense of looking for hemorrhoids or anal fissures, etc.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Times have changed. I've known a lot of cutters and been one myself, but that's a new one on me! Upper thighs is a place I've often seen, though.
  8. We have always gone with uber honesty, even though some of the things have been uncomfortable to talk about.
    Have you asked him if he is wanking in the bathroom? Why he is going through so much toilet paper?

    My son has had a lot of masturbation problems, so much so that we have several "affectionate" euphemisms for the deed, which makes talking about it a little easier. Also, when his diet is off, he has bowel issues, so he has spent his fair share of time doing mysterious things in the bathroom. He also doesn't always tell the truth.
    I don't think masturbation is too much information, by the way...our son got compulsive about it and it became quite demystified for us and is no big deal to talk about. We are dealing with teenage boys, here.

    We shoot straight. Ask exactly what we want to know, using logic and setting the conversation up so if he is not truthful and we know it, he knows we will be following up with some checking, searching, no closed door privileges. For a while this included my husband monitoring showers.

    Also, a lot of times it is better man-to-man. My husband is VERY gifted in talking to boys, and also, getting to the bottom of a web of lies. He can crack my son every time these days, with logic, mostly, and his skills are improving with practice.

    Can you -- or better -- your husband -- say something like, "We noticed you are going through a lot of toilet paper and spending a lot of time in the bathroom. We saw the blood and were concerned, but the doctor couldn't find anything wrong. This doesn't make sense, and causes us to think that you are hiding something from us that is getting out of hand. I know this is "awkward turtle" to talk about it, but we have to..." We do use humor a lot, because,well, we would go nuts without it, and it does diffuse super awkward situations.

    Then just ask him. You can say, "I really want you to tell me the truth." And if you don't believe him, something like, " This still doesn't make sense. I am so concerned that we need to check, blah blah blah...especially since you have a history of cutting."

    For me, saying something like "I STILL don't believe you" was hard to start saying, even when I still didn't believe my son. I thought it would somehow hurt his feelings if he WAS telling the truth. I don't care anymore. He knows the consequence for being a chronic liar is that we don't always believe him the first time and he gets extra questioning. No guilt or anger. Just matter of fact.

    I think if he is doing something secretive and bad for himself, then getting it out in the open with take away the "dirty little secret" feeling that can be such a burden, and it becomes just a problem you can help him with because you can talk about it.
    I think problems like masturbation that gets out of hand, cutting, bulimia, and bowel problems (which can be scary if you are dealing with them alone) all fall under this category.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The doctor needs to check him out. For cutting, fissures, other sources of blood. Did the doctor take a urine sample to see if that is wehre the blood came from? Could be from an infection or STD. Sending a PM about another possible cause.
  10. seriously

    seriously New Member

    ***too much information WARNING***

    The doctor needs to look further than a stool sample testing for blood and bacterial infections. If he did not do an actual physical exam including a rectal exam then he needs to do that before physical illness can be ruled out as causing the symptoms.

    In other words, the doctor needs to do a thorough work up unless he finds that your son is indeed cutting and that explains the blood.

    Cutting as an explanation for blood in the toilet seems a stretch to me but with difficult child's you never know.

    I think it is much more likely that your son has a physical health issue that is causing bleeding. Thanks to having a kid with Crohn's Disease I know waaaaaay more about the digestive system and these kinds of issues than I ever wanted to know. Including diagnosis and treatment of serious chronic constipation.

    Constipation is the most likely cause either because it has caused fissures or because he's developed hemorrhoids (internal or external) and they're bleeding. The fissures you get from constipation are really painful, in case you've never had one, and I would think your teen would be willing to admit to pain if he's having it when he goes. But if your son has been constipated for any length of time a single or even week of treatment is not enough to solve that problem. The longer you've been constipated the harder it is to recover because it stretches out your rectum and that doesn't go back to the right size for up to a year. Just so you know in case it definitely is constipation. Typical treatment is adding Miralax to the diet in large quantities on a daily basis. One way of checking for constipation is taking an xray of his gut which will show large amounts of stool. Unless your son is very overweight, the doctor should also be able to tell by feeling his belly.

    Other possible causes of bloody stools that I know of include

    1) a temporary illness like food poisoning but usually there would be other acute symptoms and/or a positive stool culture
    2) irritation of the lower intestinal tract from introduction of foreign objects
    3) more serious diseases like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease)

    I am sure there are other potential causes but these are the most common I believe. Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease are most often first diagnosed in teens and young adults. So I would not dismiss these symptoms out of hand. If the symptoms are continuing or recurring then the doctor really needs to take them more seriously.

    Unfortunately, constipation can be a symptom of Crohn's Disease as happened in my son's case. This delayed his diagnosis by almost a year because the typical presentation is severe diarrhea and weight loss. So if the symptoms persist you may have to insist on a referral to pediatric gastroenterologist for a more thorough work up.

    Hope it's nothing and all's well.