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Want to start a startup? Get funded by Y Combinator. January To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We've got it down to four words: Doing what you love is complicated. The very idea is foreign to what most of us learn as kids. When I was a kid, it seemed as if work and fun were opposites by definition. Life had two states: Occasionally the things adults made you do were fun, just as, occasionally, playing wasn't—for example, if you fell and hurt yourself.
But except for these few anomalous cases, work was pretty much defined as not-fun. And it did not seem to be an accident. School, it was implied, was tedious because it was preparation for grownup work. The world then was divided into two groups, grownups and kids.
Grownups, like some kind of cursed race, had to work. Kids didn't, but they did have to go to school, which was a dilute version of work meant to prepare us for the real thing. Much as we disliked school, the grownups all agreed that grownup work was worse, and that we had it easy. Teachers in particular all seemed to believe implicitly that work was not fun.
Which is not surprising: Why did we have to memorize state capitals instead of playing dodgeball? For the same reason they had to watch over a bunch of kids instead of lying on a beach. You couldn't just do what you wanted. I'm not saying we should let little kids do whatever they want. They may have to be made to work on certain things. But if we make kids work on dull stuff, it might be wise to tell them that tediousness is not the defining quality of work, and indeed that the reason they have to work on dull stuff now is so they can work on more interesting stuff later.
I remember that precisely because it seemed so anomalous. It was like being told to use dry water. Whatever I thought he meant, I didn't think he meant work could literally be fun—fun like playing. It took me years to grasp that. Jobs By high school, the prospect of an actual job was on the horizon.
Adults would sometimes come to speak to us about their work, or we would go to see them at work. It was always understood that they enjoyed what they did.
In retrospect I think one may have: But I don't think the bank manager really did. The main reason they all acted as if they enjoyed their work was presumably the upper-middle class convention that you're supposed to.
It would not merely be bad for your career to say that you despised your job, but a social faux-pas. Why is it conventional to pretend to like what you do?
The first sentence of this essay explains that. If you have to like something to do it well, then the most successful people will all like what they do. That's where the upper-middle class tradition comes from. Just as houses all over America are full of chairs that are, without the owners even knowing it, nth-degree imitations of chairs designed years ago for French kings, conventional attitudes about work are, without the owners even knowing it, nth-degree imitations of the attitudes of people who've done great things.
What a recipe for alienation. By the time they reach an age to think about what they'd like to do, most kids have been thoroughly misled about the idea of loving one's work. School has trained them to regard work as an unpleasant duty. Having a job is said to be even more onerous than schoolwork.
And yet all the adults claim to like what they do. You can't blame kids for thinking "I am not like these people; I am not suited to this world. The most dangerous liars can be the kids' own parents. If you take a boring job to give your family a high standard of living, as so many people do, you risk infecting your kids with the idea that work is boring. A parent who set an example of loving their work might help their kids more than an expensive house.
Then the important question became not how to make money, but what to work on. Ideally these coincided, but some spectacular boundary cases like Einstein in the patent office proved they weren't identical.
The definition of work was now to make some original contribution to the world, and in the process not to starve. But after the habit of so many years my idea of work still included a large component of pain. Work still seemed to require discipline, because only hard problems yielded grand results, and hard problems couldn't literally be fun.
Surely one had to force oneself to work on them. If you think something's supposed to hurt, you're less likely to notice if you're doing it wrong. That about sums up my experience of graduate school. Bounds How much are you supposed to like what you do? Unless you know that, you don't know when to stop searching. And if, like most people, you underestimate it, you'll tend to stop searching too early. You'll end up doing something chosen for you by your parents, or the desire to make money, or prestige—or sheer inertia.
Here's an upper bound: Do what you love doesn't mean, do what you would like to do most this second. Even Einstein probably had moments when he wanted to have a cup of coffee, but told himself he ought to finish what he was working on first.
It used to perplex me when I read about people who liked what they did so much that there was nothing they'd rather do. There didn't seem to be any sort of work I liked that much. If I had a choice of a spending the next hour working on something or b be teleported to Rome and spend the next hour wandering about, was there any sort of work I'd prefer? But the fact is, almost anyone would rather, at any given moment, float about in the Carribbean, or have sex, or eat some delicious food, than work on hard problems.
The rule about doing what you love assumes a certain length of time. It doesn't mean, do what will make you happiest this second, but what will make you happiest over some longer period, like a week or a month. Unproductive pleasures pall eventually. After a while you get tired of lying on the beach. If you want to stay happy, you have to do something.
As a lower bound, you have to like your work more than any unproductive pleasure. You have to like what you do enough that the concept of "spare time" seems mistaken. Which is not to say you have to spend all your time working. You can only work so much before you get tired and start to screw up. Then you want to do something else—even something mindless.
But you don't regard this time as the prize and the time you spend working as the pain you endure to earn it. I put the lower bound there for practical reasons. If your work is not your favorite thing to do, you'll have terrible problems with procrastination.
You'll have to force yourself to work, and when you resort to that the results are distinctly inferior. To be happy I think you have to be doing something you not only enjoy, but admire. You have to be able to say, at the end, wow, that's pretty cool. This doesn't mean you have to make something. If you learn how to hang glide, or to speak a foreign language fluently, that will be enough to make you say, for a while at least, wow, that's pretty cool. What there has to be is a test. So one thing that falls just short of the standard, I think, is reading books.
Except for some books in math and the hard sciences, there's no test of how well you've read a book, and that's why merely reading books doesn't quite feel like work. You have to do something with what you've read to feel productive. I think the best test is one Gino Lee taught me: But it probably wouldn't start to work properly till about age 22, because most people haven't had a big enough sample to pick friends from before then.
Sirens What you should not do, I think, is worry about the opinion of anyone beyond your friends. You shouldn't worry about prestige. Prestige is the opinion of the rest of the world. When you can ask the opinions of people whose judgement you respect, what does it add to consider the opinions of people you don't even know? It's hard to follow, especially when you're young.
It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you'd like to like.
Having him promise you that he will talk to you about his feelings before any more self-harm behaviors is a good plan and part of the solution. The suicide hotline might better guide you in real-time and with direct feedback about assessing the current danger levels, possible methods he might think about and how to minimize those risks. Also, keep in mind that suicidal behaviors can have a level of anger in them i.
This may be unconscious, but a good relationship with a counselor is certainly a great idea in the very near term. Thank you for your speedy reply. I will be sleeping nearby him as he seems off again tonight and will follow your advice about the hotline.
He is so sad and these emotions are new to him; he feels rejected and it is a feeling he cannot handle on his own. Thank you for your advice…I will do whatever it takes to make sure he is safe…. Hello Bruce, Your website is a blessing and you should be proud of your words of advice and insight that comfort those who seek them. My 17 year old son told me yesterday that he thinks of suicide often this past month especially.
He is a good kid, sensitive, smart, good-looking kid. I think he goes out with her only for something to do. Last month he made a stupid mistake and got thrown off his Lacrosse team.
The punishment was severe but he did something against the rules and there is a zero-tolerance policy. He loved being on that team and being a crucial part of it.
Yesterday he had a huge fight with his girlfriend because he wanted to go to practice but she wanted him to be with her. He went over her house and yelled at her inappropriately and went to practice.
I told him he was wrong to yell at her and that it was abusive. He went hysterical on me and started to tell me about his suicidal thoughts. We are meeting with his Pediatrician today but I am nervous that they will want to send him to a hospital or put him on a prescription. I want him to get the help he needs, but sometimes I feel the solutions add to the feeling of being different for the lack of a better word.
I checked on him all night and he slept soundly. I afraid to talk it over with someone because unfortunately the stigma of mental health issues still prevails. Believe it or not, Coaches, teachers are afraid of this subject and cannot help but judge, even though they are sympathetic. In a year from now he will be going off to college and that will only be more pressures and feelings of inadequacy. Should I try to discourage going to college maybe put it off a year?
Continue the process for college and see where his emotional state is in Spring? Thank you for your kind words. Let me begin with expressing my empathy and compassion for you and your son. You are both suffering at the moment and thus you both need understanding and support even more than advice.
Some of the concerns you raise have to do with the societal context in which our children, and we parents, try to find support and a path and I think we can only do our best and, perhaps, later discover that we were not alone in our perceived loneliness and dread of being losers. You present an interesting picture of a boy who has drama and powerful attachments with single women you, then his girlfriend but struggles to have true friends rather than just be parts of a team.
Perhaps your son is in the midst of this painful lesson? With college a year away he is smart enough to begin panicking ahead of time about separating from you and his girlfriend ; you too probably have mixed feelings about preparing to let him launch we all do as parents. On top of this the college application process is all about rejection and fear in the minds of many scared high schoolers again, not much evidence of team in all this, more like every kid for himself or herself, resulting in a feeling of every kid BY himself or herself.
I mention all this because if you can accurately understand what you son is feeling it may contribute to his feeling safer and more connected. I did not lead with remarks on safety as you are already doing the key things to keep him safe. The book is hundreds of pages and thus a better format than a response to a comment on a blog in which to deeply address the nuances of your concerns.
My hope in my writing is that I might arm parents with deep understanding, and even a chance to grow and heal in their own rights through the process of parenting. My ultimate aim is to participate in positive social change by helping support parents and kids even earlier in the parenting cycle pregnancy and first years to establish greater safety and security all around. Your son is not alone, you are not alone—and that you think you are or feel that you are is both a tragedy and an opportunity.
Our pain and concern and love for our children bring us together. Give your boy hugs and try to understand life as he experiences it. Keep his safety as the top priority and get him through this. If you learn something new that other parents can use, report back and share that with whoever may later come across the threads of this conversation. Thank you for your kind words and advice.
My hope is that my son and I get through this stronger and wiser. I will keep you posted on his and my progress. She is only 9. We are always expressing a sort of emotional truth, and while you want her to know how important she is to you, she wants you to know how she feels alone, in pain, etc.
Still, you must take all talk of self-harm seriously. My four year old son has recently been saying and doing things at daycare that has raised our concerns. It started with him holding a plastic knife to a babydolls head acting out the motions of stabbing the doll, they asked him what he was doing and he told him he was killing Katelyn which is his sister.
Then he said he wanted to kill himself because his mommy is mean to him. Also they told me he drew a cat then scribbled aggressively on the cat, they asked him why he did that, he said he did not like the cat. They believe he needs to see someone because he is angree. He was our only child then we had twins. At home we do not see this behavior, it seems to only be when he is at daycare. I asked him what killing means and why he says that, he explained to me they are not his best friend.
I know he does not know what it means to die…… I am not sure if he needs help or if he is playing. I do not want to make a big deal if I do not need to. Then again I do not want to miss an opportunity to help him if he needs help…..!!! He says everything is his knife…not sure if this is just his imagination or if this means something for a 4 year old?????
Perhaps the Daycare can recommend a therapist for you to meet with and evaluate the situation more carefully. While your boy may just be acting out his feelings, those feelings are scaring him and thus he is scaring the folks at the daycare, who just want to be sure that he, and the other children too, are safe. Knives can be used to hurt, but they also can be used to cut one thing from another like an umbilical cord. To individuate is to become our own person, and we practice doing this at varying levels throughout our lives; yet our individuation allows us to connect with everyone sort of like all the cells in the body are unique cells, but they comprise one body.
The reason I might suggest a therapist for yourself is to take a deeper look about any unresolved hurt, trauma or anger that you may carry, particularly related to the period of life when you were in preschool.
As the post above emphasizes, you must take this sort of thing seriously and put safety above all else. But if after you do that it turns out that your boy simply needs help managing his aggressive and hurt feelings then perhaps a safe space and way for him to do that will help.
That makes you want the babies and the bad feelings to just go away. Something like that may help your child feel validated and understood, which might make him feel more loved, which might make him feel less alone, hurt, angry or destructive. We are all very interested in fairness, but especially at preschool age. Conversely he could feel resentful at school perhaps some struggles with social relating? My nearly 16 year old daughter continually writes on her Facebook to her friends that she has tried to commit suicide taking pills but that a friend found her and this friend again told me and she was saved.
This is a total lie as it has never happened. Why does she tell such lies to 15 year old girls? I really find it worrying and not at all a nice thing to lie about. She has also been cutting herself on a few occasions. Why is she writing all those lies? What does it mean? Hope you can help me as it depresses me reading it. I am sorry that your daughter, and you, are suffering like this. Given that a lot of suicide, particularly with young people, is impulsive action, often mis-calculation, we still have to take these signs seriously.
Speaking to the school counselor, or private counselor, would be appropriate because even if her behavior is attention seeking we want to help her feel safe, seen, loved and understood so she can grow, enjoy her life and contribute to the group.
Finally, you could check out chapter 7 of my book http: My 15 year daughter is acting with two different personalities and does not accept help at all, whether it is an advice or professional help. She says she doesnt have a problem, that the problem is me. I recently found a blog she has been writing that focuses on suicide, and she says she will kill herself on the day she was given life which is next Monday. I shared the blog with my pastor… but do not know what to do.
When she found out I learned about her suicidal writings, she almost hit me on the face and will not accept any help —much less professional— I am desperate. What can I do? Your girl sounds very unhappy and it is hard to know if she is attention seeking or crying out for help even if she pushes that help away when offered. Sometimes such a confusing presentation is an indicator of the person who sends the mixed messages feeling confused themselves—wanting privacy and wanting attention; wanting to be protected and wanting to hurt themselves; wanting to blame others and feeling ashamed and responsible inside themselves.
Her being angry at you is unpleasant, but you are trying to keep her safe and that has to be the top priority. Posting on-line that she plans to kill herself needs to be taken as if that is her intention. If she is serious, then she needs help to stay safe and the suicide hotlines can guide you through this.
If she is attention seeking, then she needs to learn how to get positive attention in more adaptive and healthy ways. Finally, it would be a good idea to seek support for yourself so that you can reach your daughter and establish better communication and a better relationship. But we end where we start: Better to err on the side of caution, and that means having her evaluated before next Monday so there is a plan in place to get her through this crisis.
If she imagines dying on her birthday, she is certainly in a lot of pain and associates her life with pain. I hope these ideas help, but most of all I hope that your daughter will remain safe and that you might find hands-on tangible support in your community to assist you in this very essential, scary and important task. In a blog such as this I can only support and encourage you to take action.
Keep reaching out, keep telling the people in your community who have the skills to deal with this. My son was going to kill himself, he was in the middle of an attempt I called the suicide hotline but they were being extremely rude. They did not do anything to help, all they did was try to ask for our last name! Anyway, I still am a bit offended by how the suicide hotline behaved. You might call a different hotline to have a back-up option for the future, perhaps someone who seems more understanding of your situation.
Beyond that your son is in pain and needs some sort of help to find better ways to deal. Ask your friends, the local university, school… whoever you can trust about counseling options in your area, again, not waiting for the crisis to rise again to hear the message that your kid needs some tools to better manage whatever it is that has him so down. Finally, next time you can call the police or , they will certainly want, or have from the phone line, your last name, but if your child is in mortal danger privacy is less important than safety.
This is such a painful place, and so many kids are in it. He sees a psychiatrist and is also in counseling. He writes dark poetry, wears black most of the time and has died his hair black.
He is obsessed with death and blood. I am so afraid he will harm himself. He does willingly go to his sessions and his doctors say he is very cooperative and forthcoming with information. I still fear everyday that he will harm himself.
He takes Lexapro for depression and Nortriptyline to help him sleep. He sometimes stays awake for days at a time. He is failing in school, will not do chores and has a very negative attitude. The only thing that makes him feel good is when he can help a friend with a problem.
He suffers when his friends are in a bad way. How can I help him more? Am I doing all i can? In some strange way I can relate to your son, feeling as if once upon a time I was that boy; and I can relate to you and your anguish when someone you love so much suffers so terribly and you feel powerless to help him. This task, of truly hearing and seeing to the soul of each other, and of nature, and of ancestors, and of actually caring about those who will come after us, while also living life fully, joyfully, with love and a sense of what matters… this seems a task we parents might gather around.
Our pain, our fear, our loneliness is part of our nature… it drives us to attach, to connect, to love and to form relationships. Perhaps it would serve you to deeply contemplate the feeling not so much the lifestyle that you most desire—probably a combination of truly safe and truly understood, loved, self-expressed and engage in life as a gift.
Some say we cannot be happier than our least happy child; but what if the son or daughter has much struggle being any happier than their least happy parent? The ability to feel just terrible and survive also brings the ability to feel truly fantastic and not get nutty about it. My daughter is 18 years old and suicidal. We have done everything possible to help. I have even started going to therapy to deal with the situation.
I nearly suffered a stroke already over this and my marriage soon will be failing over this. I have put my children first through every situation. My daughter has already been admitted twice in the past four years to an adolescent ward for a week to try to get help. She is a good child but does not want to feel any sort of pain which is driving her to this suicidal situation which is been one of the worst. She is worried about me having a stroke at this point.
My last resort now is Toughlove, what do you think about that please help me. I have had police at the house to try to help I take it to the police to try to help. She refuse the adult ward and here we are still not knowing what to do and living in pure fear. Firstly, let me say how sorry I am that both you, your daughter and your husband have to struggle with so much pain. That said, I will suggest a few insights and hope they help. My sister-in-law found great comfort in attending meetings at Nami http: My niece has been in and out of jail as well as therapy, and on and off of medications.
There have been cultures in the past which value such people as spiritually touched, or gifted in some special way, and this might have been better than our way of pathologizing them. Another option to consider would be Al-anon. All of these options would add some sense of company, community and support so that you can be that first responder to your daughter. No one but for your husband loves and cares about your girl more than you. You are probably the best expert on her beyond herself.
And she is making you feel the way she feels: Try everything you can, find community and trust in love—for in doing your very best, this is successful for it is all you can do.
I am torn here I need help. May 24, my mother who at the time was 45 years old. Decided without warning to put a nine millameter beretta to her head and pulled the trigger. Not once but Twice. First time knocked her out they think she came to and did it again. I have lived with this the last 8 years and it has left a hole in my life. My mother was depressive bipolar.
I am manic bi-polar but suceptible to depression. She has 4 disorders I have been told. At the time when I had medical insurance I had started her in a treatment program to see what I could do to get her the help she so desperately needs.
But it was state medicaid. Now I make 63 dollars too much to put her on it. But dont make enough to get the medical my employer has. I am lost here. Here is a run down of incidents and behavior. This is so hard to share as a parent. How can a parent help their child when you feel the blame for the child being like this…..
Today my daughter was at her boys and girls club and had interrupted the staff while in a meeting by beating on the window and annoying them as much as possible. They told her she couldnt go in the art room. The only thing that I can give her to distract her mind. That is one of the reasons that we put her in the boys and girls club to try and get her to make friends.
But with as mean, silly and immature as she can be when she doesnt get her way drives other children even of younger and older ages. She is a Loner like I was, And still am. We dont have any friends, that we can talk to either of us. When I heard what the staff director pulled me aside and told me what she had said to him.
I felt like someone had taken a Gun and Blew the rest of whats left of my heart out. Maybe I should get a Gun and Kill myself. I dont know what to do for her. She is a bright student, she has such a kind heart when you can get her not to be SOOO sensitive.
When she messes up and I correct her she thinks I am always yelling at her. She drops to the floor and throws tantrums, Doesnt know how to stop talking, And hates anything with rules that she doesnt make. I am lost here can Anyone give an idea.
If I dont do it now then eventually I know it will mature deeper into her life and will more then likely turn into full fledge Bipolar disorder. Like myself and her Grandmother. We have had this problem since she was 4 when she was hospitalized for chasing her little sister with a pair of scissors.
And there has been I cant count how many incidents a home and school. Including, Suspension, and detention. I love my daughter more then anything. But I am Lost about how to help her. Thank you for reading. Firstly, I would start with empathy, and invite any other readers who cross these words to wish you and your daughter compassion and healing. You are quite right to advise us not to judge. That said, and perhaps over time we parents may find our voice, and our hearts, and find a better way to take care of each other and our children.
I am deeply sorry for the loss of your mother, and you yourself may have P. Beyond talk therapy, proper supervision for you to consider medications would be in order. That would mean a psychiatrist, and you deserve to have proper care—someone to work with you to consider how to be optimally healthy for your child. In addition, there is mounting evidence that mindfulness practices like meditation, yoga, prayer if you follow a faith can help with depression, as well as anxiety.
In simpler words, she is hurt and scared, but feels like it is her fault and she is bad at core. This is a problem of shame, she needs better self-esteem; she needs love and limits; she needs to be deeply and compassionately understood, and in the context of that authentic relationship most likely with you, especially if you yourself can heal as an act of love for your girl she may grow toward her true personality, her creativity, her ability to love, trust and be loved.
Her attention struggles and hyperactivity may also be understood in the context of feeling scared. On top of this, with a mom and grandmother who struggled with bi-polar, she may fear that this will also become her concern. Whatever the diagnoses and treatments, she is first and foremost a unique human being; she is not, nor are you, a diagnosis as an identity. As for getting resources. It is likely the if you request an evaluation from your school, and the school counselor learns the facts history of suicide in family, bi-polar, etc.
Many school districts have very tight funding, continuous cuts, etc. As a society we must start to heed the warning signs and then respond with help and not judgement. As a mom, you may want to check with NAMI http: While my role as a blogger is limited in what I can directly do to help, I would invite you to read my book, as it is intended to help families like yours who cannot afford expensive treatment, but who could benefit nonetheless from the key points and insights the chapter on oppositional and defiant behavior, and the one on anxiety would probably be helpful: Beyond that, I want to thank you for writing, for sharing so honestly the pain of your situation, and the deep love and concern you have for your daughter.
I wish you healing and good fortune as you seek what you need—and I hope that your daughter and you can turn around and help others after you figure out what actually helps for you and your family. For me, self-harm is a means of escape. I need self-harm as a release. Taking that away from someone who needs it may increase their likelihood of committing suicide. I know what I do is wrong and I know i should stop but I also know that trying to stop increases the intensity of suicidal feelings for myself.
I would encourage you to seek some additional help, perhaps through a low-fee clinic in your area the suicide hotline might have some resources for you in your area. You sort of want to treat your body as if it were a baby and you were the mom… when the body is uncomfortable it needs SAFE soothing, which you might not have gotten as a small child. My 9 year old daughter who has been diagnosed with several different behavioral problems has made two statements about hurting her self.
I asked her if she knew what that meant and her response was that it ment hurting herself. I explained to her, it ment more than that. How am I to explain to a 9 year old the true meaning in terms she would grasp? It has really broken my heart to hear her speak those words, all over a fight between friends.
I am at a loss! I want her to understand how serious those words are. Perhaps you are right, she is not mature enough to truly understand what her words mean, especially the finality of suicide. Yet getting her to understand these words might be less important than you understanding her pain—and just doing whatever it takes to keep her safe.
The book I wrote was designed to help parents like you feel less alone and more equipped to help your child feel safe and more empowered. Particularly the chapters on depression, self-esteem and also the early chapters on how to relate to children when they are confusing, heartbreaking and challenging could be comforting: As for keeping your girl safe, the above post emphasizes taking this seriously, and from there you can work on helping her heal whatever is hurting her.
Thank you… I will come back to your site and read more as I have a child who keeps talking of suicide. It is very intense as a parent to witness. Yes it is very intense and hard to contain emotionally—so scary and heartbreaking.
The first time was at school after poor performance on a test. The second was tonight when he saw an anvil, he said he wanted one so he could pretent to kill himself. He is my only son and I tell him I love him every day. His dad and I split when he was two but I did recently go through a break up. I know he is struggling in 1st grade with spelling but when he said it tonight we were watching a cartoon. We start therapy next week but intuitively I know he needs more.
Has anyone seen signs and been able to pull them out of it? He is so young to be feeling this way. I desperately want to give hima good life.
It sounds like you are on the right track, and therapy should give you help and guidance both on your own healing and on helping keep your son safe and support his growing self-esteem and happiness.
If you read through the post above again, it gives my basic counsel on safety, which is the first priority. After that you might go through some of the comments, particularly ones by parents of similar aged children. As a mom you need support and understanding so you can be there for your kid, while healing whatever hurts you or holds you back.
Sending you safe and healing wishes this Thanksgiving—hang in, emphasize safety for now, and trust your ability to heal and for your son to be happy. I am searching for help…. I am a single parent and she is my only child……I love her with all of my soul…. I will keep looking up how to help and turn this around. Perhaps calling one of the suicide hotlines yourself will help guide you to assess the level of danger your daughter faces and clarify what steps you can, and cannot, take to help.
This might not be accurate, but if it rings true for your girl you would probably have a breakthrough with her if you were to send a message wondering if she feels like you never really listen and make things all about yourself. You could always seek some counseling on how to better listen so that your child will talk, and you could then help heal what may very well be long cross-generational patterns in the family.
Thus, safety first regarding suicide, but after that improved communication is likely to be a way you can both heal your relationship. I have a question.
A 13 year old starts cutting, her mom finds out takes her to a psy. The therapist questions her about why she cut deeper, she told therapist she was going to kill herself. When the therapist asked what stopped her she said because she was along with her two baby brothers 3 and 4 years old, or she would have done it.
They assure mom they will not give her addicting drugs. Mom signs the papers. Then they gave her medications Abilify and something starts with a T, and valium to help her sleep at night. Mom is so upset. Question 1 are these drugs addictive? Question 2 Does mom have any rights? Question 3 Someone said the mom did right taking the child there and signing her in and if she had not have then that would have been considered a form of child abuse to not her her proper treatment with the child admitting to wanting to kill herself.
Wow, these are tough questions! My intention is to support parents and children and this sounds like a family in a lot of pain and, like you, I would just want everyone to be safe, respected, and get the proper and effective help at the best level of professional and compassionate care possible. As outlined above in the post, taking suicidal statements and self-destructive behaviors seriously is consistent with keeping kids safe. As for your questions….
Thus the therapist directed the child and parent to the clinic where the child could be kept safe. So we circle back to the overall point, which is to keeps children safe, and to support parents to do so. Certainly we have laws, ethical guidelines and standards of practice to address your questions, and I want to respect your questions as valid and important. Patients, be they children or adults, do have rights. Abuses occur, and questions must be raised when things do not seem right, just or appropriate.
Child abuse and child protective services certainly both exist in our society and addressing how to protect kids while not vilifying or disempowering parents is a thorny and important issue, although one beyond the scope of a blog such as this. Finally, we all have roles to play and mine is not lawyer or judge, thus your questions, and my lack of direct knowledge of the facts, lands me back where I started: In that regard I would hope that anyone who happens across these words might join me in hoping that this child and her parent both get the respect, support, compassion and effective tools to heal, to stay safe and to move toward happier and more productive lives.
He has become increasingly defiant, disrespectful, disobedient and violent. His violence outbursts and aggression are very disproportionate to the episodes that prompt them. His violence is towards property and towards me. Increasingly he is distressing his younger sisters when he is violent and aggressive. I have left the house with the girls when this happens as I want them safely out of the situation.
He is also playing truant from school occasionally. However, this evening after a difficult episode, he said he wanted to kill himself.
I am going to try to bring him to a therapist tomorrow but should I talk to him about this tonight? Should I let him rest or talk?
There are similar hotlines where I am. This does sound distressing, and hopefully the therapist will be helpful to your son, but also for you in guiding you to understand the dynamics in the family and how the family might heal as a unit. Love is what heals, not advice.
Obviously you love your son. It obviously took years for the problems to build, so we must be patient and compassionate in helping them heal. In other words, cheering up is not as effective as really hearing and honoring the pain your child feels. I wondered what your thoughts are on a teenager who recently shared with me that he thinks of committing suicide almost on a daily basis.
His daily struggle is to keep those feeling pushed down so he can go on with his day. He wants nothing more than to make those thoughts go away for good however he also gets increasingly frustrated when those who care about him ask him why he feels that way. He plans on going a few thousand miles away for college when he completes his senior year and that scares me.
Could it be a dopamine issue? Any insight would be appreciated. I love my son. In cases like this I have seen some good results when the mom finds a good therapist she can trust and talk to, even if the main point of therapy is helping your child feel better. As a single mom, launching your child to college is doubly hard, and also economically stressful.
Perhaps you guys need help and support to make the transition from being together not fully happily or successfully to being separated and lovingly connected in a more healthy way. As for the safety issues, the notes in the post above are what I counsel: Ask friends and others you trust about therapists who have been actually helpful to someone personally known to you.
Meet three people, then pick the one who feels right; see if you get better. Also, add in for you and your child some sort of mindfulness practice. Finally, as a parent you might consider reading my book which talks about a lot of the things you are facing and offers insights and strategies more expansively than I can hope to convey in a comment in a blog.
Second, think deeply about yourself, your child, your relationship with help and love and compassion and every resource you can muster to heal in the service of your child and yourself and seek simple and actionable thinking and behaving to support your goal of well-being, harmony, family, friendship, being productive and learning from life while enjoying it. Certainly wishing you and your son all the best for a brighter future which is all about handing the present moment well, and then learning to more consistently enjoy the present moment—which can be ironically rather difficult and yet becomes its own reward in the end.
What was the point to her life. At the time I am trying not to look completely shocked because my 5 year old was saying things that would upset me at any age, but how can she understand these feelings at 5. Your blog spoke to me because I have also suffered from suicidale thoughts my whole life and rage is a big part of it.
My daughter is a well liked child, who is always looking for approval. As the youngest of 3 it can sometimes be difficult to get the approval she seeks from her siblings, but she has friends and is social. Could it be that this is genetic? I always figured my feelings steamed from a divorced family and my house being destroyed by a flood when I was 9 while me and my family sat in the attic trying to get the attention of rescue helicopters.
Neither of these things are present in her life. My husband and I are still married and she has lived safely in the same house since she was born. Good therapist for this age group are difficult to find and they are very expensive. Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful.
Money should not be an obstacle to happiness and well-being, so we certainly share a wish for fairness and for the well-being of all children and the support of parents to actualize this. As far as what to do, I do not feel I can advise you, but I can hear you and encourage you toward happiness and your daughter too.
I suppose that it is possible that your daughter is reflecting to you your own feelings. Maybe your love for her goes deep enough that you might make your way to peace and happiness as an act of kindness for her.
In this sense you could find a path to healing maybe therapy, maybe mindfulness meditation, maybe gardening—whatever works and see if it helps your child. It sounds like you could benefit from some help with unresolved trauma and loss, and perhaps with other emotional struggles you mention rage, which might relate to perceived injustice, and thus the deep questioning about the point of life. Maybe your wise child is seeing more with her one eye than most of us see with two eyes?
Understanding her deeply might mean understanding yourself deeply, and then addressing your own pain by whatever means you think could be effective. Sometimes social services can help connect you with low-fee help; sometimes universities have resources; sometimes the school has resources for more info on this see:.
I am struck by the idea that your boy started with pot at age 11, as that might correlate with a particular time in neurological and emotional development. For more on that see a previous post:. Finally, if you have had no luck finding appropriate help for your kid, maybe just finding a good therapist to give you support and guidance might help you be more effective in interacting with your son. Certainly he, and your family, are in a lot of pain. The nature of this pain might benefit from deeper understanding i.
As outlined in this post up above, you have to emphasize safety first and take threats seriously. Finally, there is mounting evidence to support mindfulness practices as helpful for depression and anxiety. Maybe they will work it out but you will find love with someone who is truly available and end up feeling it was all for the best. Just hours ago my 11 year old daughter expressed to me she is feeling suicidal and unsafe! I know how important it is to say the right words.. If you can help me with this with any of your thoughts, that would help the both of us very much.
I myself can relate to her and able to understand. I acted right away and today we still go. Shes counting on me. Thanks so much for your time and support Stephanie. One thing to consider, in searching for the right words, is that your girl is growing up and you may be speaking to her still like she is a baby.
Yet I realize that when our children are scared they regress and we meet them at their level, so that may not be relevant. Sometimes we parents have mixed feelings about our children growing up and becoming more independent, and we can unconsciously be in our own way. And sometimes it helps to just have someone we can talk to as a grown-up. Hey I have been worried about my 12yo daughter for sometime.
With her it seems she has some sensory issues. Certain noises drive her absolutely insane that it is impossible to talk to her. She just yells and crys if you try to talk to her calmly she just yells louder. Today she screamed that she would rather kill herself than listen to the clicking of the PlayStation remotes that her sisters were using. I taken video of her episodes and documented times and things that I think triggered it in hopes to give to someone for help.
We have dealt with these outbursts for many years. I worry that she will decide that killing herself is better than listening to certain sounds. As outlined in this blog post, it is important to take talk of suicide seriously and to reach out to counselors or your pediatrician or other professionals to guide you.
Hello, I came across your blog as I sit here searching for additional answers for my nine year old. My god he was only 8 at the time.
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