Posted by: Desperate | 2010-02-18


My son' s dad died when he was 11. They had been very close, so when I remarried in 2002 he had a hard time adjusting. My son' s stepdad talks to him about how much God loves him but he doesn' t want to hear it. He has started taking drugs and alcohol saying it numbs the pain.
I don' t know how to approach him about the subject of suicide.
Please help me. I feel as if I am running out of time.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageTeen Suicide guest experts

Dear Desperate,

11 is a very young age for a child to lose a parent and it definitely takes time to adjust. Your son needs professional intervention from a psychologist to help him adjust to your marriage, to deal with the pain and confusion that is resulting in his drug use. Using drugs and alcohol is a way for him to take time out from the pain, and he needs other, healthy ways to deal with what he is feeling. It is important that you contact SADAG as soon as possible to get some advice and a referral to a therapist in your area. Please call on 011 262 6396. They are open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm. If you have a close relationship with your son, talk to him. Tell him you know he is feeling pain but you need his help to understand what he is going through. Ask him if he is feeling suicidal. Please call the helpline - we can give you a lot more help that way.

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