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Question
Posted by: WORRIED MOM | 2004/12/08

TEENAGE SUICIDE

My son is 16 and just finished grade 10. Since I can remember he has been a difficult child. Lazy, moody, throws tantrims etc. If he does not get what he wants, he always threatens us that he is going to commit suicide. This forces us to give him everything he wants because we read so much about teen suicide. Is this just a threat or should we take it seriously? I know that he does not do drugs, as he has been like this since he was small. I only have 2 children and he is the eldest. This means that his sister always has to settle for the least as we spend all our money on things for him. Could it be group pressure. (if his friend has a motorcycle or cellphone, he wants it too. Is this normal for a teenager of his age.
Please help

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageTeen expert

Hi,

it sounds as if you are being held to ransom by your son by what he is saying. However, you also cannot afford to not take him seriously as teenagers can be impulsive and this includes suicidal acts. What I strongly suggest is that you seek help from a mental health expert - either a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. This way you can have the problem assessed and make it clear to your son that you are taking it seriously, and also that these threats are not acceptable. As part of this help I would recommend family therapy so that what everyone says is out in the open. You need to reclaim your position as parents as currently his threats are making you fearful of parenting in the way you would like to. This needs to change!

So please contact your family doctor who should be able to recommend a mental health professional to you. By keeping it a 'secret' in the family he remains powerful - too powerful and that has to change.

Best wishes

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