Should I take my sons tools away?

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Active scribe

Should I take my sons tools away?

In the last month my son has self harmed twice. The first time I found out about it we where putting together a monitor on his desk and I noticed it, he wasn't trying to hide it, but he had been he told me later on. I see that as a good sign, that he didn't hide it from me, and owned up to it when I asked him. I've been through a lot of stuff in my life, and at the time I just didn't think that taking away the few tools he has was the solution. Well I know it's not the solution, but he's done it again. The first time he self harmed, on his own he gave me the thing he used. He said, " Here you can take this ". So I thought that was a great sign. None the less today on the ride home from school I noticed him hiding the self harm. So I asked him if I could see if the previous self harm where healing good ( and they were, I knew that already ). It didn't take much to get him to show me that he had self harmed again.

 

So my son is seeing a therapist for about four months prior to him self harming for the first time. He's on medicine, but not enough time has passed to determine if it's helping yet. The kid is just depressed! He doesn't know what he's depressed about, he just is. We have a very good family. Loving, and kind, there hasn't ever been any thing that would justify this type of depression. Well at least from my point of view their hasn't. But all that aside I'm wondering should I take his tools away. When I found out today that he had done it again I asked him if he would give me the tool he did it with. He then asked me, "Do I have a choice" and my reply was, "You always have a choice". So I didn't get the tool this day.

 

I'm thinking of taking his tools away because while he has a choice not to give them to me, I to have a choice. I have the choice of walking in their and taking them from him. I understand that taking away ever tool in the house won't solve the problem. I get that. But I don't want to signal to him that by leaving them in the house, I'm condoning it. So I know people will have an opinion on this and maybe that will help me to decide whether I should or shouldn't remove the tools from his room. He's got like five or six. Just old tools from myself and my father and grandfather. We gave them to him, you know like passing them down. Anyways, thanks for any help

 

Chad

Prolific scribe

Re: Should I take my sons tools away?

Hi there @Skyfly and welcome to the forums! 

 

Just a heads up, I edited out some of the details of self harm and the tools used as it goes against our guidelines (here). 

 

It can be hard to know what causes depression, and sometimes there isn't a reason for it. We have an article over here on depression in teenagers that might help provide some understanding on what your son may be going through. It's great that he is seeing someone though, often getting professional help can be the biggest hurdle in recovery. 

 

I was wondering, do you have anyone that you can reach out to for support around this? 

 

I've also tagged in some other users for their advice Smiley Happy @sunflowermom@Faob_1@compassion@taokat@Orbit64

Community Manager

Re: Should I take my sons tools away?

Hi @Skyfly,

 

It is such a difficult experience your family are going through right now. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to keep your son safe while also giving him choice and opening the channel of communication for him to hand the tools up himself. That being said, I do agree with you that you also have choice and taking the tools away may help to maintain his safety for now. I can imagine this must be a really hard decision to make- whether to encourage him to take that first step and come to you, or whether to step in and remove the tools now. What are you leaning towards at the moment?

 

I am wondering if you might be interested in our article about self harm here and hearing from other parents here?

Star contributor

Re: Should I take my sons tools away?

Hi @Skyfly

I am sorry you are going through this with your son.  When I first found out my daughter was self harming a year and a half ago it sucked the breath out of me.  I really worked to understand self harm and that it was a release of her anxiety and she was not trying suicide by this action.  It was a way for her to release her pain. For my daughter the self harm started by just a few times a month and escalated into almost daily.  It became an addiction for her, it was a rough road.  At the time I would take her tools when I found out or when I raided her bathroom.  At one point she cried or rather mourned for 2 days when I took her tools.  At that point it had gotten really bad.  She also changed forms or self harm when she no longer got the desired effect.  She has permanent scars.

ok here is some good news, it does get better- as her depression and anxiety started lifting she has since stopped self harming- she says it no longer works for her so she quit.  But it lasted a long time and my stomach was in nots every time she was in the bathroom.  I was always there to support and hug her afterwards and often we had sleepless nights where she was fighting the urges with all she had.

We locked up all sharps for the past year and a half, anything that I thought could be used.  By making it harder at least she knew I was trying to help her.  

If someone is an alcoholic we should not have alcohol around, or if you don't want your kids to smoke pot take their pipe if you find it- so I guess in that way its kind of similar. They could still go out and find more but at least we are trying.

I know this is a hard time for you- my heart really goes out to you.  You're not alone.

 

 

Active scribe

Re: Should I take my sons tools away?

First Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to respond. We took all his "tools" out of his room today. And we are going to see the therapist tomorrow. Anyways I appreciate all your kind words, it really did help!


Chad

Active scribe

Re: Should I take my sons tools away?

This response is intended for @sunflowermom . I can't tell if the system automatically does that for us or not.

 

Well today I went into his room and took out everything and anything that he could use to self harm. I told him I did it, and told him basically what I said in my first comment. That while he has a choice to give them to me or not, I have the choice to basically override his wishes if he doesn't. So that's what I've done. I mean there are still "tools" in the house, ya know in the kitchen. It wouldn't be a big deal to walk in their and grab one of those, and I wondered if I should put those up too. In thinking about it right now, it seems like I should. Would be kinda of stupid of me to remove them all from his room but leave some in a draw in the next room huh?

 

We are seeing a psychiatrist tomorrow. It's the one he's been seeing. I had a meeting with teachers at the school today. He's in tenth grade. Failing just basically about everything. He walks in the room to meet with myself and the teachers and was like a different child, one I didn't know. One I've never even seen before. Admitting he's wrongs, and that he's not been trying at all, and that he will start. Speaking up when spoken too and offering more than just a response to an answer but detail too. It was really odd. I mean he's not been on Prozac that long lol. I hope he wasn't pretending, I guess the coming days and weeks will determine if he was.

 

I realize this may be a long road from the get go. I myself am a recovered alcoholic. I recovered long before my son was even born though. But I know how long self discovery in addiction can take. And how hard that road can be, it's tough! It's rough! However it is what it is, and for the most part it's not stealing my peace. Because being at peace always no matter what is going on is something I've worked long and hard on, and I got it. But taking all his tools out of his room will definitely let me know how committed he is huh? I mean if he shows up with new cuts, that will tell me a lot more about his intention. Praying and hoping that doesn't happen. I appreciate your comment, thank you.


Chad

Active scribe

Re: Should I take my sons tools away?

Ok. Yah sorry I didn't read over the guidelines but I will. Thanks for editing it for me, appreciate that.

 

Chad

Mod

Re: Should I take my sons tools away?

Hi @Skyfly I'm sorry to hear about everything you and your son have been going through and that he has been self harming. I can only imagine how heart breaking and difficult that must be. It sounds like you are doing what you can by taking his tools out of his room and it's great that you and your son will see a therapist tomorrow, do let us know how you go. Also, to respond or tag another user in a response add an "@" symbol before their username and it will tag them - I've edited your post to tag the user you've requested Smiley Happy We're here to listen and support you. 

Highlighted
Parent Community Champion

Re: Should I take my sons tools away?

Just quickly, as I can see other wonderful answers, I would ask the psych about the medication. I too struggled with this and medication didn’t help after three months. After consulting my psychiatrist, we changed medication from an SRI to one with DRI included and difference was nearly immediate and a relief.
Good luck. Hopefully it can only get better.
JA