Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Posted by C.King, M.Ed. at 1:01 PM
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Cutting Yourself - Who Becomes a Cutter?
Most parents believe that their children are well adjusted and happy for the most part, and most parents are right. Yes, pre-teens and teenagers suffer through their trials but most make it through “none the worse for wear”. However, there are those who only know how to deal with the hurt and pain by inflicting self harm, or cutting themselves.
Who Becomes a Cutter?
For the most part, people who indulge in cutting behavior are those who feel as though they have no other way to cope. Often, they may have intense emotions built up inside that they do not know how to release in any other way. The cutting behavior may be the only way they can attempt to release some of the emotional stress and tension. Also, most cutters are girls, but this not a rule.
Cutters may also suffer from some sort of psychological disorder as well, though this is not always the case. Some of these psychological disorders include depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and bipolar disorder. Other cutters may be dealing with alcohol or drug abuse. However, anyone who is feeling overwhelmed and lacks the appropriate coping mechanisms can become a cutter.
Signs Your Child May Be Cutting
As a parent, you have been watching your child grow from an infant and often know his/her personality fairly well. When children become pre-teens and teenagers, though, raging hormones may often have an effect on your once angelic child. Most teenagers begin to want to express their individuality and independence around this time. So, how do you know if your changing/child is cutting himself/herself?
When a child is engaging in cutting behavior, he/she often wants to hide the evidence. They may tell you that the cuts and scratches come from rough play, a pet, or some other benign incident. So, you will need to look further. Some signs to watch for include sudden secretiveness, small linear cuts on the body (forearms, upper arms, inner thighs, etc.), and mood changes such as depression or anxiety. Also, if your child insists on wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather (i.e. sweatshirt and jeans on a 90 degree day), he or she may have a problem with cutting.
If you suspect that your child may be cutting himself/herself, do not become overly upset or hysterical. The most important thing is that your child receives help, but he/she must be willing to accept the help as well. The first step in the ‘help’ process normally begins with psychotherapy. However, be sure to select a psychotherapist who understands and is skilled in this type of behavior.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Are Parents Responsible for Increasing Drug Addiction among Teenagers?
Teenagers are the most concerning and the most viable group of age that needs attention and proper guidance because they are more prone of getting into trouble and false activities. If you are a parent, you would be held responsible for the future of your children’s life no matter what the reasons or causes are. Your teenage daughter or son can easily get influenced by the friends and company he or she has around him or her. Teenage alcohol addiction is increasing every day and the reason behind this could be the carelessness of parents.
Most of the time, all the kids need attention and they need somebody to talk their problems out but there is nobody they can consult or talk their grievances. With the concern, they turn towards the things that can keep them away from the stress they are going through and for that purpose they turn towards hazardous things like alcohol, cigarette, cocaine, heroine and etc. Parents should monitor the daily routine and schedule of their children and must provide them with ample amount of time so they children never feel lonely or neglected. A few motivating lines or phrases will be enough for them to realize that their parents are with them.
If you are a parent and you are an alcoholic or addicted to any other drugs then you should know that the teenagers learn from you and they would be influenced by your actions and activities, They will assume that my father or mother is doing the right thing and they will do the same without know that what his or her mother or father was doing. In order to overcome such situations you must completely avoid drinking or drug abuse in front of your children.
If you observe that your children remain unhappy or depressed most of the time then you should discuss with them about the reasons or causes behind the unhappy mood of your children.
According to me if parents take good care of their children and provide them suitable time then I am sure that not a single teenager will get addicted towards something like alcohol, heroine or marijuana. Increasing drug addiction among teenagers is a sign of carelessness of different parents. So I appeal to all those parents that they must wake up and take good care of their teenagers before it gets too late for them to get a hold on their children.
Sober Teens Online: Support for Today's Teens with Teen Issues!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Teen Addiction Help
Teenagers are one of the most common addicts to both alcohol and substances. Many teens start these addictions by recreational use, to speak out against their parents. However, by the end, teenagers may be so addicted that they need professional help.
The teenage brain is highly susceptible to addiction. Once a teen starts a substance, or alcohol it is very hard to avoid becoming addicted. Teens often begin abusing substances because of peer pressure by their friends or because they have problems in their lives. While the addiction itself needs to be treated, these underlying causes need to be examined as well.
Sober Teens Online is a great community for teens who may not be ready to reach out to someone in their community. Visiting Sober Teens Online allows troubled teens to talk with peers and get help with their addiction. While the main focus of Sober Teens Online is to get teens help for their addiction, Sober Teens Online also provides an enormous amount of fellowship. One of the great parts about Sober Teens Online is its large amount of members. Over 1,000 teens are members on the forum, which means that teens will easily be able to find a member that can relate to the situation that they are in.
Once teens have gathered up the courage, whether via Sober Teens Online or through self-reflection, the next major task is to get help. There are hundreds of centers across North America, and even the world that will help teens who are stuck in an addiction. Not all of these centers are a perfect fit for each teen, and some may not be looking to help a teen at all. When you are looking for a rehabilitation center for a teen with addiction, try to get references from a local teen crisis center. These centers often deal with teens who are having problems, and will be able to help point you in the right direction.
Teens may not always be willing to deal with the hard facts of life. However, with an addiction recovery program that is targeted directly for them, and a very powerful support group, teens will be able to conquer even the most difficult addiction. Teens cannot get help for their addiction without wanting it. As much as it may hurt their loved ones to see their lives fall into despair, a teenage addict needs to step forward and admit they have a problem. If an addict does not, but enters treatment anyways, they will relapse. Make sure the teenager has tons of support throughout their addiction recovery process. Stays at rehabilitation centers can be as long as months at a time, and recovery lasts for a life time.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
I've come to the conclusion over the years that most addicts are good people with a bad disease. In my conversations with many of them, they express a great deal of remorse for what they do and continue to do. Many become suicidal, not because they feel so sick, but because they cannot bear the thought of continuing to hurt those they love. To wake up day after day, not quite remembering what occurred the night before, then to see the look of disappointment and fear on the faces of the ones closest to you is a terrible thing - for everyone.
My arms are covered with light scarring - from practice cuts, "calls for help", and sometimes the pain inflicted would over-ride the confusion, fear and other emotional pain that was building inside me. They are a good reminder of the "dark days".........Death would have been an acceptable if not desirable effect of what I was doing.
There's a saying that goes "God looks after drunks and fools"....well, I can say from personal experience he (whoever he/she/it is) definitely does. When things got too much for me, I took a massive overdose and woke up 3 days later. Alone (no-one had found me), hallucinating, bright red through high blood pressure but, unfortunately, alive. I say unfortunately because that is how I felt at the time. I feared the future and what I may do next. I was so sure I was going to die from the overdose, I was at a total loss when I regained consciousness. So I did what any good addict would do in the situation - went and got blasted!
The years of accumulated destruction I had left behind me were really starting to wear me down. I could not see a time when I could walk down a street without looking over my shoulder. There were all the "yets" to think about:
I hadn't robbed a bank...yet
I hadn't killed anyone...yet
I didn't have irreversible brain damage...yet
There were still quite a few unspeakable things I hadn't done...yet.
If you are in the grip of a substance addiction....look back over the years...have things gotten better? What makes you think they will?
When you are an addict, you don't have control over a substance or a great deal of your behaviour while you are under the influence of that substance. As the disease progresses, your self-control declines. If you are an addict, it is very unwise to say "I would never do something like that" .... our jails are full of people who have uttered those damning words.
If you are close to an addict; whether you are their partner, family or friend there is also no way that you can state "He/She would never do that to me". Your false sense of security could cost you your life.
If you are living with someone who has a substance abuse problem and refuses to do anything about it, my advice to you is to pack your bags and leave... especially if you have children in your care. You may be saying to yourself "it's not that easy". It is. Think about the alternative - a life of continued fear and insecurity, or worse.
Have you ever heard of the "battered wife syndrome"? The victims are usually people who have been in an abusive relationship for so long, the person feels they can no longer leave, they have forgotten what "normal" is. Substance abuse is usually a feature in these relationships.
Read the papers.... "Father of four slays family"
Alcohol and other drugs greatly impair areas of the brain that deal with memory, reasoning, inhibition and aggression....the longer the abuse, the more the damage - the worse the behaviour.
So fellow addicts, what to do?
Suicide is an option if you don't wish to get help - but make it quick, the suicide through drug abuse is long and drawn out for everyone. Also, suicide is a bit harder than what people imagine. I have tasted the cold steel of a rifle barrel in my mouth - I didn't pull the trigger. I do know others that did. After all their years of drug abuse, they left one final gift for their family and friends - their corpses. How thoughtful. Another mess that others have to clean up on your behalf.
But there is another way, it's called recovery. A total stranger introduced it to me....
There are many strangers who can show you it too....
Pick up a telephone directory and look under "Drug and Alcohol". Almost everyone country in the world has a section for it. There you will find numbers for groups of people who have been to hell and back, who know just what you are going through. While I am aware that many countries in the world do not offer free detox services, these community based groups will assist you with detoxing and have "contacts" that can help you through the dangerous time of physical withdrawal.
Please, never try to withdraw on your own....
Life can be different for you - positive, energizing, peaceful
Or haven't you had enough of your addiction.....yet?
Copyright information.... This article is free for reproduction but must be reproduced in its entirety along with the authors' name and web site link. This copyright statement must be also be included. (c) 2001 - 2007 Michael Bloch, World Wide Addiction.com,. All rights reserved.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
By Tiffany Sharples, from Time Magazine--link is here, with other links to photographs and x-rays
At a recent medical conference in Chicago, a team of radiologists from Nationwide Children's Hospital presented intriguing X-ray evidence of a psychological phenomenon — what they believed was a new form of self-injury among teens and adolescents. Eleven out of 505 patients whom the team had treated in more than a decade had inserted objects — from chunks of crayons to unfolded paper clips — under their skin in a behavior the Nationwide team labeled "self-embedding."
All of Nationwide's patients were young females, but when the researchers, including Dr. William Shiels II, the hospital's chief of radiology, turned to medical literature for other examples of self-embedding, they found very few — and those were among adults, primarily males. Shiels and his colleagues asked around at the hospital, but not even mental-health specialists had heard of it, nor had many of their colleagues outside the hospital. "As a profession in general, psychologists were not aware that this was happening," Shiels says.
At the time of the conference, however, a Chicago Tribune reporter uncovered two more instances of self-embedding in an Illinois town — two teen girls had deliberately inserted pencils into their skin and broken off the tips — lending credence to the possibility that self-embedding was a growing trend, albeit off the radar. "We know it's elsewhere," says Shiels, who is creating a protected database for medical professionals worldwide to track the behavior. "It just hasn't been discussed and it hasn't been studied."
Shiels' team stumbled on the peculiar practice largely by chance. In 2007, a premed student named Adam Young, then 21, was compiling data during his summer internship at Nationwide. Part of his responsibilities included maintaining a database of patients who had been treated by the hospital's radiology department using Image Guided Foreign Body Removal, a technique that was developed by Shiels during his Army days to help remove foreign objects like shrapnel from soft tissue. Shiels' method was less invasive than surgery, which often requires an incision of 2 to 3 inches and can lead to damage in surrounding tissues or organs; the new method requires a quarter-inch incision and uses a combination of ultrasound and fluoroscopy — live X-ray — to carefully guide forceps to the object, steering clear of the body's vital structures during extraction. The scar is also much smaller, "about the size of a freckle," Shiels says.
While Young was cataloging the hospital's data on procedures involving Shiels' technique, which Shiels first introduced to the hospital in 1995, Young realized that some of the patients hadn't injured themselves accidentally. Unlike the majority of people who came in for treatment — for stepping on a piece of glass or being impaled by a particularly large splinter — these patients' wounds were self-inflicted. "I started to see three or four instances where the foreign-body cases were not accidental," he says. "I started to think it was a little strange and mentioned it to Dr. Shiels."
Young went back to school in the fall, and two or three more patients came to Nationwide with similar wounds. For Shiels and Young, it became clear that they were on to something. The following summer, Shiels, Young (who graduated from Miami University in Ohio) and three others worked their way through the data, unearthing cases of self-embedding going back to 2005. They also discovered that the majority of patients who harmed themselves in this way did so more than once — the average recurrence was three times — and that the materials embedded under the skin varied dramatically in size, from several unfolded staples embedded into a hand to a 6.3-in. unfolded paper clip inserted into a bicep.
Once they were aware of the trend, Shiels and his colleagues analyzed the patients' medical records, finding consistent histories of self-injury and mental-health problems. There are numerous psychological and emotional factors that drive people to self-harm, but according to Harvard psychology professor Matthew Nock, who specializes in the study of self-injurious behavior and edited a book on the subject, Understanding Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (due March 2009), many do it for two broad reasons: to regulate their emotions and to communicate with others. "Self-injurers experience greater physiological arousal in response to stress, show poor ability to tolerate distress, and have greater deficits in social problem-solving skills," Nock explains, meaning that people self-injure to distract themselves from other emotional pain, to counter feelings of numbness or to let people know that they're suffering.
The Nationwide team's findings sparked a frenzy on the Internet, with stories cropping up one after the other and chatter lighting up on blogs. But as the news spread, globally even, some mental-health professionals grew wary. Without discounting the severity of the problem — particularly among adolescent girls — some experts felt the headlines declaring self-embedding a new "disorder" went too far. Characterizing it as a disorder rather than a symptom of one may miss the mark, says Dr. John Campo, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Nationwide Children's and one of the specialists consulted by Shiels. "Young people with a variety of different psychiatric diagnoses may engage in this behavior," says Campo, and proclaiming it as its own condition may deter comprehensive mental-health care to identify the true nature of the problem.
Nock believes self-embedding is a dangerous evolution, but says it is not unique. "I view this as a more severe variation of self-injury," he says. An analysis of the data Nock has compiled in his years of research reveals that some 10% to 20% of adolescents who injure themselves have inserted objects beneath their skin. None of those patients reported leaving the objects there, however, and only two out of 12 patients who reported doing so had to seek medical treatment as a result. "The fact that kids are inserting things under their skin is not necessarily new," Nock says, adding that those who leave the objects embedded are probably in a very small minority.
The dangers of this form of self-injury are obvious, and serious. Creating any wound in the skin can lead to infection, but when foreign objects are inserted deep into tissue, the risk is amplified. "The infections aren't just at the site," Shiels says. "You can get a deep muscle infection or a bone infection," or if you hit arteries, veins, nerves or tendons while driving something into the soft tissue, you can cause tears or other damage. Beyond those risks, there is also the possibility that objects can travel once inside the body, approaching vital organs. "They pose significant risk, not only during insertion, but also if they're not removed," Shiels says.
The other major concern among mental-health specialists is that publicizing the behavior could exacerbate the problem. In a study of self-injury among adolescents conducted earlier this year, Nock found that 38% of teens who injured themselves learned of the practice from friends, while 13% first heard about it through the media. It's a bit of a catch-22, says Nock. "On the one hand, it's very helpful and useful for health professionals to communicate with each other and learn how to proceed when they see [these cases]," he says, "but we know that media coverage of self-injurious behavior influences rates of self-injurious behavior."
As studies show a surge in self-injury in recent years, "we've also seen increased media reports," Nock says. "It could be the media is catching up, but the opposite is also true: as kids hear more about it, it enters into the realm of behaviors in which they can engage."
SOBER TEENS ONLINE, ONLINE HELP FOR TEENS BY TEENS!