You might have heard of teenagers harming themselves, such as by cutting or burning themselves on their arms or legs, but you might have never imagined that it would be something that you would have to worry about with your own child. However, a shocking number of teens find themselves depressed and take to this type of behavior. Luckily, there are a few warning signs that you can watch out for. If you notice any of these signs, now is the time to further investigate the situation and seek help.
1. Wearing Out-of-Season Clothing
One common sign of self-harm in teenagers is wearing out-of-season clothing. For example, even in the heat of summer, a teen who has been cutting his or her arms might wear a long-sleeve shirt, sweater or hoodie. A teen who has been burning his or her legs might refuse to wear shorts, even if this is out of character and even if it's hot outside. It might not be uncommon for a child to bring a sweater along to school to stay warm in an air conditioned classroom, but if this behavior persists even when it doesn't seem to make sense, there could be more at play than you realize.
2. Wearing a Lot of Stacked Bracelets
Another way that teens often cover up self-harm on their wrists and arms is by stacking bracelets or wristbands. It isn't necessarily a cause for alarm just because your teen is wearing bracelets, but if he or she never seems to take them off or if this seems uncharacteristic, it could be a sign of a problem.
3. Keeping the Door Locked More Frequently
Lots of teens want more and more privacy as they get older, such as when they are changing. Therefore, just because your teen locks the door doesn't necessarily mean that something is wrong. However, if your teen seems to want to keep the door locked constantly, it could be a sign that something is going on. Not only do you have to worry about the potential for self-harm, but it could be a sign of drug or alcohol use or other harmful behaviors.
Some teens go to great lengths to cover up the fact that they are self-harming, but there are signs that you can watch out for. If any of these signs show themselves or if you otherwise think something might be amiss with your child, consider contacting your child's doctor or a pediatric psychologist so that you can get the help that your son or daughter needs.Share