"A father's contribution to his children is primarily a measure of how much he adores their mother. "

Depression/Self-Harm

John's Most Recent Articles

Teen Not a Suicide Risk

Posted on 7/23/2019

My recent column pertaining to a 12-year-old who told his parents he’d thought about suicide several times over the past six months stirred a fair number of folks to respond. Feelings toward the...

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The Most Powerful Love Is Tough Love

Posted on 7/2/2019

Q: On several occasions over the last six months or so, our 12-year-old son has told us he’s been thinking about suicide. Apparently, he’s been the target of a couple of school bullies and...

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Respect for Adults Is Good for Kids' Mental Health

Posted on 6/6/2018

Rates of child and teen depression and suicide continue to rise, as they have for fifty years. As regular readers of this column know, I do not agree in the least with current explanations, much...

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Recent Questions

Son hits himself when he loses TV privileges

Posted 2 weeks ago

When my son loses his tv privileges he starts hitting himself, screaming, saying he’s stupid, he hates himself etc and beginning he will do anything to earn tv back (I say no). There clearly is an...

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Is Child's Threat of Suicide a Cry for Help or for Attention?

Posted on 1/9/2020

My oldest is eleven and started middle school this year. Overall it has been a smooth transition. She has a great group of friends and likes school. She does not have a phone and has very limited...

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7 year old yells at himself

Posted on 8/14/2019

I have a 7 year old boy with behavior problems but only towards me, his Mother. Whenever he is disrespectful and starts screaming at me I send him to his room for the rest of the day. While he is...

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child sends mixed message

Posted on 5/5/2019

I have a personal friend that went through a bitter divorce approximately 6 years ago. She has 4 children ages 14, 13, 10.5 and 9.5. The three older ones are girls and the youngest a boy. The...

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The magic wand of threats

Posted on 7/18/2018

I have a 13 year old step son. He's threatened suicide for 2 years now and now he's threatening to hurt others, including his mom, his father and me. We have him talking to a therapist and...

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Teen Depressed or Just a Normal Teen?

Posted on 4/2/2018

My 17yo daughter claims to be anxious and depressed due to lack of best friends. She was homeschooled until junior year, when she enrolled in the local community college full time. She's getting...

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Reconciling Lost Relationship with Teen

Posted on 3/1/2018

My husbands 15 yo daughter has cut off all communication with him. She was living with us but moved to her moms full time for the past year and a half, he has been blocked from texting, messaging,...

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Manipulation or Depression?

Posted on 12/7/2017

Manipulation or True Depression that needs help? My 15 year old son has for the last couple years been not very happy and lately very depressed. We assume because he's losing his electronics...

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Post-Medication Depression?

Posted on 12/1/2017

My son was on Ritalin for 11 years before he no longer decided to stop taking it. After he stopped taking it he had many periods in which he had depression which he could not really explain. By no...

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To Medicate, or Not

Posted on 11/20/2017

I've wrote to you a year ago, now I need your advice on this situation. My 17 yo daughter was upset a lot, cried for an extended period so I took her to a psychologist. My daughter likes her...

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