"If your child accuses you of being "mean," you must have done something right. "

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

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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11 yr old depression/self harm

Posted on 5/21/2017

Today our son (11, homeschooled) was nowhere to be found after a church luncheon. He was outside hiding behind the garage. When spotted he ran off the property, and he was chased by his dad and...

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11 yo, Depressed, Won't Do School Work

Posted on 5/15/2017

We read him the riot act and lowered the boom. It's the first time our son (11) has been grounded. He has been refusing to do his school work. He sits and stares at his math book for hours, even...

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