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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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My son committed suicide in Feb. 2010. Last month I

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my son committed suicide in Feb. 2010. Last month I re-remembered a "friend" who took him on a x-mas present trip when he was 7. I am wondering what are the symptoms in a teenager who was sexually molested as a child?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I can imagine how distressing and heartbreaking this situation must be for you. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your son. It is truly tragic.

Studies show that there is a link between molestation and suicidality. Some of the behavioral symptoms of molestation longterm are: being socially withdrawn, depression, low self worth and low self esteem, substance abuse, animal cruelty, sexually promiscuous behavior, anxiety and fears.

I know that answered your specific question but may I offer a little more help as I can only imagine how difficult and heartbreaking this is?

Suicide has more trauma attached to it than grief for the death of a loved one when it is from natural causes. Why is that?

Because suicide has different elements in its emotional impact. First there's the shock. You may have never actually faced the shock of the event as it gave way to the next stage of anger. Suicide is something we instinctively feel could have been prevented--somehow, some way. This leads to guilt. This is the what if stage: what if you had done something? Maybe you could have seen some symptoms....And guilt can lead to despair as you realize you can't ever know if you could have prevented it, if something could have been done. These are devastating emotions.

Sometimes it is best to deal with these emotions in psychotherapy. Perhaps now that we've opened this discussion, you can deal with these emotions in yourself by yourself. You'll have to see. Let me share with you two excellent books that may help you in this process:

My Son, My Son by Iris Bolton. This book is 30 years old. But it's still in print because it's been so meaningful to so many people.

No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicided of a Loved One by Carla Fine. The title really tells you how good this book is. When someone commits suicide, they don't give you a chance to truly say goodbye. This is part of the stages I wrote of above.

Healing After the Suicide of a Loved One by Smolin and Guinan. This is excellent for working on the "what if" problem I talked about above.

These books are readily available online. So work on these stages of the survival experience and know that there is a way to work on this: by being open to all the feelings that come over people in your situation.

I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button because: even though you have made a deposit, I do not get paid for my time unless you press ACCEPT. Feel free to continue the discussion as my goal is to get you the best answer possible. You can continue the discussion even after pressing ACCEPT. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, ***** *****

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