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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My son tried to cut himself with some rocks at school

Customer Question

My son tried to cut himself with some rocks at school yesterday (he is 7 and attends catholic school) so he could taste the blood to get ready for first communion in 2 weeks (catholics believe communion is the actual blood and body of Jesus, not a symbol). He has a history of ADHD, ODD and anxiety. He says he was not trying to hurt himeself (and luckily did not) but that he just wanted to taste the blood to see what communion would tast like. Some of the other boys found out and went and told the teacher and I think she was upset by his choices, she said. He has never talked about or tried to hurt himself before. How concerned do I need to be and do I need to take him for counseling for this soon? Thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 4 years ago.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your son is taking the Word of God to heart.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The Eucharist or Holy Communion remembers Jesus when he gave his disciples bread, saying, "This is my body" and gave them wine saying, "This is my blood".

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The substance of the Body and Blood of Jesus is symbolically changed in this most sacred ceremony.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your son was not trying to hurt himself, but rather trying to prepare himself for this most awesome (to a true believer) event.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He should be encouraged by his priests and is not in need of counseling for this act.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If he has oppositional defiance (which may merely be an outcome of the ADHD), then he should continue therapy.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This act, I believe, was merely an act of faith in the divinity of Christ. I would accept his word and not be swayed by a doubting teacher's concern.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If the wine were to change to blood in his mouth (Transubstantiation) then he would want to know what it would be like.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would encourage his religious participation and let it be a rock upon which he can build his moral life.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall keep him and your family in my prayers.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
sorry, that did not help much, could this be a sign of very abnormal, should i be worried about that? We see his devlopmental peds in 1 week so I will bring it up wiht him there but I also need to know if I shoudl see out a psychologist.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
ok, that is what I thought and I was hoping, he was just taking it very literally and really believing I guess. yes he has ODD from the ADHD , he is not currently in counseling, he is doign very well on strattera, though I have been thinking about counseling and also trying to find him a social skills classes (as well as parent training for me),but I have been having hard time finding either. DO you know of any other resources besides CHAAD for us? thanks
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 4 years ago.

Dear *****tie, He is only 7 years old and he has been told this story that is believed by the priest and true believers. It is not in line with mainstream culture but then again religion is not. You are sending him to Catholic school and this idea of taking something into his mouth that is supposed to be blood is a disturbing and awesome idea. If you feel you must take him to a psychologist, then take him to an observant Catholic one so that he understands why your son did this. If your son was not Catholic and was not going to have Communion and did not know about it, then it would be aberrant behavior. Taken in cultural context it is not. If he begins to hurt himself or others, including animals, then you should have reason to worry. Because of the context of this event, however, it is not something to worry about, particularly if it is an isolated incident. A seven year old boy cannot understand abstract reasoning yet and I really do not think you should be concerned about this incident. When you bring it up with his developmental peds, make sure to tell him or her the context of the event. Your son was only exercising curiosity and displaying a bit of fear about the coming event in which he will put God's flesh and blood into his mouth. Please understand that this is a bit scary to someone who is too young to possibly understand the abstract subtleties of transubstantiation. Warm regards, Elliott

PS - Go to the CHAAD website and enter your state for all local resources.

www.chadd.org