Case Study: Bug Off, An Angry Teen

Case Study Bug Off, An Angry Teen

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Your phone vibrates. On the other end are your friends. You can almost feel their fear and frustration. You learn their teenage son is flipping out. The parents are perplexed because their son has always had a gentle disposition.

They can rarely get him out of his room now. And when he does, he barely speaks to anyone. Even then, it’s brief, cynical, and disrespectful. You learn that most of his habits are changing. Everything seems to be falling apart in his life.

The reason for the phone call was that the parents saw wounds on the teen’s arms. He had been cutting himself for a while but forgot to cover his arms. The parents tried to get information out of him, but the boy was unyielding. The parents persisted, and after feeling backed into a corner, he went into a verbal rant, pushed his parents out of the way, and ran outside. The parents knew of cutting, but never thought it would be a problem in their home.

Most unnerving was learning how this kind of behavior can lead to suicide. The parents are terrified, and they are asking for your help.

Case Study Questions

  1. What would you initially say to your friends?
  2. If the teenager refused to talk with you, how would you try to help him?
  3. How do the parents figure into the boy’s struggles?
  4. If the teen threatened suicide, what would you tell the parents to do?
  5. What other questions do you think are relevant here?

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