Case study ( 5981 views as of February 28, 2024 )
Teresa is a 24-year-old graduate student who has been missing seminars, and has not handed in her last two assignments. She had a recent break up with her girlfriend, and has been posting sad, hopeless messages on Facebook and her other social media channels. Teresa's friends are concerned. One of her friends goes to her apartment and finds Teresa in her pyjamas, having clearly not showered in some time. The apartment is a mess, and several shallow, parallel cuts are observed on her forearms. Teresa has previously shared that she used to "cut" when she went through a "rough patch" in her teens.
Teresa would benefit from connecting with her primary care provider, and very likely needs to get additional mental health support through psychiatry, psychology, and/or other counselling or therapy services. Services targeted for the LGBTQ population may be a consideration.
While "cutting" is not necessarily a suicidal gesture, it is important that Teresa be urgently assessed, possibly in the emergency department to connect her with inpatient or outpatient support services.Author: Dr. Adam Lund