This Op-ed First Appeared in the Print Edition of USA Today on February 28th, 2018
I must be a terrible doctor. At least that was one possibility I thought to account for the six teenage patients of mine who over a recent three-month period presented to emergency rooms for depression and suicidal thinking. They were all between fourteen and sixteen. Four of the six were girls. All of the girls had been actively self-mutilating, colloquially known as “cutting.” Four of the six were admitted to an in-patient psychiatric ward as significant and immediate “dangers to themselves”. In other words, they were deemed by the psychiatrist in the emergency room as a potentially dangerous suicide risk.