Teen suicide, one of the leading causes of death for teens, has steadily been on the rise for years. Teens are under pressure to succeed in school, do chores, help with siblings, and so much more. Many teens feel the pressures of their lives are too difficult and seek an escape. Long before the child attempts suicide, he often displays many signs of severe depression. These signs can be a warning to parents and friends but sometimes the warning signs go unnoticed.
What turns a sweet, innocent child into a person so lost that they take their own life? There are assorted reasons, each child having his or her own, for teen suicide. Divorce is sometimes behind the child’s feeling of being lost and alone. Sometimes suicidal feelings are directly related to something going on at school. Another reason teens kill themselves is the loss of a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Teens’ emotions run high and occurrences that seem minor to most people are major issues for them. But, no one thing, such as a divorce or a break-up, is actually the reason for the suicide. The real reason is that the teen needed help and no one knew. No one is to blame when a teen commits suicide since kids are often very skilled at hiding truths from parents and others.
If you’ve noticed a change in your child lately it could be normal teenage tendencies at work but if the behavior changes are major, last a long time, or are geared towards any type of violence you should seek help immediately. One sign that indicates your child may need a psychological exam is withdrawal from family and friends. Teens may sometimes withdraw from family as they get older but when they withdraw from friends as well it’s a troubling sign.
If a once neat and tidy child suddenly stops caring about his appearance, refuses to bathe or brush his teeth this is usually a sign that the child no longer cares about himself. When a child stops caring about himself he can begin thinking he has no reason to live. Unusual behavior, such as no longer spending time doing what he’s always loved, is also a red flag. If your child was always into sports now suddenly doesn’t want to even go outside this should set off an alarm to the parent.
Children who inflict violence on family, friends, or strangers are dangerous to themselves as well as others. Rather than ignore the violence and hope it will stop seek counseling for the teen. Your child may not even know what is making him so angry but the anger could easily turn into suicidal feelings. A psychologist could help if the issue isn’t kept behind closed doors, as it often is. Sometimes the violence can be inflicted upon the teen himself. Cutting himself, bashing his head against walls in anger, and other self-destructive behavior are good reasons to be concerned.
A teen who has already decided to commit suicide may suddenly start giving away some of his favorite possessions, speak of being a horrible person, or throw away things that once meant a lot to him. If your child has displayed even one of these actions seek help for him immediately. Teens who have threatened suicide may not be just threatening. Never write off a suicide threat as if it meant nothing. This only further’s the child’s feelings that no one cares.
There is treatment for depression and suicidal thoughts in teens. And, children who have not yet become teens are also susceptible to suicidal feelings. Ignoring the problem or hoping it will go away will not help your child.