Teen Suicide – Some Suicidal Hints Among Teenagers You Should Be Aware Of
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Teenagers who intentionally kill themselves are committing suicide. A teen may think about wanting to die before attempting suicide. The term for this is suicidal ideation. Additionally, he or she might act suicidally. A teen is then motivated to take action resulting in their own demise.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death in young people ages 15 to 24. The CDC reports that:
- Boys are 4 times more likely to die from suicide than girls.
- Girls are more likely to attempt suicide than boys.
- Guns are used in more than half of youth suicides.
What Causes A Teen To Attempt Suicide?
The teen years are a difficult time. They have undergone numerous significant changes. These involve changes to the body, mind, and emotions. Teenagers may experience strong stress, confusion, fear, and doubt, affecting their ability to solve problems and make decisions. Additionally, he or she might feel pressure to perform well.
For some teens, normal developmental changes can be very unsettling when combined with other events, such as:
- Changes in their families, such as divorce or moving to a new town
- Changes in friendships
- Problems in school
- Other losses
These problems may seem too hard or embarrassing to overcome. For some, suicide may seem like a solution.
Which Teens Are At Risk For Suicide?
A teen’s risk for suicide varies with age, gender, and cultural and social influences. Risk factors may change over time. They are:
- One or more mental health conditions, including substance use disorder
- Impulsive behaviours
- Undesirable life events or recent losses, such as the death of a parent
- Family history of mental or substance use disorder
- Family history of suicide
- Family violence, including physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse
- Past suicide attempt
- Gun in the home
- Exposure to the suicidal behaviour of others, such as from family or peers, in the news, or fiction stories
What Are The Warning Signs Of Teen Suicide?
Many of the warning signs of suicide are also symptoms of depression. They are:
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Withdrawal from friends and family members
- Acting-out behaviours and running away
- Alcohol and drug use
- Neglecting one’s personal appearance
- Unnecessary risk-taking
- Obsession with death and dying
- More physical complaints often linked to emotional distress, such as stomachaches, headaches, and extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- Loss of interest in school or schoolwork
- Feeling bored
- Problems focusing
- Feeling he or she wants to die
- Lack of response to praise
Another warning sign is making plans or efforts toward committing suicide:
- Says, “I want to kill myself,” or “I’m going to commit suicide.”
- Gives verbal hints, such as “I won’t be a problem much longer,” or “If anything happens to me, I want you to know ….”
- Gives away favourite possessions or throws away important belongings
- Becomes suddenly cheerful after a period of depression
- May express weird thoughts
- Writes 1 or more suicide notes
These signs may look like other health problems. Make sure your teen sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How Is A Teen Diagnosed As Being Suicidal?
Suicidal threats are a cry for help. Always take such declarations, ideas, deeds, or plans very seriously. Teens who express suicidal thoughts should be evaluated right away. Discuss with your teen’s doctor.
Teens who have attempted suicide should get a physical exam first to rule out any potentially fatal medical conditions. Once stabilized, he or she should receive a mental health assessment and treatment. To ensure the safety of the child, this frequently occurs at an inpatient facility.
How Is A Teen Treated For Suicidal Behavior?
Your child’s symptoms, age, and general health will all affect the course of treatment. Furthermore, it will depend on how serious the condition is. The first step in treatment is a thorough analysis of what happened in your teen’s life in the two to three days prior to the suicidal behaviours. Treatment may include:
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy. Parents play a vital role in treatment.
- An extended hospital stay, if needed. This gives the child a supervised and safe environment.