This morning I was watching the news while I was eating my breakfast and caught the tale end of a news story about teen suicide. This isn’t the first news story that I have heard on the news about teens trying to commit suicide or actually following through with it. In fact, teen suicide is on the rise according the Centers of Disease Control. Teen suicide can be prevented if parents actually knew what their teenager is doing and learned the warning signs.
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only and should NEVER be substituted for getting your teenager a professional mental health evaluation to determine if they are at risk for committing suicide. If you feel your teenager is in immediate danger, please call 911 or take them to the nearest ER or Mental Health hospital.
Teenage Suicide Statistics
According to the New York Daily News Paper, 1 in 6 teenagers have considered committing suicide as a way to deal with their problems and 1 in 12 teenagers have actually attempted to commit suicide. As a parent of a tween and teenager, I wanted to be aware of the warning signs so that I can intervene if my children begin showing the signs and symptoms that they are contemplating committing suicide. Today’s teenagers are experiencing far more pressure than most teenagers experienced a few years ago. Not only are teenagers going through physical, emotional, and mental changes but they are having to adapt to their changing roles. Teens are often are faced with new responsibilities and when they enter high school they begin to feel an overwhelming pressure that they must succeed and do well in school.
Teenagers Are Expected to Take on More Responsibilities and Their Roles Often Change When They Enter High School
As your teen, begins to accept their new roles they may begin to experience problems in school or with their friends. It is important that you stay involved in your teenager’s life, by doing so you are more likely to know when your child is feeling down and out or is having a hard time at school or with their friends. If your teen is showing the signs and symptoms that they are contemplating committing suicide you can quickly intervene and get your child help immediately. However, parents who don’t take an active role in their child’s life may or may not recognize the signs and symptoms of depression or suicide until it is too late.
When to Seek Help From a Professional
If you notice that your teenager is experiencing the signs and symptoms, it is important that you take the signs and symptoms seriously, even if they don’t want to open up and discuss what is going on. If they won’t talk about their problems, seek the help of a mental health professional immediately they are specifically trained and can often times get your teen to open up and talk.
Signs and Symptoms of Teen Depression and Suicide
If your teenager or someone you know experiences these signs and symptoms they could be suicidal and need immediate help. Never ignore these warning signs.
- Changes in sleep patterns.
- Changes in eating habits.
- Loss of interest in their favorite extra curricular activities.
- Loss of interest in doing their school work.
- Declining grades.
- Suddenly getting in trouble for their behavior.
- Withdrawing from their friends and family.
- Experiencing problems at work or they don’t care about work anymore.
- Having problems paying attention or concentrating.
- Begin complaining that they are bored all the time.
- Begin to show loss of interest in their hygiene and their physical appearance.
- Exhibiting signs of emotional distress.
- Complaining about physical ailments such as aches, pains, and migraines.
- Turn to substance abuse to relieve their pain. This can include both legal and illegal drugs and alcohol.
- Begin participating in risky behaviors.
- They are a victim of bullying or cyber-bullying.
Depending on your teenager, you may or may not see any of these symptoms in your teenager to give you an indication that they are thinking about committing suicide. However, seeing two or three of these symptoms in your teenager could indicate that your teenager is feeling depressed or is considering a suicide attempt. It is important to keep an open line of communication with your teenager so that they can come and talk to you if they are feeling overwhelmed instead of feeling as if they are going through things in their life alone.
When Does Monitoring Your Teenager’s Social Media and Cell Phone Become Necessary?
If your child uses the computer or a cell phone, you might monitor their accounts to see if they are communicating their problems with their friends. Of course, your teenager might not be happy if your spying but if you feel as if they are going to endanger their lives then going through your teenager’s cell phone or monitoring your teenagers social media accounts might not be a bad idea.