How to Prevent Teen Suicide

It’s important to know the signs of teen suicide!

prevent teen suicideIt’s estimated that for every teen suicide you hear about, there’s an average of 25 attempts that were not successful. Up to 12 teens a day sadly do succeed in ending their lives.

These statistics are terrifying to parents, many of whom have no idea how to talk to their kids in general, let alone discuss something as serious as suicide. Parents can, however, learn how to keep a watchful eye on their kids and educate themselves on the signs of suicide.

Watching for the Quiet Danger

Suicidal feelings are like a monster. They lurk nearby, putting your children in a great deal of danger, yet they are often unseen. Some teens are vocal about wanting to harm themselves, but this isn’t always the case. How can you help your teens if you don’t know they are suffering?

Some of the less-obvious signs of suicidal depression include:

  • Personality changes or the lack of desire to participate in activities your teen previously enjoyed.
  • Social isolation or the loss of friends at school.
  • Changes in sleep, eating or exercise patterns.
  • Extremely irritability or rage.
  • Signs of self-harm, such as cuts on the arms or legs, bruises, burn marks or other damage. Keep in mind that such injuries could also potentially be the result of abuse.

If your teen has directly threatened suicide, it’s important to take these threats seriously. Many people shrug them off as a cry for attention but fail to recognize that a child who is crying out for attention might also be willing to seriously harm themselves. These things aren’t mutually exclusive. If your child is trying to tell you something, it’s wise to take the time to listen. The most dangerous scenario is one in which your teen is suffering from suicidal thoughts and not telling anyone about them.

Guarding Against Suicide

If you do suspect your teen is suicidal, you might be wondering what you’re supposed to do. The first step is to obviously physically prevent your teen from harming themselves. This means that weapons, razor blades, medications and any other possibly lethal instrument should be out of your teen’s reach. This is obviously somewhat difficult in some circumstances, but you can do a lot by simply emptying out the drawers and medicine cabinets and keeping all possibly dangerous materials in your own bedroom at night.

Counseling is obviously the next step. However, you might already be in family counseling and still dealing with these issues. Depression is a beast that doesn’t tame easily, but easy access to counseling and other services has been shown to help. The same goes for a strong network of family and friends. Sometimes, showing your teen how deeply you care and how worried you are is enough to spark a change. Never hold your feelings back. You don’t ever want your teens to feel guilt over your worry, but holding back could lead them to feel much less loved than they are.

For more help with your teen, please contact me today. 928-300-0447

Debra Beck

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Debra Beck

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