Teen Suicide

Teen suicide is far reaching in its effects of those people that are close to an individual who takes their own life. Al times it can even affect those who werent closely associated with that person. Often times, family members and friends ask themselves what they could have done to help stop suicide. There are many what ifs? that run through the minds of loved ones that cant help but wonder what might have happened if they would have done something different. Ultimately, however, these teens that turn to suicide usually are suffering from a psychological disorder that can play a major role in their evaluation and decision making process.

Who Is At Risk?

Generally young children are not prone to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. However, the older they become and as they enter adolescence, their risk increases dramatically. Like many psychological disorders those teens that come from unstable homes or families are at greater risk. Teens are faced with an ever increasing amount of pressures that can cause a high level of stress and anxiety. Without a strong support system, teens may feel that they have nowhere to turn for help. They may feel that they just arenít able to cope with the stresses of life. It is important that parents talk with their teens about not only problems, but also their interests as well. Good communication between teens and parents will create trust that will pay great dividends when teens are in trouble and need their parents most.

Warning Signs

Many times teens who commit or attempt suicide will give some kind of warning before. Its important for parents and loved ones to know the warning signs and then be vigilant in doing something about the warning signs. Some of the warning signs include:

Change of behavior: Be aware of a sudden change of behavior. Often times one of the first signs that a teen is having problems with depression or other mental or emotional problems is that of poor academic performance. A sudden drop in grades may indicate a loss of interest and motivation for future goals and aspirations.

Loss of interest: Loss of interest in friends, school, and other extracurricular activities may be a sign that the teen is depressed and unhappy. If parents detect a loss of interest in activities that the teen was previously interested in, they will want to talk with their teen and ask what is going on.

A break-up or loss of a close friend: Teens are at a vulnerable age. When they become involved in a relationship, especially a romantic relationship, they tend to believe that their life is centered on the other person and the relationship. If the relationship fails or ends, teens can become devastated and heartbroken, and sometimes will think irrationally. It is important for parents to support and be available to their teens during these difficult times.

Once a problem is identified, parents and caregivers should seek professional help and counseling immediately.