Teen Suicide and Every Important Thing Parents Should Know

“What is wrong big shot?” Mark the most caring of them all asked.

Peter didn’t say anything but Paul the patronizing fellow said, “Your big shot feels so bad he is considering ending his life right now.”

Others were shocked by this, even Richard him self. But he (Paul) was right and Richard quickly confessed, “I took 14 pills on Friday to end my miserable life!”

“Teen suicide?” gasped Mark.

“You took only 14 pills? You weren’t that serious,” said the mischievous Paul.

Teen suicide is so common now that teenagers talk and joke about it as if it were just a bad dream. Teen Suicides have increased dramatically in the United States in recent years. Each year in the U.S., thousands of teenagers commit suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to-24-year-olds, and the sixth leading cause of death for 5-to-14-year-olds.

In their Book, When Tommororow Never Comes, Kristen Leanderson and Katherine Unmuth, say, “Girls are twice as likely as boys to attempt suicide. However, boys complete suicide at a much higher rate. Generally, boys are much more aggressive with their methods than girls are.”

Causes of Teen Suicide

Feelings of stress, Breaking up with a girl friend or boy friend Confusion can lead a teenager to teen suicide Self-doubt Loss of a loved one Pressure to succeed Feeling of hopelessness or helplessness Financial uncertainty may increase chances of teen suicide Divorce No matter what one does, things do not seem to be getting better and no one seems to care or can help New family with step-parents and step-siblings, New community All the above can exaggerate self-doubts.

For some teens, suicide may appear to be a solution to their problems and stress. And because all these things happen increasingly in this country, we have an increasing number of teen suicides.

Myths about Teen Suicide

  • Asking a student if he/she is thinking about suicide will put the idea into his/her head.
  • Once a student decides to commit suicide there is no way of stopping him/her.
  • Suicide happens without warning.
  • Students who commit suicide are mentally ill.

Facts about Teen Suicide

  1. Discussing the problem openly shows the suicidal student that someone cares and wants to help.
  2. Most students who are suicidal do not want to die. They are making a “cry for help”.
  3. 75% of the people who attempt or commit suicide have shown some warning sign(s).
  4. Students who are suicidal are not necessarily mentally ill.

Warnings of Teen Suicide

The following may help parents and guardians to take appropriate steps to prevent teen suicides.

  1. Change in eating and sleeping habits may be a sign of teen suicide attempt.
  2. Withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities
  3. Violent actions, rebellious behavior, or running away may also lead to teen suicide.
  4. Drug and alcohol use
  5. Unusual neglect of personal appearance is also a sign that may lead to teen suicide.
  6. Marked personality change
  7. Unrelenting boredom, difficulty in focusing on something,
  8. Giving away personal or prized possessions.
  9. Increased alcohol or drug use.
  10. Sleeping too much or too little.
  11. Recurrent complaints about physical symptoms, often related to emotions,
  12. Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  13. Not interested in praise or rewards
  14. Lack of interest in friends.
  15. Lack of interest in social activities that were formerly of interest.
  16. Poor performance in school.
  17. Boredom, restlessness, and loss of concentration.

Teenagers who are contemplating teen suicide may also:

  • Grumble of being a bad person or feeling rotten inside
  • Give verbal hints with statements such as: I won’t be a problem for you much longer, nothing matters, it’s no use, and I won’t see you again
  • Put his or her affairs in order, for example, give away favorite possessions, clean his or her room, throw away important belongings, etc.
  • Become suddenly cheerful after a period of depression
  • Have signs of psychosis (hallucinations or bizarre thoughts)
  • Depression is a major contributing factor to suicidal thinking. Depression may result from several factors, including the recent loss of a family member or friend, disappointments in romantic relationships, or failure to live up to one’s own or others expectations.
  • How to Help with Teen Suicide
  • Talk openly and freely and ask direct questions about the student’s intention.
  • Listen to what is said and treat it seriously. Do not add to your friend/classmate’s guilt by debating, arguing or lecturing about whether or not suicide is right or wrong.
  • NEVER leave a student who is suicidal alone.
  • Encourage the student to seek help.
  • Get help immediately.
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