If you aren’t familiar with the staggering rates of depressed teens and suicides happening each year, take a moment to read these stats before your read about the warning signs below:
- At least 25% of teenagers in North America this year will suffer from varying degrees of teen depression.
- 24% of U.S. high school students have seriously thought about attempting suicide.
- The ratio of suicide attempts to suicide death in youth is estimated to be about 25:1.
- More males than females are successful (by a factor of 4 because they use guns over pills).
Teens who share that they’ve had suicidal thoughts need support immediately. Having those types of thoughts suggests that they are dealing with some life challenges or emotional struggles. If they do not get the relief they are seeking and the situation gets worse, they may start to seriously consider suicide as an option.
Parents of teens should act immediately if they notice any of the following signs:
Major suicide warning signs
- Talking about wanting to committing suicide. The more your teen says they want to die the more they mean it. Do not leave them alone. Get help immediately by calling your local crisis support line or going to the emergency room.
- Researching suicide. Online parental controls are available for monitoring Internet action. If you see searches that suggest searching for ways to commit suicide you should consider this a state of crisis. Your teen needs help right away.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live. Teens are in an in-between stage of life where many have not figured out what they want to do in their adult life. Having a reason to get up in the morning is crucial for overall happiness levels. If you’re teen feels hopeless try and start to guide them towards learning more about themselves and what they want to accomplish in life. This may help them start to get excited about their life and improve their mood.
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain. Many teens struggle with life situations and emotions but have not yet learned the skills of how to overcome simple challenges. They may communicate this by saying things like “I don’t know what to do” or “my life is over”. Assist your teen in learning how to take action to get themselves out of tough situations.
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs. Abusing substances can often end your teen in the emergency room as a suicide attempt or they may be successful. A depressed teen heightens their risk of suicide when they drink. They may not seriously intend to die but it may happen. Keep tabs on your teens whereabouts.
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated. The numbers of teens that don’t communicate and isolate themselves from family members and friends is high. If your teen has trouble communicate seek help immediately.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
- Art that displays themes of death.
- Running away from home.