Reach Out To Us Today! Most Insurance Plans Accepted

Recognizing the signs of teen suicide ideation and preventing it
Oct 07 2019

Recognizing the signs of teen suicide ideation and preventing it

Mental Health

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), there has been a 33 percent increase in suicide rates in the U.S. among all age groups from 1999 to 2017. However, the most vulnerable group are adolescents and young adults between the age of 10 to 34 years. The increase in suicide among this age group has been attributed to anxiety, teen depression, self-inflicted injuries, and increased social media use. Unfortunately, suicide has become the second leading cause of deaths in this age group.

Though suicide can usually not be attributed to a single reason at an individual level, mental illnesses, like depression, are one of the biggest risk factors for suicide. Other factors include dealing with serious mental illnesses or substance abuse in isolation. This grave reality is not without a ray of hope though. The risk of any person, adult or teen, attempting suicide can be significantly diminished through education, public awareness, and finding proper timely treatment for mental health disorders and addiction.

When it comes to preventing teen suicide, parents should be vigilant but not overbearing. One key is to be able to recognize the signs of suicidal ideation and also to know how to deal with them appropriately.

Signs of suicidal ideation/tendencies

When a teen is considering suicide, there are several key signs to watch out for. These can include depressive signs such as sadness, hopelessness, fatigue or a loss of motivation. Other signs may include romanticizing the idea of death or killing oneself, exhibiting a need to finish tasks or accomplish goals that are somewhat obscure, giving away belongings, signs of anxiety or saying goodbye to friends and family as if for the last time. If a teen exhibits these kinds of signs, a parent or caretaker should be aware that they may be at a risk of suicide – a situation that should not be taken lightly.

Preventative measures

For those cases in which you notice your teen may be suicidal, there are a few tips that you can use to help them:

  • Talking about it: Being straightforward can be a surprisingly good tactic. Ask your teen if they are considering suicide. This can give them an opening to discuss their thoughts and feelings which they may desperately need.
  • Avoiding accusations: Don’t accuse, rather show love and care. Instead of being angry or accusing your teen of being selfish, let your teen know how much your care for them and want to help them. Accusations may push them closer to the edge, something you do not want to do whereas love and support can provide them with the needed outlet.
  • Listening to them. If a teen is feeling hopeless or depressed, listening to them may be one of the most important things you can do. This lets them know that their thoughts and opinions matter while also giving them a chance to talk things out.
  • Avoid judging: Judging a teen makes them feel misunderstood and unaccepted which are often the feelings that may lead to suicidal ideation. Rather, try to emphasize that they are loved as they are and accept them without wanting to change them.
  • Decluttering: Go through the house carefully and get rid of anything that could cause harm. Blades, guns, poisonous products, belts, rope, medications, etc. should be either removed or monitored. Keep these things away from teens to limit their access to different means of committing suicide. This is important during the early stages of dealing with the teen’s struggles.
  • Reassuring your teen: Teens are still ruled more by emotions and often feel like certain feelings or states of being may be permanent when, in truth, they are not. The idea of being unable to escape can often lead teens to thoughts of suicide. It is very important to reassure them that these emotions are not permanent and that they can find help if they need it.
  • Getting help: More often than not suicidal ideation is connected to a teen mental health disorder, addiction, or a combination of the two, referred to as co-occurring conditions. Ensure that you look out for signs of these problems and talk with your doctor about treatment options. The more you and your teen know about the issue and the sooner you get treatment, the lower the risk of suicide will be.

The way ahead

Suicide is the second leading cause of deaths among teens. It is therefore, important to identify symptoms of suicide ideation and seek treatment at the earliest. When dealing with a suicidal teen, prevention is the key and the way to do that would often depend on what is going on with the teen. Be sure to combat symptoms such as depression, hopelessness, or anxiety with positive things like love, support, understanding, and quality time.

If your teen or a teen you know is displaying symptoms of mental health problems, get in touch with the Adeona Healthcare, the leading teen mental health treatment center for adolescents aged between 12 to 17. We excel in providing long-lasting mental health treatment for teens to ensure lasting mental health recovery. Call our 24/7 mental health helpline (888)-997-3966 to know more about our research-backed mental health treatment programs. You can also chat online with our representatives to understand why mental health treatment at Adeona Healthcare is the best for your teen.