One of the most tragic questions many ask about youth today is why teens commit suicide. Those who have lost a loved one to suicide often wonder why teens commit suicide. Unfortunately, so many say the individual showed no outward signs of depression or distress.
Understanding why teens commit suicide is one of the best steps to help prevent other teens and children from committing suicide or feeling like they need to take such drastic measures to cope with their often hidden pain. Unfortunately teen suicide is one of the leading causes of death among college students and teens in the United States. Because this is such a serious problem, it is up to adults, parents, teachers and fellow teens to know what signs to look for when a person may be dealing with suicidal thoughts and severe depression.
Why Teens Commit Suicide:
There are a few reasons teens resort to suicide when they are struggling with severe depression, anxiety, loneliness, confusion and overwhelming sadness. Most of the time teens commit suicide because they are trying to escape from their lives or a situation that is emotionally and/or physically damaging. Teens unable to cope with these situations are often desperate to escape and see death as the only way to effectively do so. Some teens might try to end their lives through suicide to deal with bullying, torment, abuse, feelings of self-loathing and self-hate. Teens who are likely to commit suicide may not feel that they have a strong support system or many friends who can be there for them. While this may be true in some situations, some family members and friends do not realize the kind of support their teen needs from them. That is why it is so important to truly understand why teens commit suicide, to know which warning signs to watch for and how to get your loved one help.
While most teens that commit suicide are suffering from depression, some of these teens do not even realize that is what is wrong with them. They don’t understand that depression is an option, a mental illness that can be effectively treated through therapy and sometimes the help of medication. Again, this is where it comes into play that parents, adults and other teens need to pay attention to these suicidal warning signs. Unfortunately depression can be a common mental illness that many teens deal with and suffer from throughout their teen years because they are so vulnerable. This is mostly because teens have poor sleep cycles, hormones that are constantly up and down as well as mood issues. These are all factors that could cause teen depression. By adding in other outside factors like troubles in school, family, etc., teens might be at an even higher risk for depression and an inability to cope with situations in their life.
Suicidal Warning Signs:
- Teens who frequently talk about suicide or death
- Teens who talk about wanting to escape or “go away”
- Teens might often talk abut things they will no longer need and give away items to friends and family
- Warning signs might also include the teen talking about hopelessness or feeling guilty
- Teens who might be in danger of suicide will also begin pull away from friends and family and will no longer wish to partake of activities they used to enjoy
- Teens might also exhibit a change in behaviors when it comes to eating and sleeping habits
- Teens with drinking habits, cutting, etc. and other self-destructive behaviors might be at risk for suicide
- Like many depression symptoms, trouble concentrating might also be a symptom of a teen considering suicide
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Extreme personality changes
- Sadness, irritability or indifference
- Poor school performance
If you or a friend or family member is exhibiting any of these signs, it is imperative to get help or to get them help right away. Talk to a trusted adult or family member to facilitate this kind of assistance. You could be saving a life by noticing these symptoms early and considering treatment at an early onset of depression or other mental illnesses or dilemmas.
Sources: kidshealth.org, nami.org