5 Ways To Help A Teenager With Suicidal Thoughts
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in teenagers. It has been observed that the suicide rate of teens has increased in the last few decades. Teens are using firearms/guns to shoot themselves, consuming an overdose of prescribed as well as non-prescribed medicines and some other ways like hanging themselves or jumping from a height. According to studies girls think and attempt to suicide twice as compared to boys, however, the death rate due to suicide in boys is four-time than girls. The reason for this as observed is that boys use more lethal methods to attempt suicide. Now the question is what leads teens towards suicide.
Possible Reasons For Teenage Suicide
So far many reasons have been noticed for teenage suicide, some of these are as follows
- A mental health problem or psychological disorder - Such problems maybe because of some kind of anxiety, stress, depression and insomnia.
- Consumption of alcohol or other illicit drugs
- Bullying, exposure to violence
- The feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness
- Family problems like lack of support or parent’s divorce
- Dealing with bisexuality or homosexuality under social/parental pressure
- Losing faith in higher expectancy in love/affair relationships
- Access to firearms
- Physical illness/disability
Risk Factors And Warnings
Now the question arises, is there any way to figure out or know that our teens have suicidal tendencies. The answer is parents should have healthy communication and deep watch on their teens. If parents are well aware that their teens have come across any of the situations as explained above and notice any of the following points that may give a hint that their teen is thinking of suicide
- If teens talk like they might not be around anymore
- If teens are talking about death or suicide in general and often
- If teens are talking like they are feeling hopeless and worthless
- Lose interest in school, sports, food, family and staying alone
- Change in sleep pattern
- No interest in favourite events or things
And now if we find that our teen might be thinking of suicide, the next question that comes in mind is, “What to do now?”
Ways To Help Teenagers With Suicidal Thoughts (For Parents)
Let us discuss the ways to help them
1. Ask Questions
We as parents often shy away from asking such questions from our teens. But this is not the right time to stop ourselves. Sometimes parents think of not asking such questions with a fear that it can give teens an idea of suicide. However, we should ask them if they are thinking to attempt suicide or hurting themselves and also explain to them why you are asking them these kinds of questions. It may even help to sort out hard things.
This is one way to know what is going on in our teen’s mind and the reason behind that as well. After that, we have a number of ways to handle the situation. Every reason/problem can have different approaches to a solution.
2. Listen And Help Them
Parents must have open communication with their teens so that teens can confide us. Listen and make them comfortable with you. Many problems can be sorted by parents only, like if teens are disturbed because of parent’s own dispute then definitely parents should think about their teens. Even in other family issues, only parents have a key role to sort them out.
If teens are dealing with homosexuality or bisexuality, either they need support from their parents or their advice. Sexual relationships and cheating in such relations are normal nowadays. Again parents are the once who can help their teens with their love and guidance in such a situation.
If teens are depressed because of studies and competition, then who can motivate and guide better than parents. In such situations, parents can include teachers of their teens.
Schools/colleges might be another place where teens can plan their wrong decisions because of bullying or violence by their peers. In such cases, we may loop in their teachers to address these kinds of issues which will make them feel safe in schools/colleges as well.
3. The Help Of A Doctor
Sometimes suicidal thoughts become so heavy on teens that it becomes necessary to go to a doctor who can further refer our teens to a psychiatrist if at all needed. If our teen refuses to go to a psychiatrist with an excuse that suicidal thoughts come and go or he/she says that thoughts can be handled by themselves, even then parents must not avoid consulting a psychiatrist.
A Psychiatrist may help those teens who are contemplating suicide because of substance abuse as well. They have solution/advice for all kinds of psychological problems like depression, stress, anxiety and insomnia.
Doctors can help in those cases where teens are having suicidal thoughts because of substance abuse. Doctors have many kinds of medication for such cases. With the help of doctors, parents and love of siblings teens can get rid of suicidal thoughts.
4. Keep Harmful Things Away From Teens
It is a safety measure that must be taken by parents. If we came to know that our teen is going through hard times and this can lead to a dangerous end. First, we need to keep all harmful things away from them. If we have any firearms at our home, keep those locked and away from their reach. Many teens consume overdose of prescribed or non-prescribed medicines for suicide. We must also keep this in our mind and place medicines at a safe place away from their reach.
5. Take Suicide Threats/Warnings Seriously
Sometimes it is noticed that teens threaten their parents for suicide. Usually, they do so for the fulfilment of their demands and at times they are seriously having suicidal thoughts. But if we are having good bond and communication with our teens then it becomes very easy for parents to know whether their teens are seriously having suicidal thoughts or they just want to fulfil their demands.
Whenever we talk about any issue related to teenagers, we come to the same conclusion that only the bond and love of parents can keep teenagers on the right track. Otherwise, there are a number of things which can lead our teenagers to wrong track which might be disastrous for them.