Teenage Suicide Overview – Helping Parents and Teens Find Answers

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For more information on Teen Suicide call ZES at 866-471-8579. They treat teen girls ages twelve -seventeen that are struggling with depression and possible suicidal threats.

A continued rise in teen suicide rates is concerning mental health professionals, educators, and youth workers. In the past 25 years, while the general incidence of suicide has decreased, the rate for those between 14 and 24 has tripled. It is generally considered to be the second or third most common cause of death among adolescents, even though it is seriously underreported. No one has advanced a good theory explaining why troubled teens are taking their own lives in greater numbers, but it’s important for everyone to be aware of the problem. No talk of suicide should be taken lightly. It indicates the need for professional help. Any suicidal gesture, no matter how “harmless” it seems, demands immediate professional attention.

Indicators of developing depression in adolescents include: Unhappiness Gradual withdrawal into helplessness and apathy Isolated behavior Drop in school performance Loss of interest in activities that formerly were sources of enjoyment Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness Fatigue or lack of energy or motivation Change in sleep habits Change in eating habits Self-neglect Preoccupation with sad thoughts or death Loss of concentration Increase in physical complaints Sudden outbursts of temper Reckless or dangerous behavior Increased drug or alcohol abuse Irritability; restlessness More imminent danger signs include: Talking about death and wanting to die Suicidal thoughts, plans, or fantasies Previous suicide attempts Friends who have attempted suicide Giving away personal possessions Telling a friend about suicidal plans Writing a note A recent article by Jane Brody in the New York Times summarized research describing the major risk factors of suicide among young people: Depression – often not recognized.

In younger children and in adolescent girls, it often seems to be that the child is simply angry or sullen. If this lasts more than a week or so with no relief, and if there are other signs of depression – changes in appetite, activity level, sleep pattern; loss of interest in activities that normally give pleasure; social withdrawal; thoughts of death or punishment – it should be taken seriously. Integrity House RTc can help adolescent girls that struggle with teen depression. Substance abuse. Sometimes teens try alcohol or other drugs to relieve depression. Unfortunately the drugs themselves have a depressant effect, and lower inhibitions against self-injurious behavior. Some young people who have never expressed a suicidal thought have taken their own lives when they got drunk to ease the pain of a disappointment or loss. But they only felt worse while drunk, and committed a rash, impulsive act which they wouldn’t have done sober. Behavioral problems – getting in trouble in school or with the law, fighting with parents – are the third risk factor for suicide. We tend to think of potential suicides as sensitive, shy people who are overwhelmed by life. We don’t see the cocky, obnoxious adolescent as potentially self-destructive, even though his behavior – continually getting in trouble, keeping the world at arm’s length – has exactly that effect. I recently re-read The Catcher in the Rye and was amazed to see Holden Caulfield, whom I had so identified myself with, from my now-adult perspective.

If you would like to know more about therapeutic boarding school and other residential programs for troubled teens, please contact a family counselor at Zion Educational Systems for guidance.  To get started click the button below!

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