Teenager with suicidal thoughts
Suicidal thoughts are basically ideation that includes thoughts, ideas, images and fantasies related to ending one’s own life. The suicidal thoughts are related to suicide which are the end cause of this mental syndrome. Suicidal thoughts are formed from negative thoughts, negative ideas, stress, catastrophic incidents or any other reason in life. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone irrespective of gender or age. However, there are some categories who are easily affected by these negative thoughts. This includes elders, kids, pregnant mothers, and children. If we take a look at the latest stats, a teenager with suicidal thoughts are more common comparatively. We should learn what is the psychology behind dreams.
Suicidal thoughts and teens
If you are a teen, you may get various types of suicidal thoughts. This can range from thinking about the sin of making actual plans to end life. This is the prime reason why mental health professionals give emphasis on the ideation of suicide being passive or active. These are two types of suicidal ideation observed commonly in teens.
In Passive suicidal ideation, you get thoughts that might include fleeting emotions of suicide. These might increase up to making experiencing vague ideas about ending life. In this ideation, suicide is observed as the most possible way to end the suffering. However, no such action is taken in this case. Alternatively, active suicidal ideation is a mindset where the teen gets persistent thoughts of suicide. This makes the person mere hopeless. The active suicidal ideation usually results in taking of steps by the teen to attempt suicide.
Signs and symptoms
Usually, scientists related untreated depression to suicidal thoughts in teenagers. Nowadays, drug abuse has also become a major culprit. With the advent of technology, a new method of arousing suicidal thoughts has emerged. This includes mind-altering video games that often conjure teenagers to do things that harm themselves and ultimately take their lives. This also contributes to symptoms of suicides in this age group.
Besides the causes, one should always keep knowledge about the main teenager warning signs that lead to suicide. Here are some of them described below:
- uncommon behavior with family members and adults
- spending too much time on mobile or computer video games
- isolating himself from social contact in a sudden manner
- experiencing major mood swings
- adopting a self-destructive nature
- engaging in behaviors that involve risks such as using a knife during normal arguments
- showing a feeling of extremely upset, depressed, anxious or agitated
- if there is a prompt change in the overall personality of the person
- starting to use drugs or alcohol and eventually becoming addicted to these social evils
- saying goodbye to everyone now and then
- talking about dying or ending life more often
- a change in eating, sleeping or other daily lifestyle patterns
- giving away beloved possession without any reason
- cramming things like “being dead is better than living” or “I wish I were dead or was never born”
- always expressing a hopelessness feeling of being trapped and not being able to find any way out
While these warning signs are present mostly, many individuals may experience dissimilar warning signs. These are different for every individual. This relates to the magnitude of suicidal thoughts and feelings in a teenager. When you feel like a teenager is showing such signs of suicide, you should get in touch with a physician as soon as possible. Earlier detection is important as in the case of all mental diseases.
Since they are in their growing age, a teenager might be easily prone to negative emotions that lead to suicidal thoughts. In this scenario, parents think that changed behavior is a part of the growing process. Hence, they misunderstand and ignore the early signs of suicidal thoughts. Let’s explain this thing in detail with an example. We shall know how this ideation develops and sting its roots deep in the consciousness of developing the mind.
A guy named mark is feeling sad. The reason is the negative incident of his life as his friend moves away to another town. He now experiences a major sense of loneliness, not to mention insecurity and hopelessness. Days pass and the condition doesn’t improve as he doesn’t disclose his mental state with anyone. He thinks that everyone might take him as a weak kid. One night, he reads an article about suicide and suddenly starts thinking about it. As every second passes, he feels it is a better idea of ending his suffering. He doesn’t realize that after he dies, he won’t feel anything, not even happiness or relief. But he gets inclined towards the idea as a medium of ending his pain. This is a pure instance of suicidal ideation.
What parents can do
This type of behavior might be avoided and recognized in the first place. As a parent, you should monitor the phase of your child’s growth. You should talk to your teenager girl or boy about how he feels about life, what is happening at school, and what he or she aspires to do in the future. You should always leave the boundaries of being an adult and become frank wherever possible. Parents should allow space to children and have them involved in conversations daily. A quire child might hide more things as compared to an extrovert one.
Here are some tips parents can do to avoid suicidal thoughts in their children.
- The foremost thing is to be in the shoes of a teenager and help your child any way you can
- Never scold your child on any mistake. Instead, discuss with him the reason and explain things in a calm manner
- Try to have conversations about his or her life. You may get a sign if there are suicidal thoughts being born in his or her mind.
- Always have a positive attitude towards your child. Let him know the importance of life and how beautiful it is whenever you get time.
- As a parent, you should always keep your child around. Leaving him too long, for instance for days to a friends’ house might result in negative consequences.
- You should make sure that you don’t become too restrictive. While guiding your child is always good, you should not be too harsh.
- Whenever you detect a sign of suicidal thoughts, you should act immediately. You can try asking questions on your personal level. If the suicidal behavior continues, you may take the help of emergency societies for such incidents.
- Every now and then, check your child’s room. You should remove any harmful objects such as a knife or gun from his vicinity.
- You should be in direct contact with the parents of your child’s friends. This helps in emergency situations. It also gives you an idea of how your loved one is doing with his friends
- Always keep contact numbers of friends and associates. You should also make a list of contact numbers on whom you can rely in case of emergency
- Always ask your child if someone is bullying him or her in school. These incidents can easily turn into suicidal thoughts.
- If your child has faced a negative incident in life, you should be supporting him with all dedication. You can plan good activities to make him feel better
- Always encourage the teenager to indulge in good physical activities. You may ask him to join swimming, Yoga, meditation or any other sports activity.
- Always keep your bad habits away from your child. You should never smoke or drink in front of the growing teenager.
- As a mother or father, you should avoid fighting in front of your children as this poses a negative impact on their thinking for a long time.
Conversing with your child about suicidal thoughts
The first thing you should do is to simply ask your child about suicidal thoughts. You should not refrain from using such terms as this is a matter of innocent life. It may be hard, but if you wish to eliminate your worries, you need to stop if your child is thinking about suicide.
In most cases, it is good to simply ask him about suicidal thoughts or suicide directly. When you do this, you are simply refusing the mid part and coming to the question that matters directly. You should do it in a polite manner so as to not to scare the innocent growing kid. You should give him or her the chance to talk about his or her experience and state of mind.
Soon, your child will feel relaxed and will start sharing things with you, which he or she might not have shared with anyone ever.
If there is anyone matter that should never be avoided by parents, it is suicide ideation. When you converse with them, you are helping them feel less more alone. You are making them feel better in a time when they need your help the most, yet are not able to say it. You should make it a point to make your child realize that how well you understand them and you know it is sometimes hard to talk about inner feelings.
Some of the quick and easy questions you can ask to include:
Are you feeling something related to suicide?
Are you thinking about harming yourself lately?
Have you thought of ending your life ever crossed your mind?
Do you know when you would do it?
How do you feel about the bad things in your life?
These questions might seem intimidating at first. But their ‘to the point’ value will help a lot in providing a direct answer to all your concerns. if your child says yes to any of the above questions or simply nodes, you should be at concerned. You may immediately seek emergency help. You can also take your child to a local hospital for emergency deeds.
One should be aware that your child might not give answers easily. Hence, it’s your job to comfort him so that he feels at ease while being subjected to such questions. He might simply be unable to give answers due to the signs or symptoms of mental illness he is facing. The situation might worsen if he is facing severe depression, stress or psychosis. You should call a doctor in such cases.
What to do
When a teenager faces suicidal thoughts, you can take the following recommended steps:
- Try to stay with the teenager always. You should keep someone close to him or her in order to not to leave the person alone by any means
- Try removing any means of self-harm from his vicinities such as drugs, rope, razors, guns, medications or any other sharp objects. To be safer, you can restrict the access to a vehicle
- Always tell the teenager that you are always there to help. You should make him know how his life is in danger and how he will get help from you. It is a good idea to avoid promising that everything will be kept secret.
- You may ask the teenager to take a vow to tell you everything as a trusted friend or loved one. One can also encourage him or her, to be honest with a psychologist, a teacher or any other trusted adult.
What to avoid
You should, by any means avoid patronizing the teenager. You should not blame him and should never act as a judgemental person while talking. This can remove the communication line and may stop the convict from making up his mind for taking help from you. You should never tell the teenager that things can be worse or people are facing worse than you. You should make him feel better by allowing him to realize how you feel his or her pain. In the end, make sure that you do not do things in a hurry. Suicidal treatment is a slow process and might take time. Though you should act quickly in terms of emergency or when the teenager is acting to commit suicide, you should avoid being in a rush when talking to him about feelings and mindset.