Indy Posted’s Dina Ely explores the top 10 warning signs for teen suicide.
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Every year teens across the world commit suicide, due to a wide variety of factors – from emotional or neurological issues to environmental and peer problems. If you are concerned about the mental health of your teenager, here are the top 10 warning signs for teen suicide. Please, if your teen exhibits these symptoms, seek help right away. For more information about a growing movement to fight suicide, read To Write Love on Her Arms: Twloha Fights Depression With Community here on IndyPosted.
10. Sudden Disinterest
Your teen may be troubled if he or she suddenly loses interest in extracurricular activities he/she once enjoyed. Another symptom occurs when he/she becomes disinterested or nonchalant about once cherished hobbies.
9. Poor Job Performance
If employed, a suicidal teen may stop caring about work duties – even the most basic such as arriving on time for work and working in a cleanly manner. He/she may neglect responsibilities once taken seriously.
8. Behavioral Issues
Abrupt changes in behavior and by association, seemingly in personality, can be a suicide warning sign. For example, an energetic teen becomes sluggish, or a well-behaved teen becomes unruly.
7. Physical Changes
If your teen undergoes physical changes such as sleep disruption, loss of appetite, or complains of aches and fatigue that may be due to emotional state, he/she could be at risk of suicide. Furthermore, another sign is neglecting appearance or personal hygeine.
When a teen pulls away from family and friends, it’s a suicide warning sign. Similarly, he/she may pull away from once trusted advisors, such as a school counselor or beloved teacher, too.
5. Poor School Performance
If a teen is suicidal, often his/her school work suffers. Grades may fall, and he/she may exhibit difficulty concentrating or focusing during class and while attempting to complete homework.
4. Risk Taking
When a teen suddenly becomes careless or disregards personal safety and/or property, he/she may be suicidal. This includes suddenly indulging in drug and alcohol abuse.
3. Suicidal Talk
While sometimes a teen who talks about suicide is merely seeking attention, no talk of suicide should go without mental health treatment. A suicidal teen may mention a suicide plan, and may even go so far as to write suicide notes.
2. Disregarding Possessions
When a teen gives away or throws away possessions, he/she may be contemplating suicide. This is especially true when the dispersal of possessions is methodical and almost ritualistic, as if delegating who’d receive possessions in a will.
1. Verbal Cues
Verbal cues, whether subtle or outright suicidal in nature, are the #1 warning sign on our list. Such cues may be saying something like “if something happens to me…” or “I won’t cause you any problems anymore.” Generally these are signs of impending suicidal plans or, at the very least, suicidal contemplation.