While a quick study on suicide ideation, or suicidal thoughts, reveals that most individuals will not follow through with the act of killing themselves, entertaining thoughts on suicide should always be taken seriously. While depression (untreated) and/or drug abuse is often at the root of suicidal thoughts in teens, it’s wise to understand how the idea of suicide is classified professionally. Mental health professionals, counselors, and mentors prove invaluable to parents as they navigate the complex realm of suicide ideation as it relates to their teen.
For the most part, when teens develop vague ideas about suicide as a way to relieve or escape their pain, this is called passive suicidal ideation. In other words, the teen realizes that suicide is an option, but they usually do not move forward with it. On the other hand, active suicidal ideation stems from a persistent feeling of hopelessness that leads to the teen taking active steps to end their life.
A number of warning signs or red flags are associated with suicide ideation. Parents and caretakers should be on the lookout for the following:
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Self-destructive behaviors
- Mood swings
- Talking about death or saying “I wish I were dead or never born”
- Feelings of hopelessness and stress
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Personality changes (easily agitated, upset, or anxious)
- Alcohol or drug use
While several of the above-mentioned signs may be difficult to detect, it is important not to ignore any sign or symptom of suicidal ideation. Even if you suspect that your teen is engaging in suicidal thoughts in a passive sense, do not assume that they will go away. You will never regret seeking help for your child.
If you are facing the challenge of suicidal ideation and your teen, Carolyn Guthrie Lambert of Nathan’s Waypoint understands. Through the greatest challenge of her personal and professional life, Carolyn forged a path to help her own son. As a result, she has become an advocate for families throughout Roswell and surrounding areas, helping them make informed decisions about their teen’s mental and emotional health.
If you are seeking guidance today, call Nathan’s Waypoint to schedule a free one-hour consultation.
Posted on behalf of Nathan's Waypoint