The truth is, it can be tough to navigate the teenage years – for both the teenager and the parents. Hormones are raging, acne is flaring up, and emotions are running high. But sometimes, those emotions can turn into something more dangerous. Suicidal thoughts and tendencies are a real risk for teenagers, and it’s important for parents to know how to spot the signs.
Here are some helpful tips:
Pay attention to changes in behavior
Has your usually chatty teen become withdrawn and quiet? Are they suddenly lashing out in anger or picking fights with siblings? These could be signs that something is wrong. Keep a close eye on any changes in your teen’s behavior, especially if they come on suddenly.
Take note of any comments made about suicide
Even if it’s just a passing comment, any talk of suicide should be taken seriously. Don’t brush it off as just a joke – instead, ask your teen what they meant by the comment and try to get to the root of their feelings.
Look for signs of depression
Suicidal tendencies often come hand-in-hand with depression. Keep an eye out for signs like changes in appetite, difficulty sleeping, or a lack of interest in activities that used to bring your teen joy.
Watch for substance abuse
Teens who are struggling with suicidal thoughts may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope. Keep an eye out for any signs of substance abuse and talk to your teen about the dangers of self-medication.
Encourage open communication
One of the best ways to spot suicidal tendencies is to simply talk to your teen. Encourage them to open up about their feelings, and let them know that you’re there to support them, no matter what. This can go a long way in preventing a crisis down the road.
Seek professional help
If you’re worried about your teen’s mental health, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help your teen work through their feelings and develop coping mechanisms to deal with any difficult emotions.
Remember, suicide is a serious issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly. By keeping an eye out for any warning signs and encouraging open communication, you can help keep your teen safe and healthy during these challenging years.