3 Signs Your Teenager May Be Suicidal

Category: Play Therapy

3 Signs Your Teenager May Be Suicidal
By: Dilini Dharmawardana, LMFT

Everyone struggles, but sometimes that struggle becomes so real or so difficult that suicide is thought of over using the skills learned over time to deal with problems. “Suicides among young people continue to be a serious problem. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for children, adolescents, and young adults age 5-to-24-year-olds” (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2018). There are many risk factors that can tell you that someone is contemplating suicide. Here are a few of the risk factors that could lead to you assisting someone in getting help before it is too late.

#1: Your teenager is suffering from depression or has suffered from depression in the past

When your teenager has suffered from depression or is currently struggling with depression that is factor that therapists look out for when assessing for a client’s suicide. Depression is a series of symptoms that include a change in appetite, change in sleeping patterns, and hopelessness among other symptoms. Depression can be managed with coping skills and learning other skills. Having a therapist can help your teenager manage their symptoms of depression.

#2: Your teenager has attempted suicide before

Previous suicide attempts are huge indicator of future attempts and are a sign that therapists look for when assessing for current suicide. Hopefully, if your teenager has attempted suicide before they are currently in therapy because he/she should be monitored during the time after he/she attempted suicide. A therapist can help your teenager develop and maintain coping skills to manage the stressors that may have caused him/her to attempt suicide in the first place.

#3: Isolation

I realize that with the advent of technology and the increase in the use of social media, people may be more naturally isolated or alone than before these items became popular. Look at how often or how much your teenager isolates themselves from family and friends. If your teenager is isolating themselves more than usual, get them help. With technology making it easier and easier to not communicate and interact in person, people are becoming more isolating. So watch out for how much your teenager is not texting their friends or not hanging out with their friends in person.

If you believe your teenager is experiencing any of these signs of possible suicidality get them help as soon as possible. People are often afraid to get help due to the stigma around therapy, but staying alive is more important than being afraid to get the help your teenager needs. Life is hard, but the hard times can be dealt with some help from a therapist. Phil Donahue once said: “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” The issues that cause people to attempt suicide or commit suicide are generally things that are not permanent and can be dealt with time, healing, coping skills, and help!


Works Cited
(n.d.). Suicide in Children and Teens. Retrieved October 10, 2018, from https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Teen-Suicide-010.aspx