With all the cyberbullying and teen suicides in the news lately, every parent is concerned and wonders if their teen is depressed or suicidal. There is nothing scarier than finding out your child is depressed, except finding out when it is too late to do something about it. Answering the question why do young people commit suicide is hard. Often, teens keep their fears, sadness, loneliness and worries to themselves or will only discuss them with their close friends. Many of the signs they show indicating they might commit suicide are attributed to typical rebellious teen behavior. Other times the answer lies in the mental capacity of the teen, which you are unable to diagnose after they have passed.
Understanding why people commit suicide and what is causing the need for such drastic measures may help you prevent a suicide attempt with your teen before it happens. One way to find out if your teen is depressed or suicidal is to look at their search engine history on their computer. If your teen is considering suicide or feeling depressed you will see search terms like:
- Why People Commit Suicide?
- Why do people commit suicide by hanging?
- Why do people want to commit suicide?
- I want to die.
- How do people commit suicide?
- How to kill yourself.
- How to commit suicide.
- Should I kill myself?
- Suicide Methods.
- I want to disappear.
- I hate my life or I hate myself.
Why People Commit Suicide?
One way to find out if your teen is depressed or suicidal is to look at their search engine history on their computer.
The Center for Disease Control ranks suicide for people 10 years and older as the 10th leading cause of death in the United State with over 4,000 young people committing suicide each year. It is the cause. While suicide rates were on the decline by the early 2000, they have since increased.
There are many reasons why people commit suicide including mental health issues such as depression and bullying. Many teens who have tried to commit suicide, but failed, said they just wanted to get out of a bad or difficult situation and dying felt like the only way. Some teens experience overwhelming or difficult emotions such as guilt, rejection and loss or they feel unloved and not accepted.
Mental Health and Suicide
While suicide occurs for many reasons, 90% of the time it is most often associated with a mental illness. Mental illnesses come in many forms and are not always recognizable until it is too late. However, they are treatable. Early intervention and treatment for teens with a mental illness can help prevent suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Mental illnesses that lead to suicide include:
- Depression where teens feel sad and withdrawn. They no longer take an interest in once loved activities and find it difficult to overcome a problem
- Bipolar disorder and manic depression where teens experience bouts of extreme happiness (mania) followed by bouts of extreme despair and sadness (manic).
- Anxiety disorders with extreme fear and nervousness.
- Schizophrenia, which often shows up in late adolescence, is an inability to separate reality from fiction and includes delusions or hallucinations.
- Substance Abuse like alcohol and drug use.
Bullying and Suicide
Bullying is ongoing aggressive or abusive behavior from one person or a group of people that harms and threatens another either physically or emotionally or both. Bullies come in many varieties and are not always physical with your teen or outcasts in your teens peer groups. Sometimes they are the popular kids or older kids that band together to ostracize your teen. Maybe they were once your teen’s friends. They will pick on your teen at school or ridicule them over social media such as Facebook and Twitter with harsh words and criticisms aimed at making your teen feel bad about themselves.
Mental and verbal bullying is increasing more recently over the internet called cyberbullying. This harmful and damaging form of bullying is a way to torture your teen with mean comments and embarrassing or personal photos that everyone they are friends with can see.
Bullying and Suicide: When Bullying Becomes Physical
Bullies lash out at their victims using physical harm including:
- spitting on their victim
This type of bullying can occur at school, in the workplace and in relationships where one partner tries to assert control over another partner through physical and emotional harm.
Your teen may not know how to stop it or how to talk about it. Getting you involved can make the situation worse for your teen, so they keep it a secret.
Bullied teens will withdraw from school, activities and friendships.
Bullying is ongoing aggressive or abusive behavior from one person or a group of people that harms and threatens another either physically or emotionally or both.
One study in Britain found bullying caused half of all suicides in children and teens and girls between the ages of 10 and 14 are at a higher risk. Many news reports over the past few years have brought to light stories of bullying leading to suicide in teens. However, research indicates there is often other factors along with bullying that leads to suicide in teens.
If you suspect someone or a group of peers is bullying your teen, reach out to them and work with a professional to get them.
What Are The Warning Signs of Suicide?
People who attempt or commit suicide usually show warning signs before it happens. These signs include:
- Symptoms of depression including sadness.
- Physical symptoms, ailments and aches and pains associated with depression such as constant headaches, stomachaches and fatigue.
- Withdrawing from family, friends, school or favorite activities.
- Changes in sleeping habits and eating habits.
- Poor hygiene and not taking care of their appearance.
- Alcohol or drug abuse.
- Changes in personality or mood.
- Self-inflicted injury such as cutting.
- Reckless behavior and other harmful or dangerous activities such as violent outbursts and running away.
- Saying things like people would be better off if they did not exist or discussing their inability to handle life.
- Showing an interest in death and dying.
Finding Help for Suicidal Teens
The question Why People Commit Suicide is difficult to answer and different for everybody. Suicide is not always planned in advance and is often an impulsive reaction to the difficult situations your teen is facing. Children live in the moment and have trouble seeing a happier future when they are depressed or bullied. Many times, they don’t really want to die, they just want to find a way out of their situation so badly they will resort to any drastic measure to do so.
If you suspect your teen is showing any of the signs or symptoms of depressive or suicidal behavior get them help immediately. Reach out and try to talk with them and provide them with resources to work through their emotions. There are many resources available to teens who want to commit suicide.
Where can you find help?
- Your teen’s pediatrician can recommend a mental health counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist.
- Talk with the schools guidance counselor about your teen’s depression or suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
- Contact the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- In an emergency call 911 or bring your teen to the emergency room.
- Many online resources including American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association can provide recommendations and resources to help with your teen’s depression and suicidal tendencies.
Treatment for Suicidal Behavior
Treating and understanding the reason behind the suicidal behavior is the best way to keep your teen from wanting to commit or trying to commit suicide. Many mental health disorders are successfully treated with therapy and medication severely decreasing the symptoms and the want to commit suicide. If bullying is the cause, working with the school and your child as well as mental health professionals can help stop the bullying and help your teen feel safe at school so that he or she will not want to find a way out through committing suicide.