Is your Teen Searching for “How to Hang Yourself ?”
It’s any parent’s worst nightmare: hearing a child talk about committing suicide. However, if your child has threatened suicide or has even said something along the lines of “I wish I were dead,” then this is a situation that needs to be addressed quickly and taken very seriously. Furthermore, even when a child doesn’t overtly talk about suicide, there are some warning signs that all parents need to be on the lookout for. Read on to learn more about these signs and what you can do if you child begins to talk about suicide or you find their search history filled with phrases like “how to hang yourself”.
First of all, if you are contemplating suicide, you need to talk to someone and you need to do it quickly. Feeling this bad isn’t your fault, it is nothing to be ashamed of. But you need to realize that even the best of us all fall down that spiral and you owe it to yourself to climb out of that pit and live to the best you can possibly live.
Understanding Your Suicidal Thoughts: Determine the Root of the Problem
The first and perhaps most important step to dealing with a suicidal child or teen is to talk to him or her as a means of determining the problem. After all, there’s likely one or maybe even several things that have brought your child to feel this way.
Sometimes, all it takes is a talk with your child to find out the truth. Maybe he or she is being bullied at school and it’s becoming too much to bear, or perhaps your child is suffering from depression for another reason. Either way, approaching your child and having an open, honest, and calm talk can be a great way to get him or her to open up about what’s wrong.
Once you’ve determined the problem, you need to do everything you can to stop it. For example, if bullying is the issue, then you’ll want to set up an appointment with your child’s school administration and staff; after all, it’s very possible that your child’s teachers don’t know that the bullying is going on. Since most schools have a “zero tolerance” policy for bullying these days, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get the situation addressed and taken seriously.
Get Yourself or Your Child Help
If you are feeling depressed, talk it out! If you have no one in your family or friends to talk, you might want to try a suicide helpline, they are all toll free and they are designed to listen to you anonymously.
If your child is feeling depressed, you’ll also want to do whatever you can to help him or her overcome that depression. When talking to your child about his or her depression, it’s important to never tell him or her “you shouldn’t feel that way,” or “don’t think like that.” Instead, you need to both acknowledge and validate your child’s emotions; otherwise, he or she will feel like you’re not taking the situation seriously enough or that you’re not understanding his or her emotions.
Aside from talking to your child, it’s also important to schedule an appointment with a therapist or counselor. Yes, your child may be against the idea at first, but this is a necessary step any time a child is feeling suicidal. You can look in your area specifically for crisis counselors or children’s therapists. Over time as your child attends each session, he or she will likely find that it’s helping.
Finally, as a last resort, some parents may also want to consider putting their children on anti-depressants as a way to treat their depression. However, many parents are against the idea of medicating their children, so it’s best to talk with a doctor about your concerns regarding this and to get the facts before making any kind of a decision.
Take All Threats Seriously and Take Your own feelings Seriously
Another thing that parents need to keep in mind is that threats of suicide must always, always be taken seriously. Even if you think your child is just being dramatic or is dealing with hormones, your child needs to know that threatening to kill him or herself is something that will always be taken seriously in your household.
Even if your child says something as seemingly common as “I wish I were dead” or “I don’t even care about my life anymore,” it’s important that you consider this a potential suicide threat and take the necessary action to protect your child.
As a Parent or Caregiver: Be On the Lookout for Signs
Sometimes, children aren’t so obvious about the fact that they’ve been thinking about suicide; instead, they keep the thoughts to themselves or perhaps only share them with very close friends. For this reason, it’s important for all parents to know what kinds of signs to look for that could indicate a child is thinking about suicide or even planning it.
One of the most common signs to lookout for when it comes to suicide is a child who starts giving away his or her valuable possessions. He or she may give these away to family members, friends, or even charity. This is a sign that should be taken extremely seriously, as it’s often one of the last things that a suicidal person will do before making an actual suicide attempt.
Another potential sign of a suicidal child to be on the lookout for is giving up on things that he or she used to care about. For example, a straight-A student may begin doing very poorly in school, stop doing his or her homework, and start bombing tests. Of course, this isn’t always a sign of a suicidal child, but it is something to be on the lookout for.
Finally, parents have an obligation to look for potential signs of suicide on the family computer or even on the child’s cell phone. Sure, this may seem like an invasion of privacy, but if it could save your child’s life, does it really matter?
One good place to look if you’re worried that your child is considering suicide is on the family computer’s search history. Most Internet browsers these days automatically save all search history for at least a few months, so you can go back and see what kinds of websites were visited and what kinds of search terms were used on search engines. Specifically, parents should be on the lookout for search terms such as “how to hang yourself,” “best way to commit suicide,” “easiest way to kill yourself,” and other relevant search terms.
If you find anything like this on your computer, this means that your child has likely thought about suicide and may be considering the option to hang him or herself in the near future. Action must be taken immediately. Some other search terms to be on the lookout for include:
- “how to make a noose to hang yourself”
- “how to successfully hang yourself”
- “how to kill yourself by hanging”
- “how to hang yourself painlessly”
- “how to hang yourself to death”
Aside from being on the lookout for search terms such as “how to hang yourself with a belt,” “how do you hang yourself,” how to hang yourself successfully,” and “how to give yourself a hanging wedgie,” you should also be on the lookout for any suicide notes that your child may have drafted (whether it be in a journal or a school notebook).
Furthermore, parents should be on the lookout for any sudden alcohol or substance abuse. If there are medications kept in the home that seem to be disappearing or alcohol bottles that are disappearing, then it’s important to have a talk with the child to find out what’s going on. In a lot of cases, children and teens will go through periods of alcohol or drug abuse before they commit suicide.
Empathizing with Your Child
If you find anything on your computer, your child’s computer, or even your child’s phone that indicates he or she is thinking about suicide (such as the “how to hang yourself” search inquiry), then it’s a good idea to have a talk with your child about it.
You don’t have to tell your child that you were snooping through the search history, but you should not try to hide the fact that you saw it (perhaps you stumbled across it). During your talk with your child, it’s also a good idea to try and empathize with him or her.
For example, if your child tells you that he or she is feeling overwhelmed with life and feels as though he or she would be better off dead, then maybe you can talk to your child about how you’ve gone through difficult times in your life and perhaps even felt depressed. If your child can see that you’ve felt a similar way and have made it through the most difficult times, he or she will be more inspired to try and do the same.
Keep Your Child Active
Another important step in keeping a depressed or suicidal child from taking suicidal action is to keep him or her active in life. While you may not be able to force him or her to spend time with friends or join a sports team, you can always encourage it. Often times, children who participate in outside activities such as sports and clubs are less likely to feel depressed and thus less likely to commit suicide as well.
Even if your child doesn’t have a lot of friends (or claims not to have a lot of friends), you could consider getting a gym membership with your child so that the entire family can go to the gym and get some exercise together. Physical activity is a great mood booster and can help a depressed child to feel better about him or herself.
Be Aware of Potential Dangers at Home
Finally, if you truly fear that your child could try to commit suicide, then you’ll want to do everything you can to get rid of, hide, or lock up things in the home that could be used to carry out aa suicide attempt. Yes, this sounds like a very morbid thing for any parent to have to think about; unfortunately, it is a reality for some.
For starters, if you keep any guns in the home, you should always make sure they’re locked up anyway. If they’re not, then now is a good time to go out and buy a gun safe. Make sure that the safe can’t be accessed by your child; for example, if it comes with a key, be sure that you keep the key on you at all times. If it comes with a code, make sure the code is not one that your child could guess. Ideally, you’ll be able to get a gun safe that can only be unlocked using yours or your spouse’s fingerprint.
Of course, guns aren’t the only thing you should be worried about in your home. There are other means by which your child could attempt to commit suicide. Since suicide by hanging is sometimes seen as an option for teens and many teens search for “how to hang yourself instructions” before they make their attempt, you’ll want to also hide anything that you think could be used for this. This could include belts, rope, scarves, and anything else that resembles these items.
Finally, medications can be used to commit suicide, usually by overdosing, so you’ll want to make sure that you take the time to hide all medications. You might consider locking them up in a locking medicine cabinet or even getting rid of the ones you don’t need. Alcohol should also be kept hidden or locked up.
There’s no denying that hearing a child talk about suicide or even having a child who shows the signs of thinking about suicide can be a scary situation. In all cases, it’s important that parents take any perceived threats seriously and that they talk to their children right away. However it’s also important for parents not to become too judgmental or try to tell a child that the way he or she is feeling is “wrong.” Unfortunately, this can only make the situation worse.
On the bright side, there are all kinds of great resources out there for those who are dealing with suicidal teenagers or children. Not only is it a good idea to have a child see a therapist, but it may also be wise to meet with his or her teachers and principals to see what can be done. By following these steps and taking a child’s emotions seriously, it may be possible to prevent suicide and help children lead healthier and happier lives.
Get a grip on suicidal thoughts today!
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