Today many kids, teens, and college students wrestle with thoughts and attempts of suicide. They think I want to kill myself what should I do ? They may ask themselves how should I kill myself and when ? The answer is clear never under any circumstances should anyone kill themselves. No matter how bad it become for there is always help and treatment available. Suicide is never the answer.
Parents and teachers should talk about suicide with kids. It is becoming a leading cause of death among teens and college students over the last several years. Everyone experiences sadness, despair, and anxiety and learning to cope with it is key to surviving. Teaching kids that life is not easy helps ease the pain to finding out the hard way.
When a teen asks should I kill myself? The answer is never that you will feel better and that things can change. Courage is not killing yourself but facing your demons and trying to change the cause. Any kid that asks you should I kill myself should be told no way under any circumstance it’s wrong don’t do it. There are many depressed teens or kids that would not have killed themselves if they had talked to someone about their problems.
Whether you work with kids or are a parent or guardian there are many signs of a troubled child or teen. Signs to look for are personality changes, sudden loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, drop in grades for good students, fatigue and loss of energy, withdrawal from family and friends, neglect of personal appearance, sadness, lack of concentration, and drug or alcohol abuse.
Suicide is caused by genetic factors, bullying, and depression. It is important to communicate with your children and know how they are feeling and doing. Talking with kids about suicide can help them talk with you about their feelings. This is important as often youth that commit suicide feel alone and cut off. They never confide in someone or ask for help.
Often the distressed teens thinking of suicide want to hear that from an adult. They are confused and distressed looking for some guidance. Discussing the problem helps them cope and find ways to deal with the depression and thoughts they have. Never think that discussing the subject is wrong it is censoring the discussion that causes the problem.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth 15-24 years old. This is according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The risk increases when children have access to firearms at home. If you own weapons lock them up and make sure your children cannot access them. Guns should be locked up and bullets taken out of them.
Prescription medications and non-prescription drugs is another way kids try to kill themselves. Keeping track of medicine in the home and how it is used is a way to watch for problems with your kids or someone you know. Some kids bring medication to school and give them to other kids so watch for large amount of pills missing from bottles on prescriptions and over the counter drugs.
Remember kids can take pills and store them in pocketbooks, backpacks, drawers, lockers at the school or the car if they drive. There are factors that increase a teen or older students risk of killing themselves. Some risk factors are a mental disorder, depression, drug or alcohol use, a family history of suicide or depression, lack of a support network, hostile home or school environment, and peer pressure or bullying.
There are warning signs that often adults miss. The teen might talk about killing themselves or talk about feeling hopeless. Some engage in risk taking behavior, give away possessions, and stop doing activities that they enjoyed. Most teens do not look for help unless they are really feeling badly do not ignore these symptoms.
When a teen or your child say I feel like killing myself what should I do you need to take action. Talk with them to decide if they need to get professional help. College students are another group at risk when they live away from home. Teens with mental health issues are especially at risk. Many kids 18 years and older have never been treated.
Statistics show more young men between 20-24 commit suicide than women. Other facts over 30,000 people in the US kill themselves every year. Every one out of five high school students will think about killing themselves. A death from someone killing themselves will affect at least six people that knew the victim.
Cases Of Teen Suicides And Reasons
A fifteen year old Staten Island girls Amanda Cummings killed herself after being bullied by classmates. They had stolen her property and made mean comments about her on social media. She walked in front of a bus with a note and was killed one day. Another college student Tyler Clementi committed suicide when a fellow student posted a video of a sexual encounter he had with another boy on the Internet. These are just a few cases that happen every year. Another incident in Pennsylvania involved that two teenage girls 15 and 16 that jumped in front of a train. They were both depressed about the death of close friends.
Many kids commit suicide due to bullying and cyber bullying. One case is a thirteen year old boy named Ryan Halligan who was bullied at school and online due to his interest in music and a learning disability. He learned to fight and confronted the bully. Later the bully spread rumors that he was gay. He was taunted about this by classmates at school and online. He did not tell his parents or anyone about the problem. One popular girl pretended to like him then called him a loser.
Online conversations revealed Ryan talked about death with another boy. The other boy suggested suicide as the answer. One morning Ryan hung himself in the room with a rope. Rachel Nesblett was a 17 year old girl that took her life after receiving threatening messages on her MySpace account. They believe it might have been a classmate due to the details in the message. Rachael did not tell her parents or any adult. She shot herself with with a gun in the house that her father owned. The gun was locked away but she found a way to use it.
Parents should talk to their kids about this difficult subject. Their kids should be able to tell them if they are depressed or feeling hopeless. Try to keep up with your kids online activities by knowing what they are posting on popular social networks and how things are going at school. When parents or teachers are concerned about kids they should try to talk to them.
You can say I noticed you have not been yourself is something wrong? Is there something going on that you want to talk about? Whatever it is we can talk about it and find a way to deal with it. Letting kids know they can talk to you is important.
When talking with someone who is suicidal don’t blame yourself, be sympathetic, and listen. When a child talks about suicide and seems serious you should call a local suicide hotline or go to the emergency room of a local hospital for help. A hotline will talk with the teen or child and give you information on where to go for help. Getting counseling is nothing to be ashamed of. Most kids get out patient counseling and medication which helps quickly. Serious case may need hospitalization or care at a treatment center.
When someone sees a doctor and counselor and is prescribed medication make sure they take it regularly. Keep your child busy make sure they have activities and interests. Make sure they do not miss appointments.
Encourage your child to eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep. Exercise is an important part of fighting depression. Walking daily or several time a week running, swimming or biking makes a big difference with depression.
Remove any weapons from the home like guns, knifes, pills or lock them away to prevent a tragedy. Don’t leave the person alone especially if they are seriously depressed. Have a list of phone numbers of suicide prevention organizations, social workers, therapist, or doctors that person can call when feeling very bad. Often talking with someone helps immensely.
Often anti-depressants cause an increase in depression and suicidal thought in some kids. When children are on medications they should be monitored closely the first few months. Don’t assume the medication is a magic pill that makes everything ok. The FDA advises that kids be monitored when on medications due to these side effects.
Teens can help friends that are depressed by listening to them and getting them to talk. Encourage your friend to get help if they need it and when something like bullying is going on tell your friend to tell an adult. Try to get someone to help them with the problem and stop it the bullying from continuing. Speak to someone for your friend if you know they are suicidal or being bullied regularly at school or online. Tell your parents, a teacher, priest, or pastor.
When someone asks should I kill myself the answer is always no. If someone asks you that question they need to hear that answer. It is never acceptable for someone to hurt themselves because it not an answer to any problem. This is an important message to convey to kids when talking about suicide. Never under any circumstance should I kill myself.
Tell your children to remember that no person that bullies someone online or at school is worth giving up their life for. Bullies are people that need to feel good by putting down others down or scaring them. Tell them to report anyone that bullies them consistently online or at school to a teacher or parent. This is a big cause of suicide among youth so its important to address the problem.
Suicide among youth is a tragedy. It shows that kids lack someone to talk to about serious issues. It needs to change because it can be prevented.
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