Suicidal Ideation In Teenagers

Suicidal Ideation In Teenagers

Suicidal Ideation In Teenagers

Teens are unpredictable. Some withdraw while others become very social. To the overly nervous parent, anything can be a warning sign, while parents that are busy trying to keep things afloat can miss meaningful cries for help. The important thing is not to panic, but to be curious and engaged.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for adults, and the third leading cause for people 15 to 24 years of age.  Those who commit it can surprise their friends, family, and community. Teenagers who appear very social may be suffering deeply, while those who isolate may be simply exploring their enriching inner world. There are no hard and fast rules. 

Suicidal Ideation In Teenagers

Suicidal ideation refers to the notion of talking and thinking about suicide, but not having a plan to actually carry out the act. This can either be passive, where a teenager mostly keeps such thoughts private, or active, where the person contemplating suicide talks about it openly if even infrequently.

Risk Factors For Teens

Just like adults, teens who commit suicide often have mental health issues that they struggle to control but ultimately fail. A teen might feel suicidal because of specific life circumstances including:

  • Having a mental illness, including depression
  • Loss of a loved one or conflict with friends or family
  • History of or exposure to violence
  • Problems with drugs or alcohol
  • Physical or medical problems
  • The teen was bullied
  • Questions about sexual orientation
  • Witness to the suicide of a loved one
  • Being adopted
  • There is a family history of suicidal behavior or mood disorders

How A Parent Can Prevent Suicide

Every parent knows the joys and difficulties of raising a teenager. When everything “clicks,” a relationship between parent and child is a thing of beauty. But when it doesn’t, and dark clouds roll in, a relationship can fracture, leading to moments of distress that can worsen over time. If you believe your teenager is at risk of suicide, there are a number of things you can do to prevent that tragedy from happening.

  • Deal with anxiety and depression as they occur. Bad days happen to all of us, but when low moods, lack of energy, and loss of interest drag on for weeks or months, something’s wrong. But don’t wait for your teen to come to you; be proactive and ask, “What can I do to help?”
  • Your teenager may not be talking, but you can still listen. Not every child thinking of suicide shows their cards (suicidal ideation, passive or active), but poor communication is a hallmark of pending trouble. Sometimes, silence is a call for help, so don’t be afraid to call your child out to participate in family game night or watch a movie together.
  • Teenagers like their privacy, but if you’re concerned as a parent about suicide, discourage your child from constant isolation. Holing up in their bedroom to do homework is one thing, but staying there unless absolutely necessary – using the bathroom, getting something to eat – is a problem. Keep an eye out for warning signs.
  • Yes, teenagers can be melodramatic, but threats or random discussion of suicide are something completely different. Statements like “I just want to die” or “I don’t want to be here anymore” shouldn’t be ignored. Sadness, depression, and low moods need to be confronted with compassion. Console your child with a hug, kind words, and a resolve to help them navigate troubled days.

Get Help

A mental health professional may be able to help you and your teen, but depression, anxiety, a casual mention of suicide, or more serious threats shouldn’t be ignored. If you think your child is at risk of suicide, or has threatened to commit suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Line immediately.

Will Ketamine Work?

The medicine ketamine has been used for years to help adult patients suffering from mental illness, chronic pain, and other conditions which have proven treatment-resistant to many forms of therapy. If you think your teenager is at risk of suicide, traditional in-person counseling may be offered, but medicine including ketamine therapy should also be discussed. Data on using ketamine to treat depression in teenagers shows promising results, but more study is required to confirm its efficacy.

Final Thoughts

Social withdrawal, a lack of interest, and irritability can be difficult not to recognize in teenagers. This is why parent and child engagement is so important. See what’s beneath the surface. To some extent, these are completely normal and signs that your child is developing, which is always painful. Deeper conversations can clue you in to whether or not your child is edging towards a dangerous mental illness. 

Ketamine Infusions of Idaho was founded to meet the growing need of patients who have encountered difficulties making progress with traditional approaches to chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. At Ketamine Infusions of Idaho, creative and holistic methods, such as ketamine infusion therapy are utilized to help provide rapid relief from the symptoms of treatment-resistant conditions. If you’re seeking help, we’re here to provide it. Contact us today!

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