Suicidal thoughts are common among teens and young adults. It’s even more likely to occur in a society facing constant upheaval, division, and fear of violence. The facts about teen depression and suicide are even more startling, making treatment programs like the ones at Imagine Fort Collins life-saving for your teen. If you are worried that your teen is struggling and thinking about hurting themselves, contact us online or call 970.680.5887 today to learn how we can help.
The Facts About Teen Suicide in the U.S.
The raw numbers around teen suicide in the U.S. are frightening, but there is hope. When you know the warning signs of suicide and then offer professional, caring support to teens who are experiencing mental health symptoms, you have a real opportunity to prevent suicide. The hopeful fact about teen suicide is that the large gap between the number of young people thinking about suicide and the number who will die by suicide points to our ability to step in and help.
The 12 Facts About Teen Suicide You Need to Know
Suicide is rarely a spur-of-the-moment decision. Instead, it is often planned, considered, and practiced. In the days and hours before teens attempt suicide, there will usually be clues and warning signs that caring adults, friends, and family members can observe.
1. Suicide Notes
The hard facts about teen suicide are that suicide notes are the boldest and most glaring sign of danger. If you see evidence of your teenager writing suicide notes, reach out to Imagine Fort Collins immediately to learn about the treatment programs available for teens struggling with depression and suicidal ideation.
2. Suicidal Threats
The threats your teen may make could be direct (such as statements like “I want to die” or “I am going to kill myself”) or indirect and more existential in nature, like “The world would be better without me” or “Nobody will miss me anyway.” These casual, indirect suicide warning signs could be said through jokes or referenced in creative writing or artwork at school. The threats may also be visible in your teen’s acting out and any violent behavior.
3. Previous Suicide Attempts
One of the other scary facts about teen suicide is that previous attempts beget future suicidal attempts, which may be successful as the teen’s desperation increases, isolation grows, and their illnesses are not treated.
4. Depression Can Lead to Suicide
When the symptoms of depression include pervasive thoughts of helplessness and hopelessness, a teen is at greater risk for suicide. Depression and other mental disorders cannot be left untreated in anyone, but especially not teens. The facts about teen depression and suicide are that, thankfully, there’s compassionate, professional help available through the treatment programs at Imagine Fort Collins. Reach out to us today to learn how our medical staff can assist you and your teen.
5. Risky Behavior
A teen who is partaking in risky behavior such as playing with guns, using and abusing substances, having unprotected sex, and acting aggressively toward friends, family, and others could be crying out for help before attempting suicide.
6. Cutting and Self-Harm
Before a teen will attempt suicide, they may start self-mutilating behaviors to test their ability to handle pain. Common behaviors that could prove harmful to themselves include running into traffic, jumping from heights, and scratching/cutting/marking their body.
7. ER Visits
Each year, around 157,000 young adults between the ages of 10 and 24 are treated in emergency rooms for self-inflicted injuries. The facts about teen suicide in the U.S. is that cutting and self-harm will usually precede a suicide attempt.
8. Changes in Physical Habits and Appearance
As a teen spirals out of control, in the build-up toward a potential attempted suicide, you may notice that they begin to dress differently, experience dramatic changes in their weight, and alter their habits. They may lose the ability to sleep or, conversely, sleep nonstop or abandon their typical hygiene routines.
9. Giving Away Their Prized Possessions
A sudden generosity in your teen could be cause for alarm. Before a young adult will attempt suicide, they could begin to gift their prized possessions to friends. Items like jewelry, clothes, pictures, autographs, records, and more could be leaving their room and life because they plan to not be around to use or enjoy these things anymore. If you obverse your teen downsizing their belongings, this could be them making final arrangements for a suicide attempt.
10. Sudden Changes in Personality
If you notice that your teen’s long-term friends have been replaced with a new lot of peers or that they are preferring an isolated life to their usual social circle, they may be in danger. Changes in personality can include withdrawing from normal relationships, increased absenteeism in school, loss of involvement in regular interests or activities, and social withdrawal and isolation.
11. Lack of Concentration
Thoughts of suicide can dominate a young person’s mind, so much so that their school work, academic performance, household responsibilities, and even everyday conversation become too much to handle and concentrate on.
12. Your Involvement Can Help
People usually feel uncomfortable talking about suicide, but your involvement and questions can be the difference between life and death. Asking your teen whether he or she is depressed or thinking about suicide is crucial toward getting them help. Specific examples of such questions include:
- Are you feeling sad or depressed?
- Are you thinking about hurting or killing yourself?
- Have you ever thought about hurting or killing yourself?
Find Help for Your Teen at Imagine Fort Collins
Do not hesitate to contact Imagine Fort Collins today using our secure online form or call us at 970.680.5887 to learn more about teens and suicide.