Teen Suicide Warning Signs
Since depression is the main cause of suicide, here are some symptoms of depression in teens:
- Disinterest in favored activities
- Disinterest in school
- Problems with concentration
- Declining grades
- Substance abuse
- Behavioral problems
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Changes in sleep patterns, trouble going or staying asleep, waking up earlier than usual
- Changes in eating habits
- Neglect of personal appearance or hygiene
- Stress-related physical complaints
- Risk taking behaviors
Direct Warning Signs
Here is a list of signs that should not be ignored:
- The most direct indicator is a verbal statement like “I’m thinking of committing suicide” or “I want to die."
- Suicide notes.
- Indirect verbal clues: such as: “I won’t bother you anymore.” “If I were gone no one would miss me.”
- Giving away favorite belongings.
- Throwing away possessions.
- Cheerfulness following periods of depression. When a person is depressed they often don’t have the energy to commit suicide. When the depression lifts suicide becomes possible. The possibility of escape from emotional pain raises hope of relief.
- Suicide plan with specifics. “I am going to get a gun out of my dad’s gun case and do it when no one is home.”
- Means available: guns in the house, stockpiled pills, access to a car.
Four out of five people who commit suicide present early warning signs.