Depression is scary. Depression is dark. Depression is trapping. Depression is lurking. Depression is weighing. Depression is deep. All reasons why most people stay far, far away from talking about it, including those that are suffering from it. It’s important that in today’s society that we work to break that barrier of silence. The issue of teen suicide can only be worse in silence.
So, let’s talk about it. What is teen suicide? What are the signs? What heightens teen suicide and depression? What can be done to help? Knowing what to do all the time is not a realistic expectation, but what can be done is heightening awareness. You never know who will need help.
Suicide is a complex thing. As said above, often a word that’s avoided. Staring it in the face and understanding what it actually isis crucial before you start to try and deal with it.
The act of suicide is taking one’s own life. Leading up to that, suicidal ‘intent’ occurs, which means having active thoughts about how to voluntarily end one’s own life. Suicidal behavior refers directly to the actions taken by a person who is preparing to end their own life. Lastly, suicide attempt refers directly to the act of taking one’s life in that moment, whether it be successful or unsuccessful.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 to 24 year olds.That is a bold and very true statement. Teens, no matter how confident or sure of themselves they seem in their personality, are at a fragile period in their lives. Constantly morphing to surroundings, the fear of uncertainty, the impact of family issues, the stress of fitting the “norm,” the influence that every single day has on their currently-molding brains. It’s a breeding ground for mental health, depression in particular. Teens live their lives trying to fit a mold as a child, as a friend, a student, an athlete, a band member, a human. When something is internally wrong, it’s subconsciously shoved aside. “I’m fine,” some may think. “She’s in a funk,” their friends or family might say. Both those suffering from depression and those who surround them fear the truth that something inside might not be clicking. Happiness starts to flee away without people taking a moment to realize. Depression and suicide work fast.
The risk factors of suicide rarely occur solo. There’s no perfect storm, there’s no math equation, there’s no surefire way of knowing. According to Stanford Children’s Health, the following are some suicide risk factors that may be present:
Depression has been mentioned a couple times in this article. Depression is something that roots itself in the mind. It makes itself comfortable infiltrating what someone once knew. As a result, people are masked. These masks cause people to display the telltale signs of depression, which need to be watched out for by loved ones. Some of these signs include:
These signs are difficult to watch. We musn’t be naive and perceive these symptoms as bad moods, temporary stints, or anything less than depression itself.
Are you or someone you know living with depression or suicidal thoughts? The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day. Reach them at 1-800-273-8255.