Warning Signs for Adolescent Suicide

Predicting which teen will attempt suicide is almost impossible. Still, there are clues that parents can be aware of that may indicate your teen is planning to make a suicide attempt. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has put together a list of signs. If your teen displays one of more of these signs professional help should be saught immediately.

Unusual changes in eating and sleeping habits

Withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities

Violent actions, rebellious behavior, or running away

Excessive drug and alcohol abuse

Unusual neglect of personal appearance

Marked personality change

Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork

Frequent complaints about physical symptoms such as stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, etc.

Loss of interest in pleasurable activities

Not tolerating praise or rewards

Complaints of feeling “rotten inside”

Giving verbal hints such as “Nothing matters,” “It’s no use,” or “I won’t be a problem for you much longer”

Putting his or her affairs in order by giving or throwing away favorite possessions or belongings

Becoming suddenly cheerful after an episode of depression

Diectectical Behavioral Therapy, DBT, is currently the treatment of choice in treating adolescents with multiple problems including depression, self-injury and suicidal ideation.