Teen Suicide – Understanding and preventing it before it’s too late

 

The recent incident of a 14 year old boy in Bengaluru who committed suicide after not getting elected as the class leader wrenched the city’s heart. A similar case of another 14 year old who tried to commit suicide for scoring poorly in Maths was also brought to light recently. These series of incidents did not fail in striking terror in the hearts of thousands of parents who are now insecure or clueless about what is going on inside the minds of their teenagers.

 

Young children giving up on life and attempting suicide due to frustration or an overwhelming sense of hopelessness is tragic and devastating to family, friends and the society at large. The parents, teachers, neighbours, siblings, coaches and classmates are often left wondering if they could have helped in any way and prevented the young child from going through such a traumatic experience. Incident after incident on teen suicide have proved to us that instead of taking up challenges positively, youngsters today are crumbling down too easily and giving up on life. Now, the question at hand is – What makes teens give up on the hope that their parents, near and dear ones would ever understand them, to an extent that it’s easier for them to give up on their lives? Research reveals that the primary trigger for teens who wish to give up on their life is the huge list of unrealistic expectations set by their parents, teachers or relatives. The constant pressure of having to be the topper of the class, an academic brilliant and the like builds up huge amount of stress which gradually turns into anxiety and depression. Life has got way more to offer than just the school exams and academics, hasn’t it? Read on to know the warning signs and what can you do, as a parent, teacher or a well wisher to prevent the mishap.

 

Here are some red flags to be watchful of:

There sure are warning signs of teen suicide. At Handwriting Institute India, our programs and seminars help parents spot such warning signs before the child is put at risk. Teens who are planning on or thinking about suicide might:

  • Talk about feeling of hopelessness about life
  • Perceive life as a misery and show signs of guilt
  • Pull away from friends and family
  • Experience shift in eating and sleeping habits
  • Might start writing about loss, depression and separation all of a sudden
  • Might be seen loathing often
  • Act very gullible
  • Lose the interest in the favorite sport or activity
  • Talk about suicide and death in general

 

What can Parents do?

More often than not, teens who are suicidal give away warning signs which parents might fail to recognize or pay heed to. Most parents ignore when children talk about death and miseries in general, brushing it aside under the label of ‘just another attention seeking act’. Remember that children are inherently life enthusiasts than adults and there’s something wrong if a child is talking about depression and miseries of life. It’s very important to look into such aspects seriously before you brush it off as an ‘attention-seeking’ play.

 

Here’s what you can do:

Let your child know that he/she is accepted and loved by you Build a strong relationship of trust with children and let them know that they can always confide you and you shall stand by them, no matter what. This provides an immense amount of security to children and they’ll know that you’ve got their backs. Have conversations with your children face-to-face. It’s always better to talk in person over texting or on calls. Listen. Really listen to what your kids have got to say. Pretending like your listening will never help. What children speak is a reflection of how their thought processes are!

 

Talk to the teachers of your children frequently to know the behaviors of your children at school. Do things your children love together. A sense of togetherness in the family helps immensely in keeping up the mental health of children. Let your kids know that you’ll always be there for them, even if they’ve made mistakes. Let them know that it is okay to make mistakes and there’s no need to feel extremely dejected or super guilty.

 

Our final words:

After having conducted thousands of seminars and programs over the past 25 years, we’ve found that children do respond very positively to every conscious effort parents make for their well-being. Look out and really listen to what children are trying to tell you. You will never know what help your child is seeking from you unless you look into them deeply. Pay attention to the mental health of your children before it’s too late for you can only prevent a suicide from happening but never cure from it!

 

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