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Teenage Problems by: Ashkan Sobhe


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Risk factors and what to watch out for teen suicide

Teen Suicide- Identifying the Risk Factors
To contemplate suicide at any age is awful. When it involves a teenager, who has a life full of potential ahead of them, it is almost too awful. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24 and suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among college students.

Suicide Statistics
The statistics and methods for calculating mortality can differ in different countries but one thing is clear, teen suicide is on the increase. The statistics suggest that while women make more attempts at suicide, men are more likely to succeed. In fact there are 4 male suicides for every 1 female suicide.

In the course of development adolescence is recognized as one of the most volatile. Adolescence is characterized by role change; communication can be problematic; teens often feel very isolated. Sometimes an event in life can seem so terrible and painful that suicide is viewed as the only solution.

Some suicides are planned and some are impulsive. The list below gives some warning signs that a teen may be seriously considering suicide. If a parent or friend knows what to look out for, it may help avoid another teen suicide.

Suicide Warning Signs

  • One of the significant warning signs is a previous suicide attempt
  • Marked changes in personality, mood
  • Giving away personal possession, cleaning their room and throwing out things they own
  • Talking about suicide, wanting to die, saying life is not worth living, or expressing feelings of worthlessness
  • Depression, great sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or guilt
  • Feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • Changes to sleep patterns (such as excessive sleeping, early morning wakening, not sleeping well)
  • Withdrawing from activities and family
  • Having difficulty communicating. Being unable or having great difficulty talking
  • Changes to eating habits and appetite
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Losing interest in things they previously enjoyed
  • Having a friend or family member who has committed suicide
  • Using drugs or alcohol. There is some evidence that people who use are more likely to make a successful suicide attempt
  • Sudden marked behavioral changes such as restlessness or reckless behavior
  • Changes in academic performance
  • Loss of interest in personal appearance
  • Marks of self harming such as scratches or wounds on the body

    Teen Suicide Risk Factors
    There are times in a teenagers life that can contribute or make a teen more vulnerable to a suicidal act. These include;
    The breakup of a relationship with a girlfriend. This is one of the most common causes and a very significant event.
    Failing or doing badly in a test
    Feeling badly humiliated
    Recent loss of a friend, a family member, a pet from death or suicide. Sometimes, very rarely, a suicide in a school or community can act as a trigger for other teens
    Loss of a parent due to divorce
    Being a victim of bullying
    Problems with the law
    An unplanned pregnancy
    Causing injury or death to another person
    An anniversary of a tragic event

    Some of the signs are more obvious than others. It may be a combination of them that will be significant and an expert in the field will be able to make that judgement and provide the support and possible treatment the person needs.

    Getting Help for those at Suicide Risk
    Getting help for teens expressing suicidal intent or showing the warning signs is so important. There are a number of avenues open to you to get the teenager the help they need. Support and reassurance are important. Help is available from a number of different sources; school, school councilors, teachers, family doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, voluntary organizations, community mental health center, local hospital or social agency.

    In Urgent Situations
    Contact your family doctor, or consult a mental health doctor urgently If a teen is in what you believe to be in imminent danger call 911, do not leave them. If the guardian of the affected teen does not seem to respond to your information to help and you believe the teen is at risk of suicide contact your local family or psychiatric services and they can make an evaluation. Sometimes a parent or guardian is unable to see or judge the urgency of the situation.

    Suicide Cannot Always be Prevented
    Teen suicide may come with no warnings signs or warning signs may be missed and intent misjudged. Experts in the field can find it difficult to judge a person's mental state, so parents and friends do not always make the right decision either.

  • From Jerry Kennard.

    Jerry Kennard is a Chartered Psychologist and academic with particular interests in health and health-related psychology.

    Dr Jerry Kennard spent many years in various health care settings as a health professional before moving into higher education. Regular readers may remember Jerry as the former Guide to UKHealthcare.

    Jerry undertook his first degree in psychology before moving into teaching. He is a qualified teacher and holds a Master's degree and Doctorate in Education. Jerry is Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.

    From Jerry Kennard:
    The health of men is coming into sharper focus for a number of reasons. I want to share my interest and enthusiasm with you about the range of established and emerging developments in this field.

    Original Text