Being a teen definitely isn't a blast all the time. All teens feel sad or depressed sometimes - especially when the pressures of exams, relationships, and friends become too much to handle. Other times, though, feelings such as sadness or hopelessness just won't go away, and a teen may begin to think about suicide. He may not be able to realize that suicide isn't the answer to his problems.
Have you ever heard someone say that people who talk about suicide won't actually go through with it? That's a myth - people who talk about it may be likely to try it. If you have a friend who is talking about suicide, don't wait to see if he'll start to feel better. Warning signs such as talking about suicide should be taken very seriously. Other warning signs include:
- self-destructive behavior, such as taking drugs
- talking about death
- withdrawal from family and friends
- changes in appearance or eating or sleeping habits
- a lack of interest in favorite activities
- giving away favorite possessions
- talking about feeling helpless, hopeless, or worthless
If a friend is talking about suicide or displaying other warning signs, you can start by listening to and reassuring him. Then, even if you're sworn to secrecy and you feel like you'd be betraying your friend if you told someone, you should seek help. This means sharing your concerns with an adult you trust as soon as possible. If necessary, you can also call a local emergency number or the toll-free number of a suicide crisis line.
The important thing is that you notify a responsible adult. Although it may be tempting to try to help your friend on your own, that may not be possible, and the delay in getting an adult's help could be risky to your friend's well-being.
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: March 2001
Source: KidsHealth www.KidsHealth.com is a project of The Nemours Foundation which is dedicated to improving the health and spirit of children. Today, as part of its continuing mission, the Foundation supports the operation of a number of renowned children's health facilities throughout the nation, including the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, and the Nemours Children's Clinics throughout Florida. Visit The Nemours Foundation to find out more about them and its health facilities for children http://www.nemours.org/no/
Also see other article called "Teens & Suicide"