Remember ’13 Reasons Why?’ A book by Jay Asher adapted into a Netflix series with a gloomy and tragic plot about a teenager, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide.
It pointed to a pressing global issue — teen and youth suicide. And not many families and friends of teens know the reason behind such devastating incidents.
In February 2023, The Texas Tribune reported that people between 15 and 34 years are dying in Texas.
The Department of Health and Human Services reported suicide is the second ruling cause of death in this age group.
The news report talked about Abndam Hernandez, a local middle school volunteer whose daughter Jacquelyn died by suicide three months before her 18th birthday.
The reason is still unknown.
One could only see her leading an exciting life with plans to become an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). Recalling this incident, Hernandez said no one could fathom all she was going through.
Jacquelyn is not the only teenager who faced this predicament in Texas. There are plenty.
In this article, we will discuss how parents can take note of specific behaviors in their teens that point toward suicidal behavior.
Additionally, we will discuss therapy’s role and how it can help prevent teens from ending their lives.
What Will I Learn?
How Can Parents Spot Suicidal Tendencies in Their Teen Kids?
Parents feel that they know their kids better, but that’s not always true.
In June 2023, CBS News Texas reported the account of Arlana Miller, a well-known cheerleader in DeSoto High School, who died by suicide after posting on Instagram.
Janice Miller, her mother, recalls that Arlana was smart and beautiful.
She concealed her mental health issues with adeptness.
In May 2022, when she was about to complete her freshman year at A&M College in Boston, she shared a suicide note for her mother and ended her life. The note read, “Mom, I was just hurting.”
Often, by the time teens share their trauma, it is too late. But there are a few signs that parents can take note of and get cautious before they lose their offspring.
The Child Mind Institute shared a few signs that might indicate a suicidal tendency in teens and youngsters. These include:
If your child suddenly exhibits tantrums and extreme mood swings, leaning toward uncontrolled rage followed by bouts of unexplainable silence, you need to get alert. It could be stemming from repressed trauma.
Giving Away Personal and Favorite Belongings
Teens are usually possessive of their belongings. If they suddenly get detached and give away the books, clothes, and make-up they used to love, you need to look at it seriously. It indicates they are losing all earthly desires as they decided to end their lives.
Talking About Suicide
It is a dead giveaway, and no parent should take this lightly! If you hear your kid speaking about suicide to your neighbor, sibling, or friend, talk to them as soon as possible to know the cause of this behavior.
Once parents notice these traits in their teen child, they should immediately speak to them without any judgment. The teen needs to confide in someone. The next step is to take your child to therapy. Look for a professional therapist in Texas, so that they can heal your child from within.
Can Therapy Help Lower Teen Suicide Rates?
Therapy can help teens address the mental and emotional chaos they experience within, which gives birth to suicidal therapy. A therapist is trained to understand the workings of the human mind across all age groups and speaks to the teens in a way they want to.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is effective for individuals struggling with chronic suicidal thoughts. The therapy is instrumental in curbing both suicidal ideations and acts.
In addition to ensuring their well-being, DBT equips them with valuable skills and provides access to resources that help diminish their fixation on suicide.
Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality encompasses a variety of theoretical perspectives and clinical techniques for effective suicidal therapy.
It focuses on understanding an individual’s suicidality, enabling the therapist to create a tailored treatment plan centered specifically on suicide prevention.
Zencare asserts that therapists are trained to address teens who have suicidal thoughts. They have the expertise to bring the teen to a state of ease and encourage them to speak about things that disturb them emotionally.
Through regular sessions, your teen child can realize that suicide is not the solution. That is when they take proactive steps to face their mental health issues, deal with them, and heal themselves.
Teen suicide is an acute issue globally and in Texas too.
The reasons for teens to end their lives can vary from cyberbullying, sexual abuse, peer pressure in school to perform well and also consuming the wrong social media content.
Parents need to note any sudden change in their teen child exhibits and address it before they take any extreme steps. Once done, therapy can help the teen to come to terms with the issue and gradually resolve it.
The times are tough and challenging now compared to what life was a decade back.
Therefore, even when you take your child to therapy, ensure you are gentle with them. Being non-judgmental and supportive will contribute to your child’s healing.