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Question
Posted by: Strath | 2010-02-19

Kids and signs

Can children also be suicidal? And are the signs the same for children, teens and adults?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageTeen Suicide guest experts


Dear Strath

Children can also experience depression and feel suicidal (more often in teenage years). With children they often struggle to express these feelings as they do not have the language ability to express what they are feeling. With children we look out for the following signs of depression/ and suicidal thoughts.

- change in behaviour- children that used to be very bubbly becoming withdrawn
- loss of interest in activities that they used to enjoy
- overwhelming sense of sadness
- crying a lot
- being very tired
- not wanting to get up in the mornings or go to school
- tummy aches and headaches ( they manifest the symptoms physically)
- feelings of guilt and anxiety
- changes in eating and sleeping patterns (too much or too little)
- nightmares
- speaking, drawing pictures or play about death and dying e.g " I wish I were dead" "I can't do this"
-feelings of hopelesness
- low self-esteem

It is important to monitor the level of intensity of these feelings. If they are very intense and last for longer than two weeks, or are seriously hampering the child's ability to function properly the child needs therapy.

I hope I have answered your question adequately

Nadia

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