advertisement
09 December 2008

Suicide threats not just a passing phase

Suicidal tendencies in adolescents are often misinterpreted as a “passing phase” or common characteristics of adolescent development. Education about suicide can be life-saving.

0
Suicidal tendencies in adolescents are often misinterpreted as a “passing phase” or common characteristics of adolescent development. Some parents dismiss suicide threats as manipulative tactics, born out of immaturity. Education about suicide can be life saving.

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) statistics suggest that only one in ten children who make suicide threats will carry them out. They warn, however, that it cannot be predicted who will, or under what circumstances these threats may actually lead to a suicide attempt.

As a child gets older, suicide attempts become increasingly serious and at the same time, more likely to succeed.

It is often difficult to recognise suicidal ideation. It is rare for children to discuss their suicidal thoughts with others. In those children who do not verbalise their self-destructive thoughts, suicidal tendencies are best recognised by marked mood and behavioural changes that may have been observed by family and friends.

According to the SADAG, behavioural changes to look out for in troubled teens include:

  • declining school performance
  • extreme behaviour and mood change (persistent depression)
  • loss of previous interests
  • risk-taking behaviour
  • drug or alcohol use
  • social withdrawal
  • a break in a key relationship

Related Articles
Post a question to Cybershrink.
Take action against teen suicide

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.