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5 Warning Signs of Suicide in Teens

Every year, millions of teenagers across America think about committing suicide. Out of those millions, significant numbers will make actual suicide attempts. Serious mental health issues are a common factor in teens' suicidal thoughts and behaviors. For this reason, a mental health treatment program can be a crucial prevention resource. It's also vital to recognize the potential signs of suicide in teenagers. At Stonewater, we provide comprehensive services for teenage boys affected by addiction and mental illness. The treatments that we offer effectively support recovery from these major health concerns. They can also help decrease the risks of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Contact us today at 662.373.2828 for more information.

Teen Suicide Causes and Risk Factors

Adolescence is a difficult and stressful phase for any teenager, regardless of social position or academic achievement. All teenagers experience changes in appearance, thoughts, and feelings and face various pressures during development. And at the same time, teenagers haven't fully developed the coping skills needed to handle stressful events. Despite these many challenges, most teens do not seriously consider suicide. They also don't make actual suicide attempts. Still, cases of teenage suicide are not rare. No teen suicide causes are predictable 100% of the time. However, several risk factors can increase the odds that a teenager will make a suicide attempt. These factors include:
  • Serious drug or alcohol problems
  • The presence of other serious mental health issues
  • A family history of substance or mental health issues
  • Easy access to guns
  • Exposure to family violence, abuse, or neglect
  • A family background that includes suicide
Knowing anyone who has thought about or attempted suicide can also increase a teen's risks.

Signs of Suicide in Teens

Certain warning signs may indicate that a teenager is thinking about suicide or plans to commit suicide. Things to look out for include:
  1. A fascination with topics related to death or dying
  2. Direct or indirect statements about wanting to die
  3. Unexplained changes in typical eating or sleep patterns
  4. Withdrawal from social contact
  5. Throwing out or giving away prized possessions
You may also notice a range of other potential signs of suicide in teens, including:
  • Anxiety, agitation, or depression
  • Uncontrollable rage or anger
  • Overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that they once enjoyed
  • Excessive drug or alcohol abuse
  • Reckless and self-destructive behavior, such as driving too fast or engaging in

Diagnosing the Symptoms of a Suicidal Teenager

How do doctors diagnose the symptoms of a suicidal teenager? The first step is often a thorough physical exam. This exam can reveal medical issues that make suicidal thinking more likely. A mental health assessment is also vitally important. Several forms of mental illness are known for their links to increased suicide risks. These illnesses include:
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses
Borderline personality disorder can seriously increase the risk of suicide. Doctors also pay close attention to teens' drug and alcohol use. That's true because substance use can increase the odds of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Heavy use of drugs and alcohol is a particular concern. The use of certain medications can also create a significant risk.

Learn More About the Signs of Suicide in Teens at Stonewater

Want more information on potential signs of suicide in teens? The specialists at Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center can help. We understand the risk factors for teen suicide. We also know what it takes to diagnose and treat teens at risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Stonewater specializes in the treatment of substance problems in teenage boys. We also specialize in treating mental illnesses that occur alongside addiction. Our customized treatment programs provide the expert support needed to overcome these serious issues. Need help? Call us today at 662.373.2828.