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My Teen is Talking About Suicide. Should I Take Them Seriously?

Teens are often known for their over-the-top dramatics and impulsiveness, but if your teen is talking about suicide, you should always take them seriously. Regardless of their past actions, if your teen is threatening suicide, you may only have one shot to save them. You may think this is an exaggerated response to an unlikely outcome. There is nothing overblown about doing whatever necessary to save and help your child.

Aid them

Suicide is a plea for help any way that you look at it. Even if suicide does not seem like something your child would do, chances are there is a red flag waving that you need to address instead of thinking that they are just looking for attention. They may not be comfortable or interested in talking to you, so you may need to have them see a school counselor or therapist to get a professional opinion of what to do. Ask their teachers, coaches, or friends' parents about their behavior to get a feel for what they are doing when you are not around.

Heed their warning

Suicide is not a joke or threat. Suicide can manifest from mental health disorders such a depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder when they go untreated. Incidents such as bullying, sexual abuse, or substance abuse are other circumstances that can cause a vulnerable teenager to want to commit suicide. If your teen is exhibiting negative behaviors all of the sudden, you should try to get to the bottom of where their pain lies and what the stressors are.

Take action

The best route you can take is to get professional advice. Aligning yourself with someone who has knowledge in the area of teenage suicide can help you to give your teen the positive and specific help that they really need. Therapy can give your teen an opportunity to talk out their feelings and gain tools to cope with their emotions. Getting specific therapy and treatment for substance abuse, or any other type of abuse, is pertinent to move onward in their life and hopefully improve their relationships with loved ones along the way. The worst thing you can do for a teen who is suicidal is to not believe what they are saying. Leading your teen to get the support they need will be instrumental to let them know their lives are worth living. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at: 1-800-273-8255