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Teen Suicide – Are Your Teens Sharing Warning Signs Online?

teenIt’s not always easy to know if your teens are going through depression. Teens can naturally be moody, so trying to decipher a bad day from a severe depression can sometimes be challenging. With the national suicide statistics in this country for teens rising at an alarming rate, parents need to be vigilant. According to the CDC, 17.4% of teenage girls and 10.5% of teenage boys have considered suicide. 8.1% of teenage girls surveyed actually attempted suicide.  With the pressures placed on teens by society and their peers and other external factors like bullying, teen suicide has become an epidemic.

Teens don’t usually want to talk about the way they are feeling with their parents but they will sometimes share with friends via social media. They tend to be more in touch with their peers online to share their highs and lows in life.  It’s important for parents to keep and eye out and intervene if they observe any signs which are not in sync with the teen’s normal behavior. It may be time for them to take a closer look and find out what is behind the change. Parents can start with their teens social media account to look for clues. Are they constantly posting that they are sad or melancholy? Are their posts negative or not making sense like they usually do? Are there any signs of peers bullying them?

What if you can’t get onto their social media profile? You can use parental control software to access it. The app installs easily and runs without your teen knowing. You can then access their tablet or phone remotely and can view their social media profiles. Sometimes their signs of depression don’t show up in their online posts. As a parent you will have to look for other warning signs. Depression in teens can often lead to suicide and those who take this drastic step often show warning signs before committing the act. Parents should not think that the child is just going through a difficult phase. Some of the more important signs to look out for are:

  • Your teen may start experimenting with drugs.
  • They lose interest in some of their favorite activities.
  • They become careless and neglect their personal hygiene and appearance.
  • When teens are experiencing emotional distress they get migraines, fatigue, stomach pain and other physical problems.
  • They act rashly and take undue risks, pushing their limits to incur personal hurt or injury.
  • Teens in crisis tend to fall behind in their school studies.

As a parent, if you notice any of the above signs being displayed by your teen, the first step would be to talk to them and try and discover what is causing the depression. Talking helps problems to surface and having someone to talk to may help the child acknowledge and work towards fixing the problem. If they don’t want to talk to you, getting them in contact with a professional is important. A psychologist or counselor is a neutral third party and they may be more likely to open up to them. Don’t ignore these warning signs. Many parents who did and had their teen harm themselves are wishing that they were more observant before it was too late.

About Author

Chase Lewis is an operator at a teen hotline where he counsels teens in crisis. He is also a contributor to the blog at Phone Sheriff, a parental control software.

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One Reply

  1. Yeah, teens behavior likely talking to their peers than talking to their parents or other siblings… Understanding them is really hard.

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