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Teen Suicide Warning Signs

Studies show that 4 out of 5 teen suicide attempts have been preceded by clear warning signs, make sure you know them. Keep reading to learn what teen suicide warning signs to look for, including warning signs or indications of a suicide plan.

Teen suicide is a very real problem in the United States. With many pressures and a variety emotional, social and family issues to confront, many teenagers find themselves having suicidal thoughts. Part of averting a teen suicide is being involved in your teen’s life and watching for teen suicide warning signs. It is also important to note that many of the teen suicide warning signs are also indications of depression.

Teen suicide warning signs

It is important to take the warning signs of teen suicide seriously and to seek help if you thing that you know a teenager who might be suicidal. Here are some of the things to look for:

  • Disinterest in favorite extracurricular activities 
  • Problems at work and losing interest in a job 
  • Substance abuse, including alcohol and drug (illegal and legal drugs) use
  • Behavioral problems 
  • Withdrawing from family and friends 
  • Sleep changes 
  • Changes in eating habits 
  • Begins to neglect hygiene and other matters of personal appearance 
  • Emotional distress brings on physical complaints (aches, fatigues, migraines) 
  • Hard time concentrating and paying attention 
  • Declining grades in school
  • Loss of interest in schoolwork 
  • Risk taking behaviors 
  • Complains more frequently of boredom 
  • Does not respond as before to praise

Not all of these teen suicide warning signs will be present in cases of possible teen suicide. There are many cases in which a good student commits suicide. It is important to watch for two or three signs as indications of depression, or even teen suicidal thoughts.

Teen suicide warning signs: indications of a suicide plan

There are some things that teens might do that could indicate that they are contemplating, or even planning, suicide. It is important that you make yourself aware of these actions, and use them as starting points to draw your teenager out and perhaps express what is bothering him or her. Here are some of the indications of a suicide plan: 

  • Actually says, “I’m thinking of committing suicide” or “I want to kill myself” or “I wish I could die.” 
  • There are also verbal hints that could indicate suicidal thoughts or plans. These include such phrases as: “I want you to know something, in case something happens to me” or “I won’t trouble you anymore.” 
  • Teenager begins giving away favorite belongings, or promising them to friends and family members.
  • Throws away important possessions.
  • Shows signs of extreme cheerfulness following periods of depression. 
  • Creates suicide notes. 
  • Expresses bizarre or unsettling thoughts on occasion.

Understanding that teen suicide warning signs are serious calls for help is important. Many teenagers share their thoughts and feelings in a desperate attempt to be acknowledged. In many cases, they don’t know how to deal with their feelings and problems and are looking for someone to help them find assistance. Acknowledging these warning signs and seeking help for the problem, and offering support to a teenager who is working through his or her issues is very important, and can help prevent suicide. Teen suicide is a very real danger, and heeding the warning signs can truly save a life.

Teen Suicide Warning Signs Main Source Material: “Teen Suicide.” Ohio State University Medical Center. Ohio State University. [Online.]

Related Article: Teenage Suicide Prevention >>



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