Mental Health,  Parenting Tips & Talks

Signs a child might be suicidal

SIGNS A CHILD MIGHT BE SUICIDAL

The word suicide hides an untold story of grief and isolation. This is the word we all avoid discussing. The major belief is that talking about suicidal feelings is not good. We have not created an environment on the dining tables that one can share a feeling of sadness and depression fearlessly without being judged. Many of us think that discussing such a delicate topic can disturb one’s mental health. This process of ‘Not discussing the feelings’ is the major reason behind suicides worldwide.

Will you prefer 8 lakhs suicides every year in the world over discussing and understanding someone’s grief for few minutes…?

Definitely not! An environment for good mental and physical health is everyone’s right.

Reasons behind suicides various. Depression, past experience, verbal abusing, etc and thousands of such things may provoke an individual to take dangerous steps.

Does this happen only with adults…?

No, children and adolescents can also go through this. According to the data from the national institute of mental health (NIMH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC) suicide is the second major cause of deaths in the age groups 10 to 24. Unhealthy relations with friends and family is also one of the reasons behind suicides. You can never guess what can hurt a person deep inside. Some children and teenagers talk with their parents about their confused feelings but the majority of children don’t do this. Thus it becomes difficult to know that the child is suffering from something.

Sadness, anger, and irritability for a short time are common but if it lasts for more than two weeks, parents should take this as a matter of concern.

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Suicidal behavior in children could be complicated. Their day to day activities could be the signs of their thought process.

Here are some points that can help the parents to know about their ward’s mental health.

QUESTION ON THE EXISTENCE

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‘No one cares if I am here.’

‘i will never bother you once I am gone.’

‘You will be better off when I am gone.’

If you hear such words from the child very often then there must be something that has gutted the child deeply. Children may have a question on their existence and importance. The child may distribute the favorite possessions in other children and say ‘This is yours after me.’ Parents might take this action as a playful act but one should never ignore the possibility.

In such conditions, parents should interact with the child and should tell them their importance in this world. The interaction will help the parents to know what is affecting the child the most.

CHANGES IN BEHAVIOUR

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According to WHO, depression can lead to suicide. Thus the symptoms of depression can be observed in the child if the child has suicidal thoughts. Change in behavior is one of the signs of depression.

A child who used to enjoy social interaction before is now avoiding talking with anyone and falling sick frequently can indicate their mental health condition.

CHANGES IN MOODS

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Experience of various feelings gives rise to various moods in children. But if the child is tending towards negative feelings like anger, negativity, and aggression significantly then the parents should try to know more about the reason. If impulsive reactions, aggressive behavior with other children is seen many times then helping the child to deal with such feelings becomes important.

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ART FORMS AS AN EXPRESSION

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Most of the children are unable to coin their feelings in exact words thus art forms can become a language to express. Children usually draw the things that they observe or experience. If the child is drawing the things related to death frequently then parents should take this as an important note and try to interact with the child about these drawings. This will allow the parents to know about the thought process of the child. Immediate help from the professionals will stand helpful for the child.

LOSING SELF CONFIDENCE

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Some experiences at school or home may affect the children’s mind to believe that he/ she is worthless. They might start feeling that ‘ They are of no use’ and are hopeless. They might believe that nothing can improve them. The feeling of hopelessness can be seen overpowering the child. If parents notice such changes, they should take steps about it.

MATTER OF INTEREST – DEATH

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Losing near ones, witnessing violence, or reading about death can make the child curious about death. If the child talks about dying, searches, and reads about the ways to die or harms the people around in various ways then the parents should not delay in taking the guidance from the professionals.

Suicidal thoughts in the individual, if detected in the early stages can help to cure the person in scientific ways. Children have a very curious mind thus they easily get affected by various things in society. Keeping the child away from violence and any type of abusing can act as prevention. If you find any of the above-listed signs in your child, this is the time to protect your child from such thoughts and secure their childhood.

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