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Teenagers (Teen) Depression and Suicide


The most common disorders that predispose to suicide are some form of mood disorder, with or without alcoholism or other substance abuse problem, and/or certain forms of anxiety disorder. Sometimes teens feel so depressed that they consider ending their lives.

Some facts on suicide amongst teenagers:

Each year, almost 5,000 young people, ages 15 to 24, kill themselves.

  • Suicide amongst teenagers & young adults has increased 3 fold since 1970.
  • 90% of suicide amongst teenagers had a diagnosable mental illness, depression being the most common.
  • In 1996 suicide was the 4th biggest killer of 10 to 14 year olds, and the 3rd biggest killer of 15 to 24 year olds.

Among girls, the most significant risk factor is the presence of major depression, which, in some studies, increases the risk of suicide 12-fold. The next most important risk factor is a previous suicide attempt, which increases the risk approximately 3 fold.

Among boys, a previous suicide attempt is the most potent predictor, increasing the rate over 30-fold. It is followed by depression , disruptive behavior , and substance abuse.

Studies show that suicide attempts among young people may be based on long-standing problems triggered by a specific event. Suicidal adolescents may view a temporary situation as a permanent condition. Feelings of anger and resentment combined with exaggerated guilt can lead to impulsive, self-destructive acts.

People usually kill themselves to escape what they see to be an intolerable and otherwise inescapable situation, not necessarily because they want to die.

Ho to help Depressed Suicidal Teenagers?

It is extremely important that depressed teenagers who are feeling suicidal should receive prompt, professional treatment. This is very serious and, if left untreated, can worsen to the point of becoming life-threatening. If depressed teens refuse treatment, it may be necessary for family members or other concerned adults to seek professional advice. Some of the important points to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Offer help and listen. Encourage depressed teens to talk about their feelings. Listen, don't lecture.
  • Trust your instincts. If it seems that the situation may be serious, seek prompt help. Break a confidence if necessary, in order to save a life.
  • Pay attention to talk about suicide. Ask direct questions and don't be afraid of frank discussions. Silence is deadly!
  • Seek professional help. It is essential to seek expert advice from a mental health professional who has experience helping depressed teens. Also, alert key adults in the teen's life - family, friends and teachers. talk to someone about depression.

Click to Learn more on Depression Suicide.

What parents can do in Teenagers Depression? - Teen Depression has been one of the most pressurized situation for their parents and guardians.

Does Depressed Teenagers Smoke More? - Teenagers suffering from depression are much more likely to reach for a cigarette than contented teens, says a new study.

Back to Teen Depression

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