Updated: Jul 16
Ethan felt like there was no point going on with life. Things had been tough since his mom died. His dad was working two jobs and seemed frazzled and angry most of the time. Whenever he and Ethan talked, it usually ended in yelling. Ethan had just found out he'd failed a math test. He was afraid of how mad his dad would be. He missed having his mom to talk to. Ethan knew where his dad kept his guns. But as he was unlocking the cabinet, he heard his sister come home from school. He didn't want Grace to be the person to find him, so he put the gun back and went to watch TV with her instead. Later, when he realized how close he'd come to ending his life, Ethan was terrified. He summoned the courage to talk to his dad. After a long conversation, he realized how much his dad cared. All he could think of was how he'd almost thrown it all away.(kidshealth.org)
Thank God he recognized that he needed to reach out to someone. I’m guessing he was terrified to say something about this to his dad. Can you imagine? I would think his dad is eternally grateful that he reached out to him. I’m sure his dad was frightened, but he doesn’t have to bury his son. I hope they had a calm, rational discussion.
If a child, adolescent, or anyone says, "I want to kill myself" or "I'm going to commit suicide" always take the statement seriously and immediately seek assistance from a qualified mental health professional. People often feel uncomfortable talking about suicide. However, asking the child or adolescent whether he or she is depressed or thinking about suicide can be helpful. Rather than putting thoughts in the child's head, such a question will provide assurance that you care and will give the young person the chance to talk about his or her problems.
There are a lot of risk factors that can lead to suicidal thoughts or suicide. Mental illness, mainly depression or psychiatric diagnosis. There might be a history of mental illness in the family or a history of suicide in the family. The person has been exposed to suicide. They might have suffered physical or sexual abuse. Have poor coping skills, dealing with losses. They could be part of the LGBTQA community and are having difficulty accepting the fact they are gay, lesbian, bi, etc. There might not be a support network for them, they don’t get along with parents or peers, and they feel socially isolated-not due to social media.
There are a lot of warning signs to look out for, if you notice these, the child might not be suicidal, but could be dealing with a mental illness such as depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety, etc. IF you notice these situations, it’s better to be proactive in dealing with these than having to bury a child.
· The person will talk about suicide or death in general.
· They might be preoccupied with death, which could present itself in writing or artwork
· Give hints that they might not be around anymore-you’ll miss me when I’m gone
· Have intense hopelessness or sadness. Might have extreme levels of guilt.
· Start to distance from family, friends, social activities. Lose Interest in school or sports, stop participating in things that used to bring enjoyment for them.
· Start to abuse alcohol or drugs
· Give away their possessions
· Start to engage in reckless or risky behavior
· Notice changes in eating and sleeping habits
· Unable to concentrate or think clearly
· Have had a previous suicide attempt
Teens who attempt or complete suicide usually have provided some type of warning sign to loved ones ahead of time. We all need to be aware of the warning signs so anybody who needs it can get help.
Be aware of your children, friends, family members. If something seems off, ask. ASK! Another thing that could serve as a warning sign could be the music that they listen to.
For the adolescent or young person who might read this, know that there is help available. There are so many resources. Start by looking online. There are Facebook groups, but don’t access or look for the ones that glorify death, suicide. You need positive interactions. Hell, we all need positive interactions. I want you here for your entire life span. I don’t want it interrupted. You might think nobody cares, that you don’t matter. THAT IS NOT TRUE! I’ve said before that out of the 7+ billion people on this planet, only YOU have a story, a concept, a theory that only YOU can provide to make a difference in another’s life. If you’re gone prematurely, it’s just like dropping a pebble in the ocean. The ripples it creates spread far and wide, changing everything.
Until next time….
I wish you peace, joy,here and love.