How to overcome teenage suicide attempts?

Depression leading to suicide is the second leading cause of death in young adolescents and youth. We must take some of the measures that we must take to prevent teenage suicide are as mentioned below.

Depression is one of the leading cause of disability worldwide. It is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. Depression leading to Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young adolescents and youth.We must take Some of the measures that we must take to prevent teenage suicide are as mentioned below

Identifying early warning signs of depression, can help with timely diagnosis and prevention of teenage suicides. Early warning signs would include persistent sadness, loss of interest, boredom, irritability, low energy, functional Impairment, relative unresponsiveness to pleasurable activities, interaction and attention from others. Certain other biological changes like insomnia or sleeping excessively, Loss or appetite or overeating, weight loss or weight gain. These symptoms must be persistent for a minimum period of two weeks or more.

Apart from early detection, the parents and teachers  must keep their conversation open with teenagers, we need to teach them to be able to accept change, teach them to overcome challenges, set new limits and keep challenging themselves because challenges helps us grow beyond our limits. Prepare our teenagers to face uncertainties and surprises, it is alright if they do not get admission in the choice of their college, or do not score marks as per their expectations, it’s not the end of world. Having discussions and talking about things, routines, interest , friends , extracurricular activities and at the same time accepting them the way they are can help build resilient teenagers. Building a community of resilient teenagers will need a lot of acceptance and belief in the fact that each one of them is unique and have their own abilities and strengths.

Raising awareness, including teaching life skill, teaching them to be able to analyze their emotions and be able to express them to a close adult can help feel less alone and left out, and get correct guidance to cope with difficult emotions.

Teenagers experience lots if physical, emotional, mental and hormonal changes during there period of development and while their logical brain is still developing the other parts of the brain are developed making them more impulsive in decisions and actions. Hence teaching our teenager to identify a trustworthy and close adult who can be one of the parent, a teacher,  a relative or school counsellor is important to be able to discuss and take opinion in making the important decisions of life.

Some of the common factors like bullying, substance abuse, lack of family support, low self esteem, physical and sexual abuse, poor academic performance, financial worries, chronic medical illness, and genetic factors are some of the risk factors for  depression in teenagers leading to suicide hence identifying the vulnerable and building resilience in early years can be helpful in preventing depression and suicide .

Last but not the least spirituality since ages had helped build resilient individuals and has time and again worked as a coping strategy during the times of crisis . Hence spiritual experience for teenagers can definitely impact their perspective towards life in a positive way.

Let us all create awareness and work towards building a resilient and accepting society and prepare our teenagers to face the challenges and surprises of life.  

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Mental Health Dr. Himani Khanna


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