Is your teen showing signs of depression? Are they isolating? Are they posting cryptic messages on
social media? Being aware and watching for signs can save your loved one’s life. Suicide is on the
rise in young adults. For the most part, a person considering suicide usually gives signs that they
are struggling. You might hear something in a conversation that concerns you. Your loved one’s
actions might change. Sometimes, someone considering suicide will begin giving away their
possessions. This all feels scary. So how do you know what to do?
Watch for these signs:
Increased use of alcohol or drugs
Talking about wanting to die
Increased reckless/risk taking behaviors
Sleep patterns change
Expressions of feeling hopeless, trapped
No sense of purpose
Feeling like a burden to others
Withdrawal from family, friends, activities
Mood changes, often sudden
Anxiety or agitation increases
Begin to give away possessions
Neglect of appearance
Seeking methods of self-harm
Drop in grades
Increased risks occur when there has been:
Recent losses (friendships, pets, grandparents. Etc.….)
Suicide of a friend or family member
Are you afraid to ask questions? Some people fear they will place the thought in someone’s head if
they ask about suicide. The reality is that your question isn’t going to push your kid to act on any
feelings that aren’t already there. So, try asking them how they are feeling. It is helpful if you
explain why you are asking and let your teen know that you are seeing their pain and want to help
them. For example: "I've noticed that you've been talking a lot about not wanting to be here anymore.
Have you been having thoughts about trying to kill yourself?”
Often, family conflicts, especially between a parent and a child can add to a child’s need to isolate.
They feel misunderstood, as if they don’t have a voice, or choice. It is important to repair your
relationship, which is not always easy. Professional help is here and is conducted in a non-
judgmental way. A fight with a friend can seem catastrophic to a teen, while many adults tend to
think it will pass. The problem comes when your teen cannot get past their hurt. Keep in mind
that as adults we have trouble processing loss of friendships, image how difficult it is for a younger
person who relies heavily on friends during this period of their life.
If you need help, please call us to schedule an appointment. 818-804-0322.
If you need help after hours or are not near our offices in Woodland Hills, Ca., there is a National
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255.
If your child is in eminent danger, please seek help at your local emergency room.