How Suicidal Behavior is a Cry for help

Suicide is the third largest cause of death in teenagers today. It is also the most preventable. Did you know that nearly all of all suicides committed could have been prevented? Mostly all teens who show signs of suicidal behavior are really just calling for help. They feel that they are all alone in the world, and that nothing and nobody can help them.

Most teens who act out in suicidal ways don’t truly want to die. They just want someone, anyone to help them in any way they can. If we look at the signs of suicide, most are obvious. Most can be seen ahead of time and help someone reach out and prevent a suicide.

The first is depression. Teens who show signs of depression may look at the world as ‘gray’. They may see the glass as half empty instead of half full. They may cry often. Also, the teenager may show loss of interest in things and activities that used to make them happy. If hanging out with friends on the weekend once made a teen happy, then depression could cause the teen to just remain alone in their room. Most of these signs can be seen by others close to the teen, such as family or friends. If a friend seems depressed to you, talk to them. It may mean the world to them if they feel like someone cares. They may just need someone to talk to, to share feelings with.

The second (and perhaps obvious) sign of suicidal behavior is talk of dying or death. When a teen begins to use phrases like “I wish I were dead” or “If only I was gone” or “I wish I could just sleep forever”, it should become obvious that the teen wants to die. As stated, talk to them! They may just need help! Suicidal behavior is almost always preventable and is often a cry for help.

The third sign of suicidal behavior is self mutilation. This is an extreme and very harmful way of expressing hopelessness and sadness. Self mutilation is most commonly seen as cutting of the wrists and arms, burning, or scratching. Most teens will try and cover this up, but if you do see a friend who has been hurting themselves, help in any way you can! Whether this means talking to the friend or telling a trusted person about it, doing something right away is critical! The teen is feeling very low and down. They often feel that live has ended for them, and that there is no hope to be seen. They need someone to talk to.

If a teen starts showing any of these signs above, they may just need someone to talk to. Try talking to them, and let them know that you care. Let them know that you don’t like seeing them like this, that you miss the old friend. And above all, listen. A teen feels a whole lot better after ‘getting something off their chest’. If they start crying, comfort them. Just be there for them.

“To the world, you may be just one person. But to one person, you might be the world.”