Know The Signs: Suicide Expert Outlines Red Flags of Teen Suicide

Youth Suicide on The Rise

As teen suicide continues to raise concerns in the United States, a suicide expert today advised parents to know the warning signs that will be helpful to prevent teens from attempting to take their own life.

Reports say more teens are admitted to children’s hospital due to attempts or thoughts of suicide.

This terrifying fact of youth suicide is confirmed by a phsychiatry professor from UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

According to Joan Asarnow, an expert on youth suicide prevention, “Middle school students are just as likely to die from suicide as from traffic accidents, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And suicide is the secondleading cause of death for ages 10-24.”

Asarnow defines suicide as the “cancer of mental disorders” that can come on quickly. Suicide is the tenth most common cause of death in the United States.

A depressed teen.
A depressed teen.

Know The Signs

Asarnow asserted that parents play a crucial role to prevent teens from committing suicide. One thing to consider is, it can be prevented. That is why Asarnow is encouraging parents to be engaged and communicating with their children.

The professor of psyhiatry advises, “Let them know no problem is too big for us to solve together and if you suspect something, don’t leave them alone.”

Aside from that helpful advice, Asarnow asserted parents should know the red flags of teen suicide.

These are the signs to watch for:

If your child talks about:

  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Experiencing unbearable pain
  • Having no reason to live
  • Killing themselves

Changes in behavior, including:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Seeking out information about methods of suicide
  • Acting recklessly
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Aggression

Changes in Mood:

  • Depression
  • Loss of interest
  • Change in mood, even improved mood can be a concerning sign
  • Rage
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation
  • Anxiety
  • Shame

Help for you and your child can be found through UCLA’s Youth Stress and Mood Program. See:

Teen Suicide in the United States

Teen suicide is considered as the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds in the United States.

Experts say at least 90% teens who resort to committing suicide have some type of mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse, or a behavior problem. Aside from that, problems in school, family and friends can trigger teens to commit suicide.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.