For Teens Dealing with Thoughts of Suicide
It is extremely challenging to deal with teenage suicidal behavior and teenage suicidal thoughts. However, just because it's challenging doesn't mean it can't be done. Remember, suicide is preventable and many people want to help you stop feeling suicidal.
If you feel you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 is staffed with professionals who are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Teenage Suicidal Thoughts
Teenage suicidal thoughts are real and should always be taken seriously. According to You Matter, from The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, teenage suicidal thoughts and feelings can be about:
- Feeling worthless
- Feeling there is no reason to live
- Hopelessness or helplessness
- Feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Ways that one might kill his or herself
- Feeling like a burden to others
- Desiring reckless, life-threatening behavior
- Feeling isolated
- Rage or seeking revenge
Teenage Suicidal Behaviors
Teenage suicidal behaviors are also very serious and should always be handled by a professional. According to You Matter, some teenage suicidal behaviors include:
- Talking about any of the above teenage suicidal thoughts and feelings
- Actively searching for methods of suicide, such as buying a firearm
- Increasing drug and alcohol use
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing from others
- Raging; displaying drastic mood swings
Dealing with Teenage Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors
If you have these teenage suicidal behaviors and thoughts, know that you are not alone. Many teens have felt and acted that way and have gone on to get better and feel happy again. However, these thoughts and actions should be taken very seriously and always be dealt with by a professional. A doctor, trained counselor, psychotherapist or other professional can help give you tools to deal with these feelings and behaviors so that you don't act on them. There are many people that want to help you. Reach out and let them.
Start by talking to your family doctor, a school counselor or another adult you trust. Or, call a hotline or visit a crisis center in your neighborhood. If you are found to be acutely suicidal, you may need to be taken to an inpatient treatment facility for a period of time until you are no longer a danger to yourself. While this might sound scary, saving your life is worth it. Some of these places are just for teens and you may find the safety they offer is exactly what you need to start feeling better.
Once you no longer pose a danger to yourself, further help will likely be in the form of psychotherapy or even medication if there are other underlying issues (such as a mental illness like depression). These forms of help can take some time to work, but over time, with treatment you can feel better and these teenage suicidal thoughts and behaviors can go away.
Last Updated: 14 June 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD