Those names…that’s not who anyone is. Those names are labels…stereotypes. Those names…are what suicidal teens hear EVERYDAY!
● Stereotypes are categories, people are placed into based on their traits by other people. Nerds Jocks Burnouts
● When people are placed into these groups, we tend to judge them by their stereotype. Because of this we miss out on getting to know them. ● Stereotyping builds walls between teens, and breaks confidence of those negatively stereotyped. ● It is possible for stereotypes to have the same affect on people as bullying.
The kid you see sitting alone in dark clothing, and red eyes from crying could have something in common with the kid that’s always smiling and joking. They could both be thinking about suicide. Looks and “certain traits” don’t always show you who a person really is. “Never judge a book by it’s cover”
Suicide is becoming a leading cause of death to teenagers. We all need to start taking steps to preventing these young people from ending their lives before they even get the chance to live.
The Warning Signs of Suicide: What YOU Should Be Watching For
These signs may indicate teenage depression or suicidal thoughts. If you notice ANY abnormal behavior of this nature, TAKE ACTION. You could save a life.
Depressed teens may exhibit withdrawal from family or friends. They may lose interest in activities. Their sleeping and eating patterns may dramatically change.
A teen suffering from depression may act irritable, angry, or hostile. Their actions may reflect restlessness or agitation. Most frequently, a depressed teen’s behavior reflects a lack of energy, enthusiasm, or motivation. They may or may not cry often.
Depression causes intense emotions. These can include worthlessness, hopelessness, and guilt.
If a teen mentions their own death or suicide in a positive or ‘romantic’ way, always overreact. Even to a story or poem. Even to a ‘joke.’ Even to song lyrics.
If you suspect that someone you know is thinking about ending their own life, TALK!
Make it clear that you’re there for support. And when they open up, JUST LISTEN.
Don’t try to give advice about how to “solve” their sadness. Don’t minimize their emotions or pass judgement. Telling a depressed teen, “it’s just emotions” is like telling someone who fell off a cliff, “it’s just gravity.”
What’s really going on ? What are these teens going through?
Do you remember your first heartbreak? Such as, when you lost your beloved family pet; or breaking up with your first love. Do you remember the pain you felt? The hurt, the anger, the anguish, the frustration, the hopelessness? Now just try to imagine feeling this way your every waking moment; and you might catch a glimpse of the inside world of a suicidal teen.
For the most part people whom are experiencing suicidal thoughts have something happening in their life that they feel is beyond their ability to handle. Wither its issues at home; like a divorce or abuse; or at school; bullying from peers or inability to keep up grades; a suicidal teen feels at their wits end. They see NO light at the end of the tunnel.
Almost all teenagers whom consider suicide have a form of depression. Depression isn’t just feeling sad, it’s a mental disorder caused by a hormonal imbalance, and it affects your WHOLE body. Thoughts enter your mind that are VERY dark, “You’re so useless.” “Why do you even try?” “You should just die.” These thoughts should scare anyone. When this first starts, you’ll fight these thoughts; but over time, the thoughts get stronger and darker. Overtime, you get tired of fighting, you start to let the thoughts entrap you. This is painful and you feel trapped inside your own mind; all you want is an escape; one way out that everyone will think of at least one is…death.
You feel so completely alone. You want desperately to reach out to someone but every time you ALMOST do…you pull away. “What if they just think I’m a burden?” “I don’t want to pull them down too." And they might have family/ friends willing to help but they find it difficult to ask for the help they desperately need.
“ People don’t kill themselves because they WANT to die. They kill themselves because they want the pain and suffering to go away.”-National Suicide Prevention Lifeline The best help you can offer is a listening ear, a tender heart, and loving arms. All you need to do is ask “Are you okay?” And take them seriously. Don’t downplay their emotions, and don’t walk away. They are pouring their trust on to you, and if you betray it, they won’t open up to anyone else, and they may NEVER get to the help they need.
For 24-hour suicide prevention and support in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273- TALK.