• DJ Moody

Teen Suicide Prevention

Suicidal thoughts or feelings can make us feel frightened and overwhelmed. We can feel crazy or worried we are going crazy and may be embarrassed to share what we're thinking with others. Or maybe we have tried to talk about it and were dismissed ("Come on, you don't really feel that way!"), or made fun of ("There you go again, you wimpy cry-baby!"), or not taken seriously ("You're always talking about that - one of these days maybe you'll do it"). Perhaps the people we talked to did not understand what to say so they just ignored us and said nothing. Just because we could not find someone who listened in a helpful way, though, does not mean we should give up! Talking about suicidal thoughts and feelings - with the right person - can make all the difference in the world.


Depression is a main cause of suicide. It is important to remember that it is no one's fault. It is a condition that affects your brain's chemicals. It changes your thoughts, feelings, and choices. When you think you will never be happy again, death is not the answer. It may take time, but there is hope.

Many factors can cause depression. Usually it is a mix. Certain events are hard to deal with, such as death, breakups, moving, and bullying. It is natural to feel overcome or helpless by these feelings. Issues like an illness, trouble in school, and self-esteem also have an effect. Another big factor is genetics. You are at a greater risk of depression or other mental disorders if they run in the family. Depression is a complex illness that could your judgement.

Depression can exist with other issues. Some people turn to substance abuse, or self-harm to try and cure or escape their real world problems. There are other mental health conditions that can bring on suicide. Anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and bipolar disorder are problems that also require care to prevent suicidal thoughts.

Some people will try to hide depression or thoughts of suicide. They might withdraw, or act out. This can make it hard to notice warning signs. It is important to keep an open and ongoing dialogue. Ask, listen, and tell. When asked, a lot of people will open up. Talk to them to know their issues and concerns. Maybe they are scared to talk about it, or don't have someone to listen. Tell them that you care and that there are options for help.

People who have these thoughts suffer a range of symptoms. Sadness, despair, neglect, and anger are among them. Teens may act differently than adults. Some people who struggle with suicide might not even display any signs.


Here are the leading warning signs for suicide:

  • Talking about death and/or suicide in a casual way.

  • Saying they wish they hadn't been born.

  • Talking about leaving or going away.

  • Saying they won't need things soon.

  • Not wanting to be around people anymore.

  • Seeming sad and remote, instead of happy and social.

  • Becoming more angry or edgy.

  • Losing interest in hobbies or events.

  • Having trouble focusing.

  • Showing changes in normal routine, such as sleeping, eating, or grooming. These can lead to being sick or having stomach, head, or body aches.

  • Acting out in harmful ways, such as drinking, using drugs, or hurting themselves.

Lots of people think about suicide at one time or another in their lives, teens included. Usually it is because they are struggling with problems in their lives that seem overwhelming , and they feel trapped, helpless, and hopeless. It is not that they want to die - they just want to stop feeling miserable. They may be depressed, angry, or empty - but whatever they feel, they are not thinking clearly.


If you or any of your friends are feeling this way and have had thoughts of suicide, the most important thing to do is to talk immediately with an adult you trust. Sometimes friends tell us things in confidence and make us promise not to tell anyone else. You may have done this yourself. Secrets can take on a life of their own and become even more powerful because they are private. Keeping the secret of suicide does not help anyone - it can actually make things worse. Remember, "Friends Help Friends" - so when someone tells you something that worries you, make sure you tell a trusted adult right away. If you do not have someone you trust, call a suicide hotline. Those that answer the phone are trained to speak with people who think about suicide all the time - so they know how to listen and walk through those dark corners with us. And if someone threatens to take their life, please take them to the nearest hospital or dial 911 immediately!!

Mary Karr wrote a very relevant poem about suicide. She said, "Your mind's a dangerous neighborhood: don't go there alone." When we are in scary places, whether they are in the bad neighborhoods or in the dark corners of our mind, w are always better off when we are with someone.



Teen Text Line: Text "TEEN" to 839863 (6pm - 9pm) PST

National Suicide Teen Hotline: 310-855-4673 (6pm - 10pm) PST