What is suicidal behavior ?
Suicide has to do with killing yourself.
Suicidal behavior includes:
Thinking about killing yourself
Attempting to kill yourself
Actually killing yourself (committing suicide)
Children who hurt themselves in ways that clearly aren't meant to cause death, such as by scratching, cutting, or burning themselves, are considered to have nonsuicidal self-injury Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in Children and Adolescents Nonsuicidal self-injury is when adults or children: Hurt themselves in ways that clearly aren't meant to cause death, such as scratching, cutting, or burning themselves Children who hurt themselves... read more .
Suicide is mainly a problem in teens and adults, but children do sometimes commit suicide
A stressful event may trigger suicide in children or teens who have a mental health problem such as depression Depression in Children and Adolescents Just like adults, most children have times when they're sad or feel down. It's normal to have a low mood when something sad happens, such as losing a friend or family member or having a disappointment... read more
Children at risk of suicide may be depressed or anxious and withdraw from activities, talk about death, or suddenly change their behavior
Doctors try to find out how serious a young person is about suicide
Treatment may include individual and family therapy, medicines to treat other mental health problems, or a hospital stay if the risk of suicide is high
Always take suicidal behavior seriously. If you think your child or teen is at risk of attempting suicide, call for help right away (in the United States, call 911 or call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) or take your child to a hospital emergency department.
What causes suicidal behavior in children?
Often, suicidal behavior happens when a child or teen who already has a problem such as depression Depression in Children and Adolescents Just like adults, most children have times when they're sad or feel down. It's normal to have a low mood when something sad happens, such as losing a friend or family member or having a disappointment... read more , substance abuse, or another underlying mental health disorder goes through a stressful event, such as:
A loved one's death
The loss of a boyfriend or girlfriend
Trouble at school
Many young people have stressful events like these. But if they don’t have an underlying problem, those events don’t usually lead to suicidal behavior.
What are symptoms of suicidal behavior?
Children and teens who think about or attempt suicide may:
Say things such as “I wish I’d never been born”
Give away some of their favorite things
Have extreme mood swings
Have trouble sleeping
Withdraw from family or friends
Get worse grades
How do doctors treat suicidal behavior in children?
Make sure your child is safe and decide if hospitalization is needed
Treat underlying problems, such as depression or drug abuse, with therapy and sometimes medicine
Have your child see a psychiatrist or mental health specialist
Help your family understand the risk of future attempts
Have you take precautions to keep your child safe—remove or lock up any guns, medicines (including over-the-counter medicines such as pain relievers), and sharp objects in your home