Being a parent can be tough right from the beginning, but many people feel that parenting a teenager can be especially tough. In this day and age being a teen can be hard, and it is not uncommon for teenagers to feel depressed, isolated, and disconnected, which in some cases eventually leads to the expression of suicidal thoughts. If your teen has ever talked about suicide or insinuated that he or she wants to end his or her life, it is essential for you as a parent to act promptly. Take the following steps if your teenage child is suffering from depression and has mentioned suicide:
Seek Assistance from Medical and Mental Health Professionals
Suicidal thoughts or taking about ending one's life is not a phase that a teen will grow out of, nor is it normal behavior. As a parent, it is important that you take the situation seriously and immediately seek the help of doctors and counselors. Visit your family doctor and request an immediate referral to a psychiatrist, or find a psychiatrist through other means. A psychiatrist will be able to diagnose your child and prescribe any necessary medication to treat depression or any other underlying mental illness that may play a part in their feelings of worthlessness.
In addition to psychiatric care, you teen will most like be referred to a therapist for counseling. The combination of medication and counseling can be very effective, especially for teens who are just learning about the world and are still developing skills to cope with problems and the stress of life. Encourage your child to attend every counseling appointment, as speaking with a professional therapist who specializes in adolescents can be very beneficial.
Don't Leave Your Child Alone
If you are worried that your teen may try to attempt suicide, make sure that he or she is not left alone. Try to arrange for someone to be home with your child to provide companionship, whether it is you, a family member, a family friend, or one of your teen's friends. Being around people may help reduce the feelings of depression and isolation, and the presence of others may prevent your child from trying to take his or her own life.
Make Your Home Safer
Immediate medical care is vital if your teen has expressed suicidal thoughts, but medication and counseling are not quick fixes that work right away in this type of situation. Make sure that your child does not have access to firearms, a large amount of prescription drugs or prescription drugs not prescribed for him or her, alcohol, and anything that can be used to self-harm, such as ropes or knives.
Support Your Child
When your child feels so hopeless that he or she has thought about suicide, it is essential to provide him or her with as much support as possible. Be available to listen, and make sure you express how much you love him or her. Avoid making any comments along the line of "your life is not that bad," or "you should be thankful for all that I have given you," as these sentiments are not helpful.
For more information, contact a mental health professional, such as one at Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc.
Counseling can be a great help with many aspects of your life. Whether you are struggling with your work life, personal life or love life, talking with someone who can help you wrap your head around the way that you are feeling can help you find balance and create a better way of life for yourself. Our blog will show you several ways that a counselor can help you with the different areas of your life. You will also learn a few tips that can help you improve things on your own and information to help you know what to expect when you go to a counselor for the first time.