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Suicide. The mere mention of the word just stops your heart for a second, doesn’t it? Here are a few reasons why your teen might be suicidal and how to help them out of it.
“Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up.” – Unknown
A young boy of 13 kills himself. The boy, who is a victim of bullying, has tried to tell his parents of the ordeal he goes through at school. Instead of supporting him and listening to him, they advocated the (seemingly) reasonable approach of talking to the principal. However, the boy opposes the idea fearing it will make things worse. Meanwhile, unknown to his parents, the bullying continued. So for the boy, the only way to resolve his crisis was to kill himself.
In yet another case, a teenaged girl killed herself after she was cyber bullied. The teen, who was once a bubbly, happy girl, fell prey to a sick mind who abused her online. Hidden behind an anonymous mask, the predator attacked the girl till she took her own life.
Bekon Smith killed herself by walking into the path of a truck. Prior to the incident, she scheduled a post on her social media page to go live after her death.
In her final message, Bekon stated “My death has to mean something.” She also wrote about her struggles as a transgender teen. Bekon wished to lived as a woman with her parents who denied her request. They claimed her transformation would be an insult to God.
Her post broke hearts of thousands of readers, who shared her message in order to publicise the tragedy. Even after her death, Bekon’s mother refused to address her with female pronouns and would only refer to her by her given name, Bekon. Her mother refused to allow Bekon’s best friend and supporter to attend her funeral.
The above cases are our attempt to raise awareness on the issue of suicide of children and teens.
Suicide is a difficult subject to address. There are far too many tragic stories of people who felt the only way to escape their troubles were to take their own lives. When the people at the centre of these events are children, the dreadful emotions we feel are amplified.
Well, here’s the truth – there are many more of the shocking motives and piteous stories of children who ended their own lives.
Common reasons of suicide in children and teens include:-
You heard me right. The stress factor triggers suicidal tendencies in teens and children. It could be bullying at school, a break up, parents’ divorce, a major dissension at home and a whole host of reasons.
The teen/child might turn suicidal or show signs of hurting themselves.
So dear parents it is your job to keep an eye on your child and take them into confidence. Assure and counsel the child rather than thinking that the child is trying to play pranks.
Do not ignore the child. Your child needs help and is not seeking attention at all. The result can be fatal. This is an initial warning.
Keep a sharp watch on your child if you notice that they are disturbed, depressed or withdrawn.
Understand the gravity of the mental health issues like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and schizophrenia to name a few. Your child can be a victim of any of these.
Keep proper communication channels open with your child. Seek professional help if and when needed.
In an interview conducted on teens and children making suicide attempts, they actually confessed difficulty dealing with the situation. Suicide seemed the easy way out and we all know how wrong this notion is!
Parents, you need to teach your child on how to deal with the challenging situations. Also do not show your own vulnerability in front of your child. Don’t get me wrong please. The kid already has a difficulty dealing with a situation, and your attitude can worsen the same. Try to remain calm and be brave while dealing with the child.
It might sound like repetition but I would like to reiterate that each parent maintain a healthy relationship with their child. The more hostile you appear, the more the child is bound to recoil in horror and shield themselves in a cocoon. This ultimately might make them suicidal.
Be a friend to your child, rather than a dominant parent. Use words like “darling and sweetheart” while addressing a child going through a difficult time.
An abusive environment can trigger suicidal feeling in the child. Regular fights in front of the child can increase their suicidal tendencies.
Do I still need to be explicit?
Often parents discuss death, suicide, etc in front of children, what they don’t realise is that it can create a deep impact on the child’s mind.
Do not discuss these topics in front of the child/teen. They are too young and vulnerable to understand the gravity of it. The child might think of it as a fun and even before you realise the child is gone.
Look at the similar case of an American child who smothered himself to death while trying to fidget with the hook that hung his shirt.
Please raise awareness. Stop suicide among children and teens. You won’t realise how much it feels to be sad every single day without your child even when you experience joy.
The goodbyes that hurt the most are when the stories aren’t complete. You, as a parent, will never understand until it happens with you
Save a child, save the nation. Make the world a better place to live. Prevent suicide.
A different version was first published here.
Also featured here.
If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, here are some of the helplines available in India. Please call.
Aasra, Mumbai: 022-27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044-2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033-2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080–25497777
Roshni, Hyderabad: 040-66202000, 040-66202001
Image credits: Pixar’s Inside Out
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Rimli Bhattacharya is a First class gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of
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