Teenagers are capable of all kinds of unexpected behavior. How can you tell whether a teen is exhibiting typical teenage angst or showing signs that he or she is at risk for suicide?
Here are seven red flags the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) encourages parents and educators watch for:
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Feelings of homelessness or helplessness
- Aggression or disruptive behavior
- Withdrawal from friends, family and regular activities
- Frequent complaints about physical symptoms often related to emotions, such as stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, etc.
- Decline in the quality of schoolwork
- Preoccupation with death and dying
Young people who are thinking about suicide may also stop planning for or talking about the future and begin to give away important possessions. For some teens, suicide may appear to be a solution to their problems. Being attuned to the warning signs and prevention methods is key to detecting early suicidal thoughts.
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