Teen Issues

Suicide

The behaviors listed below may be signs that someone is thinking about suicide.

  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  • Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
  • Making a plan or looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online, stockpiling pills, or buying a gun
  • Talking about great guilt or shame
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable pain (emotional pain or physical pain)
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
  • Talking or thinking about death often
  • Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
  • Giving away important possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Putting affairs in order, making a will

Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk. Suicidal behavior is complex and there is no single cause. In fact, many different factors contribute to someone making a suicide attempt. But people most at risk tend to share certain characteristics. The main risk factors for suicide are:

  • Depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorder
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Chronic pain
  • A prior suicide attempt
  • Family history of a mental disorder or substance abuse
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • Having guns or other firearms in the home
  • Having recently been released from prison or jail
  • Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or celebrities

Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. It is important to note that suicide is not a normal response to stress. Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention, and should not be ignored.

Often, family and friends are the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide and can be the first step toward helping an at-risk individual find treatment with someone who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. See the resources on our “Find Help for Mental Illnesses” page if you’re not sure where to start.

Do gender and age affect suicide risk?

Men are more likely to die by suicide than women, but women are more likely to attempt suicide. Men are more likely to use deadlier methods, such as firearms or suffocation. Women are more likely than men to attempt suicide by poisoning. The most recent figures released by the CDC  show that the highest rate of suicide deaths among women is found between ages 45 and 64, while the highest rate for men occurs at ages 75+. Children and young adults also are at risk for suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 34.

www.nimh.nih.gov

Stress And School

 

If chronic stress is ignored for long enough, it can eventually lead to mental and physical breakdowns and even depression. The effects of stress only get worse as time goes on so the most effective interventions are those that begin early. This is most likely to happen when the underlying causes of stress, as well as the warning signs, are understood properly, both by the students themselves and by the faculty.

Faculty and students should also be careful not to dismiss situations where some level of stress is expected. For example, everyone is stressed during exams, and this can make it a lot easier to miss the warning signs regarding one particular student. It is easy for an individual’s symptoms to be missed or ignored in such a situation. This is a time where the faculty should be at its most alert, and ready to offer help and counseling to those students who might need it.

At the same time, stress is not always a bad thing. Oftentimes, just the right amount of stress will encourage a student to study more or to try harder. The stress caused by knowing that they need a passing grade on their next test in order to pass a class, for example, might determine a student to stay up and study the night before when, normally, they might have gone out with friends. As the University of Georgia (1) defines it, this is something called positive stress. It adds short-term tension to the body that provides it with an additional burst of adrenaline in order to overcome a certain challenge.

adrenalfatiguesolution.com

Bullying

School is a hot spot for bullying, here is some information on the topic and if you feel that you yourself are a victim of bullying or  your child is please contact us and we can help.

Perhaps more than any other school safety problem, bullying affects students’ sense of security. The most effective ways to prevent or lessen bullying require school administrators’ commitment and intensive effort; police interested in increasing school safety can use their influence to encourage schools to address the problem. This guide provides police with information about bullying in schools, its extent and its causes, and enables police to steer schools away from common remedies that have proved ineffective elsewhere, and to develop ones that will work.

Bullying is widespread and perhaps the most under-reported safety problem on American school campuses. Contrary to popular belief, bullying occurs more often at school than on the way to and from there. Once thought of as simply a rite of passage or relatively harmless behavior that helps build young people’s character, bullying is now known to have long-lasting harmful effects, for both the victim and the bully. Bullying is often mistakenly viewed as a narrow range of antisocial behavior confined to elementary school recess yards. In the United States, awareness of the problem is growing, especially with reports that in two-thirds of the recent school shootings (for which the shooter was still alive to report), the attackers had previously been bullied. “In those cases, the experience of bullying appeared to play a major role in motivating the attacker.”

www.popcenter.org

Eating Disorders- What They Are

Eating disorders, among them anorexia nervosa (voluntary starvation) and bulimia nervosa (binge-eating followed by purging), occur frequently—but not exclusively—in affluent cultures. A disproportionate number of the diagnosed are young women in their teens and 20s, but the prevalence among young men has increased over the years.

Among the most baffling of conditions, eating disorders take on a life of their own so that eating, or not eating, becomes the focus of everyday existence. Both anorexia and bulimia are powered by a desire for control. But in the case of binge eating disorder, in which people gorge on large amounts of food and generally gain weight, sufferers feel that eating is out of their control.

Both culturally mediated body-image concerns and personality traits like perfectionismand obsessiveness play a large role in eating disorders, which are also often accompanied by depression and/or anxiety.

There is no magic cure for these conditions, which are often challenging to treat, and many cases can be acutely life-threatening, requiring hospitalization and forced nourishment. www.psychologytoday.com