Whether you are a parent or a caregiver, you are familiar with your children – you have watched them grow up and are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing that kids won’t always be willing to share their life with you might be both shocking and worrying. Particularly difficult for children to discuss freely with their parents are suicidal ideas. Even when students appear to be doing well competing in sports, receiving good marks, and taking part in extracurricular activities they may be suffering from depression or anxiety at the time. While the scenario described above is fictitious, many families have a narrative that is similar to the one presented above.
Youth who do not match the usual mold for sadness and anxiety are often overlooked, and this has serious consequences. Many people imagine a depressed teen as someone who separates themselves from others and appears sad or angry all of the time. However, this is not the case. Despite this, we are aware that intelligent, high-achieving adolescents might be in distress. They may be placing excessive pressure on themselves to be “perfect” from the outside, despite the fact that they appear to be doing well on the inside. In the event that they do not reach such expectations, they can become exceedingly nervous and unhappy, and they may even have suicidal thoughts.
The majority of children and teenagers do not express all of their ideas, feelings, and experiences with their parents. This is especially true for traumatic or challenging experiences. Youth frequently wish to shield their parents from their own feelings of stress and despair, and they are apprehensive about adding to their burden. Furthermore, the stigma associated with mental health issues continues to be a substantial impediment to recovery. Suicidal ideas in adolescents may be viewed as a sign of personal weakness, and they may wish to keep them hidden from others.
However, there are several things you can do to boost the possibility that your child will trust in you or another trusted adult. These include:
- Keep in touch with your youngster on a frequent basis. Even if your son or daughter may not want to talk every day, starting a conversation about how they are feeling and letting them know you are there will make it easier for them to share if they experience anxious or depressed symptoms later on in their lives.
- Encourage the development of good connections with other adults who are supportive of you. Teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and neighbours may all be involved in your child’s life in some way or another. More pleasant and supporting adult relationships kids have, the more probable it is that they may approach someone and talk to them.
- Continue to speak. Things that happen at school that are related to self-harm, suicide thoughts, or depression may include news stories, television shows, situations with friends or members of the local community, or problems that occur at home. You should take advantage of this opportunity to chat with your child about their ideas and emotions. Instruct them about the need of seeking help from an adult if they or a friend is having suicidal thoughts. Those thoughts could be a symptom of a treatable mental health issue, such as bipolar disorder. They do not represent a weakness.
- It is acceptable to inquire about suicide thoughts in a forthright manner. It is often the most useful thing you can do to encourage your child to open up about suicidal thoughts is to openly question them about their feelings.
- Finally, make it very clear to your child that you recognise and appreciate their efforts and character, even if they make mistakes, or having difficulties in a relationship, or do not have perfect marks. Help them understand that they are loved despite their circumstances.
If your child expresses suicidal thoughts, there are services available to assist them. More advice on how to talk to your child about suicidal thoughts can be found by visiting this site. Suicide Watch And Wellness Foundation