In recent times, due to the influence of technology, kids have become aloof and do not share much with their parents. It is at this time that the parents need to be cautious to identify signs that might lead to self-harm or worse, suicide.
There are times when kids show clear signs of depression, but parents tend to ignore them or pass them off as usual mood swings. Suicidal symptoms are often seen in youth facing court appearances, family distress, pressure of examinations and peers, those who are sexually abused or those who have been rejected by their loved ones.
If there is a doubt that your child is being highly temperamental or suicidal, parents should immediately seek help from counsellors at school or a mental health expert, but at the same time they should respect their child’s space and not question or pressurise them frequently.
If they are forced to disclose their worries, they might get annoyed and take drastic steps to get out of the situation.
Here are few signs parents must look out for in their kids.
- When they talk about death and dying very often, or even about disappearing or jumping or shooting oneself or any other form of self-harm
- If they have encountered any situational crisis of losing a close one through death or divorce, experiencing a broken relationship, lost a close friend and have no interest in meeting other friends.
- They lose interest in hobbies or other activities they previously enjoyed doing
- A drastic change in personality, leaning towards withdrawn, depressed, irritable, apathetic, tired, indecisive or tired conduct
- Lack of focus at school, workplace or while doing routine tasks
- Some people may tend to over or under sleeping and may also have nightmares. Sleep walking amongst teenagers is not common but is a possibility. Hallucinations, unless under influence of drugs or a psychotic illness, may not be present
- Also keep a look out for change in their eating habits, one tends to either overeat or experience loss of appetite, in extremities
- They lose their self-esteem and start feeling worthless, shameful, and guilty while doing regular tasks.
- With build-up of self-hatred, they start to think people will be happier if they aren’t around or if they don’t partake in activities
- Belief that things will never get better and that nothing will ever change, dawns
Along with this he/she is even provided with individual psychotherapy where we counsel them on how to cope better with the challenges in their lives and help them recognise the fault thought patterns that are preventing them do so.
Family therapy is conducted so that parents and family members understand the young child and learn how to be supportive. Timely identification of symptoms goes a long way in bettering the life of your loved one.
The author is a Clinical Psychologist at S.L Raheja Hospital, Mahim