If you are the parent of a teenager, every day can feel like a challenge when it comes to communicating and connecting with your child. However, if you are concerned that your teenage child's behaviors and emotions are becoming more troubled than that of the average hormonal teenager, you might find yourself worried about them engaging in self-harm behavior or becoming suicidal. Get to know what you can do when you are worried your child is suicidal so you can feel assured that you are doing everything possible for your teenager's health and well-being.
Trust Your Instincts
Many parents that fear their child might be involved in harmful or dangerous behaviors also fear that they, as the parent, are overreacting and being overprotective. However, when you are concerned your child is suicidal, you should always trust your instincts.
Suicide rates among teenagers skyrocketed from 2007 to 2015. Cases of suicide among teen girls doubled, while cases among boys increased by a solid 30 percent. If you have an instinct or an inkling that something is off with your child's behavior or emotions, it is better to trust your feelings than doubt yourself. It can mean all the difference in the world in terms of getting your child the help they need.
Consider Taking Them In For Drug Testing
Odd behavioral patterns and emotional states can be indicative of several issues with your teenager. One of those issues is drug abuse and addiction, which can contribute to suicidal thoughts and tendencies. If you want to help your child start acting like themselves again, it is important to know what might be causing their issues.
Taking your child in for drug testing at a clinic, such as Pecos Drug Testing, can help you to know if they are abusing alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana, or illegal substances like meth or heroin. If the test results turn out to be positive, you can get your child into detox and addiction treatment sooner rather than later.
Talk to Your Child Candidly
When you think your child is suicidal or you notice that they have been engaging in self-harm behaviors like cutting themselves, it is important that you do not avoid discussing the issues with your teenager. Avoidance of the subject will only allow the problems to continue without intervention.
Approach your teen lovingly and calmly and speak candidly with them about the situation. Come from a positive place rather than a lecturing or angry one. This means that you need to tell your teen the issues you have noticed (i.e. the cuts on their arms or specific behaviors) and tell them that you want to help them and that you love them. Open up a dialogue with your teen.
Do not expect these conversations to go smoothly or easily. Most teens that are engaging in self-harm behaviors and/or who are suicidal will be resistant to talking about it or breaking their behavioral patterns. You may want to get a therapist or physician (or both) involved to help with the situation and to keep your teen as safe as possible as you try to help them through their struggles.
With these steps in mind, you can be sure that you are doing everything possible for your teen that may be suicidal.