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Stress and Depression in Children Topics..

You are here : home > Stress and Depression in Children > Depression in Children > Depression and Suicide: Risk Factors, Warning Signs

Depression and Suicide: Risk Factors, Warning Signs

Depression and Suicide: Risk Factors, Warning Signs

Depression in children or childhood depression can be very risky as it may lead to suicidal tendencies. Read on to know more about the risk factors and warning signs associated with depression in children.

Depression can lead to suicidal tendencies. Depression can be tackled easily if the symptoms can be identified beforehand. Identifying the suicidal tendencies by the warning signs can prevent suicides and also help in tackling with depression in children. Read on to know more.

With mounting stress levels, anxiety, competition and unlikely changes children today, are facing the risk of depression.  Family problems, loss at school, low school performance, new school, making new friends, onset of puberty etc, are some of the reasons of depression in children.

Depression if serious can lead to suicidal tendencies.  An increase in the number of children and teen suicide cases is alarming. Research proves that suicide deaths are the fourth cause of death among children between 10-14 years and the third cause of death among youth between 10-19 years.

Depression and Suicide

Depression is the main cause for suicide in children. The child could be depressed about anything happening in his life.  Facing parent’s divorce or death, low school performance, loss in play, losing friends or a long going health problem etc, are some of the factors causing depression in children.

A depressed child will exhibit certain symptoms in the form of changing behavioural patterns, irritation, lack of motivation and concentration, fatigue and lack of interest and pleasure. Self harm could also be a possible symptom which increases the risk of suicide.

Risk Factors Instigating Child on Attempting Suicide

Children could be at a higher risk for depression and suicide due to the following reasons:

  • Constant exposure to extreme violence at home

  • Previously diagnosed with mental illness

  • Presence of guns and other weapons at home

  • Family history of suicide

  • Excessive mental and physical abuse

  •  Death of a loved one

  • Poor relationships with friends and family, social isolation

On the other hand, it is important to know that suicide is one of most uncommon symptoms of depression. Not every child who suffers from depression has suicidal thoughts or commits suicide.  Moreover, not every child experiencing suicidal thoughts is depressed. Also, it is not necessary that all children having suicidal thoughts will attempt it. However, suicidal thoughts are a serious matter, hence, it is crucial to keep a track of the warning signs.

Suicide  Warning Signs

Children having suicidal thoughts exhibit a  number of suicidal symptoms like:

  • Reckless and careless behaviour
  • Frequently talking about death  and dying and expressing their feelings of being dead
  • Drastic changes in thought  formation and personal appearance
  • Abstaining from friends and  family and showing an excessive lack of interest and concern in doing their  favourites things and taking part in activities.
  • Giving away all favourite an  important things like toys, prized possessions,
  • Expressing feelings of despair  and misery
  • Prior suicidal behaviour and  obsession with death
  • Escaping from home
  • Behaves in an aggressive and  violent manner
  • Planning suicide or writing  suicide notes
  • Signs of hallucinations
  • Inattentive and lost in his or  her own world
  • Problem in thinking  clearly 
  • Sudden mood swings from being  overtly happy at a point of time to be overtly depressed
  • Injuries like cuts, bruises,  marks on the body
These are some of the  serious warning signs of suicide in depressed children. Such children should  not be left alone as they are very much prone to harming themselves. It is very  important to take a quick action and seek immediate medical help as suicidal  thoughts can be lethal. Professional intervention will help the child recover  suicidal tendencies effectively.

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