Depression can be confused with feeling sad, grieving, or having a hard time. Depression can be set off by life events, and may have a hereditary component. Children under stress, who experience loss, or who have attention deficit disorders are at a higher risk for depression. Often friends, relatives, and teachers are in the best position to recognize when someone is in trouble.

Talk to your child. Don’t be afraid to ask your child if he or she has thoughts of suicide or depression. Asking if he or she is suicidal will not encourage it; in fact, doing so will likely discourage it and lead to getting help. The truth is that once the depressing and frightening thoughts inside your adolescent’s head are out in the open, they become less threatening. A combination of symptoms below may signal depression:

When a person is depressed, uncommunicative, withdrawn, and is experiencing a series of stressful life events, there is reason for even greater concern. If suicide appears imminent, do not waste time feeling guilty, angry, or upset. Take action!

Call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, a trusted health care professional, or one of the resources listed in the resources section of this site. HELP IS AVAILABLE!

Reviewed and endorsed by Dr. Robert Furey, Psychologist, Licensed Professional Counselor