Cindy Gullo, LCPC - Therapist & Counselor
The Blog

What to Do When Your Teen Threatens Suicide

Overdramatic, moody, attention-seeker…

How many times have you heard parents complaining about their teenagers and calling them just that? How many times have you thought that your teen fits this description?

Adolescence isn’t a period of transformations just for the teens. Parents are also embarking on the long and complicated transition from childhood to adulthood. For some kids, adolescence is a steady climb, just occasionally throwing a fit. Others, experience a period of rebellion, when they’re trying to find themselves and understand their purpose in life. Some teenagers, however, go through a rough period and have difficulties seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Going to counseling when your teen threatens to suicide is, without any doubt, the right thing to do. But, there are a few steps you can take on your own as well.

  • Listen to Your Teens and Don’t Let Them Plunge into Depression

Teens, boys especially, tend to hide their feelings and rarely reveal if something makes them unhappy. However, their behavior can tell you if something isn’t right.

When that happens, show that you are open to communication. Don’t pressure your teens in the beginning, but let them know there’s a safe haven for them at home. Don’t be afraid to act if your gut tells you to seek professional help. Overreacting is better than underreacting in such cases.

  • Share Your Feelings and Encourage Your Teen to Do the Same

Being sad is not the end of the world. We all feel a little melancholic from time to time, regardless of how great things are in our life. It’s just human nature.

Let your teens know that even if they see you energetic and smiley every day, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have your bad moments. Explain to them that repressing their feelings won’t help them in any way. Share your feelings with them and encourage your teen to do the same.

If their emotions are more intense than you can handle, then you should encourage them to go to therapy. They may feel more reassured when talking to a third party.

  • Don’t Wait Too Long to Seek Professional Help

Look for the triggers that indicate that the issue is broader than just teenage melodrama. If your teen repeatedly tells you or their friends that they no longer want to live, if they seem to make “final arrangements” like giving away treasured possessions or if they start behaving strangely, then those are your cues that you should seek professional help immediately.

If you think your teen has a problem, do something about it as soon as possible. Contact a specialist and get your child assessed to see if they are in danger of self-harm. Together, you can then set the best therapy program.

Have you seen any of these signs in your teen or do you fear that they are suicidal? Call now and get life-saving professional help!