Depression in Teens

In doing a parent presentation this week, I was reminded that sexually active teens are significantly more likely to be depressed, and more likely to attempt (and commit)  suicide compared to their abstinent peers.  And it wasn’t attributable to teen pregnancy, but rather a combination of factors, with relational issues playing a role.

So what makes a teen feel so desperate?  One article said that “Most teens interviewed after making a suicide attempt say that they did it because they were trying to escape from a situation that seemed impossible to deal with or to get relief from really bad thoughts or feelings….they didn’t want to die as much as they wanted to escape from what was going on. And at that particular moment dying seemed like the only way out.”  One less “straw” to break the camel’s back, or even one fortuitous interruption, and the impulse may pass, and a life may be saved.

So what are the warning signs that we should look for?  And then, what can we as parents do?  I am not an expert in such matters, but there are great resources out there.  The article mentioned above also lists warning signs, gives phone numbers for suicide hotlines, and includes other helpful information.  Cut and past this address in your internet browser to find out more: