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Hi, I would like to help you with your question.
Most likely this is an innocent remark. Your son is probably just making a joke. Most children his age are very aware of death and have almost an adult level understanding of the process of dying. So suicide would not be a new concept to him. But it never hurts to play it safe.
I understand your need to not take this lightly. Your son did not just come out of the blue with this comment. It may be something as simple as he heard it somewhere and was just thinking about it. Or something more serious such as someone at school hurt themselves or is thinking of suicide and it is on your son's mind. Or he may have thought about suicide as a curiosity. Kids can think about such things and even consider them once in a while. It does not mean he is actually thinking about following through with hurting himself.
Teenagers often give signs that they feel suicidal. The teen years are a difficult time and many of the teenagers do not have the maturity to handle all of the emotions they must cope with. So small incidents seem much larger and more dramatic than they would to adults. If your son feels depressed and is thinking of suicide, here are the main symptoms to look out for:
Talks about hurting himself consistently
Says that others would be better off without him
Says he feels trapped and dying would be easier
Loses interest in activities
Seem depressed or down
Lack of social interest in friends
Withdrawals from family
Engages in reckless behavior
Gives away prized items
If your son would start to show signs of depression and/or suicide, seek help right away. Here is the suicidal hotline for teens: For 24-hour suicide prevention and support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Also, if he is depressed or suicidal, talk to him. Offer support, let him vent and don't try to correct him. Make an appointment with a therapist and have an evaluation done. And if you feel your son is in immediate danger, take him to the ER. They can evaluate him and admit him if needed.
As long as you keep the lines of communication open with your son and he continues to be interested in school, sports and friends, he should be fine. The best thing you can do is to make sure he knows he can come to you and his mother with any problem he has. That way, he never feels alone.
I hoped this has helped,Kate