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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5770
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My 14 yo son makes good grades and seems to have good friends

Resolved Question:

My 14 yo son makes good grades and seems to have good friends that he enjoys spending time with. He is also interested in sports. He helps me with chores and is always very talkative . One downside is he is very short with his mother( as am I). He was recently chatting on line with a friend about a worm that his friend had injured in a science class. They joked the worm would need disability for his brain injury. My son then said the brain injury could cause the worm to become depressed and kill himself and that would devastate his family. Is this an innocent statement from a teen trying to be funny or should we be worried.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

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

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