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Signs, symptoms, and resources for depression and suicidality



Signs of depression, which can lead to suicidal behavior, include:

  • Feeling sad, empty, or tearful nearly every day.
  • Loss of interest in activities that were enjoyed in the past.
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits.
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating.
  • Complaints of continued boredom.
  • Complaints of headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue with no actual physical problems.
  • Expressions of guilt and/or not allowing anyone to give him or her praise or rewards.

Common warning signs for suicide include:

  • Making suicidal statements.
  • Being preoccupied with death in conversation, writing, or drawing.
  • Giving away belongings.
  • Withdrawing from friends and family.
  • Having aggressive or hostile behavior.

It is extremely important that you take all threats of suicide seriously and seek immediate treatment for your child or teenager. If you are a child or teen and have these feelings, talk with your parents, an adult friend, or your doctor right away to get some help.

Other warning signs can include:

  • Neglecting personal appearance.
  • Running away from home.
  • Risk-taking behavior, such as reckless driving or being sexually promiscuous.
  • A change in personality (such as from upbeat to quiet).

Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts

Certain problems increase the chances of suicidal thoughts in children and teens. Other problems may trigger a suicide attempt.

  • Problems that increase the chances of suicidal thoughts include having:
    • Depression or another mental health problem, such as bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) or schizophrenia.
    • A parent with depression or substance abuse problems.
    • Tried suicide before.
    • A friend, peer, family member, or hero (such as a sports figure or musician) who recently attempted or died by suicide.
    • A disruptive or abusive family life.
    • A history of sexual abuse.
    • A history of being bullied.
  • Problems that may trigger a suicide attempt in children and teens include:
    • Possession or purchase of a weapon, pills, or other means of inflicting self-harm.
    • Drug or alcohol use problems.
    • Witnessing the suicide of a family member.
    • Problems at school, such as falling grades, disruptive behavior, or frequent absences.
    • Loss of a parent or close family member through death or divorce.
    • Legal or discipline problems.
    • Stress caused by physical changes related to puberty, chronic illness, and/or sexually transmitted infections.
    • Withdrawing from others and keeping thoughts to themselves.
    • Uncertainty surrounding sexual orientation.

Take any mention of suicide seriously. If someone you know is threatening suicide, get help right away.

Teen Line  310-855-4673 or  TEXT TEEN to 839863
Suicide Crisis Line  1-800-273-TALK
1-800-303-7432 (Espanol)

Text HELLO to 741741 (www.crisistextline.org)











Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
1651 16th Street
Santa Monica, California 90404
310-450-8338

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