Warning signs of suicide in kids

The death of a Class 12 student at a school hostel in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvallur has triggered nationwide questions on why aren’t our kids safe? What is driving them towards taking this drastic step? This is the second such incident from Tamil Nadu, this month. On July 13, a 17 year old girl from Kallakurichi district killed herself by jumping to the ground from the top floor. Another similar incident has been reported from Odisha’s Bhubaneswar where a college student killed herself due to alleged ragging; she was an undergraduate student of History.

Suicide rate among young people, mostly students, is rising. The union government’s data on student suicides in the country is alarming. According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) in 2020 one student died due to suicide in every 42 minutes. This roughly calculates to 34 student deaths per day! The report which brought to light the devastating mental condition of students, and how we are unaware of it, also revealed that when the entire country was fighting together against pandemic, we lost more than 12500 students to suicide. The report also states that in the year 2020, more than 60,000 young individuals below the age of 30 years died by suicide. The data shared in the report was 21% more than the data obtained in 2019.

Prevention of suicide

The only way to stop this data from growing any further is to prevent the occurence of suicide. Subsequently, the only way to prevent suicide is to observe the signs.

In a society, as much as it is important to look after ourselves it is also important to pay attention to fellow beings. Notice what is going on with others and lend them support.

Sense of despair

Suicide never comes to people all of a sudden. When a person loses the last hope and will to stay alive, they decide to put an end to this journey called life.

Very often it is seen that prolonged depression leads to suicides. A sense of despair, a melancholy approach towards everything and not having a hopeful vibe are few things that drive a person towards suicide.

It is important to notice these behavioural traits in a kid. Many times kids are oblivious to the fact that there can be issues in their life. These innocent souls who entirely rely on their parents for everything are unable to differentiate between what’s normal and what is bothering them.

In such situations, if there is a communication gap between the parents and the child it is likely that the child will take extreme steps to get rid of the despair.

The warning signs parents should be aware of

  • Lack of interest in hobbies
  • Lack of camaraderie with friends and best friends
  • Talking about suicides or death more often
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Pessimism
  • Trying to do life threatening activities
  • Mood swings
  • Indulgence in self harming
  • Lack of fondness in personal possessions
  • Inclination towards drug

What could have been the reason?

There are several reasons that might have driven depression into your child. Of the many trigger factors of mental disturbance in kids, some prominent ones are:

Sexual abuse; where the child is unable to speak about the abuse to the parents. This gets worse when the abuser is of the same family.

Sense of failure; if the child is constantly made to feel bad about academics, performance, looks, appearance or any other thing and there is nobody he or she can confide in, it can worsen the mental health of the child.

Bully; Bullies are always mean. They can push a child to such extreme level that he or she might lose confidence on self and may not find any hope to survive further

Loss of a dear one; kids do not understand the bitter fact of life which is death. Many times they are unable to cope with the loss of a family member which consequently drives them into depression.

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