Today we begin the three-part series on suicidal thoughts and suicide. Lori Wildenberg is here with me for the next three episodes, helping us understand suicide and suicidal thoughts in a greater capacity. In our next episode, Lori has her own personal story that we will hear and read about. She is the author of “Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation.” I know you will want to hear and be a part of the upcoming episodes on suicide.
Today I pray that you find more insight and everything you need to know about this complicated subject, suicide, and suicidal thoughts.
The frightening stats of the increase in suicide are hard to digest. Here are some up-to-date statistics that will help us understand more:
Teenage girl’s hospital admissions that have attempted suicide are up 50%
The second leading cause of death in this age group
Young men are more successful in taking their lives in suicide attempts
In Colorado alone, the number one cause of death in teenagers and young adults is suicide
The essential part of today’s insights is whether we know if our teen or young adult may be considering suicide or have suicidal thoughts? We can look for these warning signs:
Psychological disorders like depression or bipolar
Drug and alcohol abuse
Agitated, hopeless, irritable, worthless feelings, family history, physical or sexual abuse
Some situational influences can increase suicidal thoughts if a relationship breakup with a girlfriend or boyfriend—a family who has recently gone through a divorce. We need to look deep into circumstances that could increase our teens’ anxiety, sadness, or emotional state.
One of the most significant warning signs to look for is making irrational decisions that make no sense—for example, deciding not to go back to school. If you ask yourself why they are acting like this and making this decision, an extremely irrational decision, this is a significant warning sign.
My friend Lori shares, “My youngest daughter was at college and suffered and struggled with depression. And she called me up and said that she would pack up all her stuff. She would move home, and she would commute to school, okay, commuting to school. The school was four hours away. All right now, she would have an eight-hour commute. That didn’t make any sense. She had quit her job just because it appeared to be on a whim. She impulsively quit her job, packed up her stuff, and made impulsive decisions.
In the suicidal series episode 2, Lori shares her personal story of how her daughter had an unsuccessful suicide attempt and how they found healing.
Since Covid suicides have gone up 30%, these are frightening statistics for parents of teens and young adults. There is one essential key to knowing what your teen or young adult may be thinking.
The key to knowing our teens and young adults are free of suicidal thoughts is to ask them! And we’ve got to be asking our kids, how are you doing and specifically, How are you doing today? Ask them specifically so that they know that you’re ready for that answer. Ask them I’d like to pray for you. How can I pray? That’s another thing that could lead to more insight into their feelings, but we’ve got to start asking our kids the tough, awful question, “Have you considered taking your life?” That’s a horrible question to ask. But if you’re thinking about that, chances are pretty good that your child has already thought about it. And then they know that you’re ready to have that conversation with them, and they don’t have to protect you.
I have a passion for that question. Because if we don’t ask it, we may regret it because we feel that maybe they are thinking of it. And so I encourage everybody, if you believe your child, your teen young adult, may be thinking about suicide, ask them how you are doing today and ask the most challenging question, “Have you considered taking your life?”
I pray that this helps you as a parent today of teens and young adults learning all about suicidal thoughts.
The most important takeaway is staying connected to our teens and young adults, specifically our prodigal children. These keys will help us see warning signs and better communicate with them.
LINKS & RESOURCES
DOWNLOAD FREE: Warfare Prayers – Laine Lawson Craft
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