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What to Do If My Teen Is Thinking About Suicide?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Sep 12, 2019

Question

What Do I Do If My Teen Is Thinking About Suicide?

Counselor

Answer


What to Do If My Teen Is Thinking About Suicide?

In this counseling answer:

•Please do evaluate your teen. Ask your teen to describe what he/she is feeling, are they depressed, how long has this been going on (thoughts of suicide), if there has been any trauma to cause this and ask how can you help.

•Ask your teen the following: If he/she has a plan or method chosen for suicide, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” “Would you still want to die if your circumstances changed? “Do you want to go to the hospital”?

•During your conversation with your teen, please do acknowledgment and validate your teens pain.

 


As-salamu Alaikum, 

Thank you for writing to us. While you did not provide any details such as your teens mental health history, if there were any attempts in the past or if she has a doctor/counselor or if she is on medication, I can only provide you with basic information. It is advised to talk with your teen and take their threats of suicide seriously. “Research indicates that up to 80% of suicidal people signal their intentions to others, in the hope that the signal will be recognized as a cry for help”. (1)

Please do evaluate your teen. Ask your teen to describe what he/she is feeling, are they depressed, how long has this been going on (thoughts of suicide), if there has been any trauma to cause this and ask how can you help. Ask your teen the following: If he/she has a plan or method chosen for suicide, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” “Would you still want to die if your circumstances changed? “Do you want to go to the hospital”? During your conversation with your teen, please do acknowledgment and validate your teens pain.

Sometimes people who truly intend to kill themselves may deny depression, trauma or intent to commit suicide as they have made up their mind and intend to be successful. They may even appear happy. According to the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center of B.C. (1) “Sometimes, a suicidal person might feel relief that they have finally come to a decision – the emotional conflict over living or dying has been resolved”.


Check out this counseling video


Many who are severely depressed do not wish to continue to live, yet do not really want to die, but just want to be out of pain. These people may attempt suicide in order to get help or relief. The danger is that many do die in these attempts. Please see (2).

Ask your teen to draw up a contract. The contract should state that your teen (name) will promise not to harm her/himself and that if your teen feels she/he will harm self that they will immediately tell you or someone they trust. Give your teen the suicide hotline number (3). If this is an emergency situation, meaning your teen is actively crying, psychotic, has a plan, is determined, or you otherwise feel there is a danger, stay with your teen until help arrives (call 911) or take your teen to the emergency room if he/she will let you.

May Allah help you,

1-https://crisiscentre.bc.ca/frequently-asked-questions-about-suicide/
2-https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201004/the-six-reasons-people-attempt-suicide
3-https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

 




About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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