Depression is the predecessor to suicide and teens experience depression differently than adults. For example:
Instead of exhibiting typical depressive behavior such as lethargy, helplessness and lack of energy, most teens will become hyperactive. Although increased activity during the teen years can be normal, changing friends or interests frequently can indicate a serious problem. When this happens, the teen begins alienating himself from many forms of emotional support. When this occurs, the teen does not maintain any strong connections and they become a higher suicide risk.
Surprisingly teen suicide rates increase dramatically following a publicized account of suicide. A teenagers’ attitude or affective mood can change dramatically overnight. Often, they will imitate what is happening around them, or copy something they have heard about in the news.
Alcohol and drugs may mask depression. Although alcohol is a depressant, in teenagers, it can be a way of acting out so the teen will not have to feel the inner feelings of self-condemnation or loss.
(Taken from ALPHA News – Understanding Teen Depression and Suicide by Gaylen Larson, M.A.)
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