Depression in Adolescents
There are typically two kinds of young people who commit suicide: those who are intelligent, but withdrawn; and those who express hostility and "antisocial tendencies" (Berk, 2014, p. 422).
Those more likely to commit suicide often have experienced severe emotional turmoil, whether in the form of parental conflict/divorce, abuse, or conflict with their parents or peers.
The table below is from our Berk text (p. 423). It lists some of the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide. All too often, we miss these signs, as most perceive the "storm and stress" of adolescence to be "just a passing phase" (2014, p. 421).
Steps for Prevention and Treatment
Programs are being developed to intervene and help guide those with depression. Some of them are being implemented in schools, and there are hopes that they will soon be established in the curriculum worldwide. The focus will be on late childhood through early adolescence, as this is the optimal window in which to catch depression early on (Roberts, 1999).
As for treatment, some choose medication, while others focus more on therapy, and some utilize both. Once a teenager has expressed depressive thoughts or suicidal tendencies or actions, it is imperative that support be given by parents, peers, teachers, etc. Remove any and all weapons and drugs from the house. Listen. Be compassionate. But most importantly, get help (Berk, 2014, p. 423).
Roberts, C.M. (1999). The prevention of depression in children and adolescents. Australian Psychologist, 34(1), 49-57.