More Girls Are Attempting Suicide. It’s Not Clear Why. (2018 NBC Report)
… A new study out Wednesday finds that more kids are either thinking about or attempting suicide.
“When we looked at hospitalizations for suicidal ideation and suicidal encounters over the last decade, essentially 2008 to 2015, we found that the rates doubled among children that were hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or activity,” Dr. Gregory Plemmons of Vanderbilt University told NBC News.
… Although suicide ideation — thinking about suicide — and suicide attempts accounted for just 1 percent of all hospital visits, the numbers have steadily increased,
Half of the encounters involved teens aged 15 to 17; 37 percent were 12 to 14; and almost 13 percent were children aged 5 to 11 years. Girls made up nearly two-thirds of the cases.
That’s at the same time that actual suicide deaths are up, too, so it’s not a case of awareness alone, the researchers said.
…“I don’t have any one magic answer that explains why we’re seeing this,” Plemmons said. “We know that anxiety and depression are increasing in young adults as well as adults. I think some people have theorized it’s social media maybe playing a role, that kids don’t feel as connected as they used to be.”
…Dr. Laurel Williams, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Texas Children’s Hospital, says mental illnesses such as depression, mood disorders and even bipolar disease may play a role.
“Over 90 percent of young people that eventually go on to commit suicide have some diagnosable mental health disorder,” she said.
…“I think that is where people get confused about the suicidal experience,” Stage said [Stage- Dese’Rae Stage, a suicide attempt survivor and activist].
“You can tell people all day long that they have this future and they can’t see it. It doesn’t matter how surrounded by people you are. You feel so isolated and alone.”
…Oden, who volunteers at the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, said people may not take the time to listen to someone in distress.
“Teens, many of us, we don’t know how to listen, like truly listen to someone and be there for someone,” he said. “We just want to fix the problem. Listening to someone is the most important part.”
….LOOK FOR THE SIGNALS
“If someone is sending you invitations and you see those warning signs, just ask them point blank if they are suicidal,” Oden advised.
“That can be so, so difficult because there is this fear that the person will get mad at you or they will react in a bad way. But most suicidal people want that connection. Being asked is such a relief.”
Williams agreed. “You should always ask. If you are concerned or have a suspicion you should always ask,” she said.
The rest of the article is on NBC News