This is the first blog in the four part series Warning Signs.
Would you notice if your son or daughter was suffering from depression? Depression is a difficult condition to recognize in a lot of people. Often, those suffering from depression will isolate themselves or withdraw from people. It takes time and patience to sit with someone who is depressed. Some of the warning signs of a teen who is depressed are constant blank stares, low tone of voice, isolation, irritability, and avoidance of eye contact.
Teens suffering from depression may resort to the negative coping skill of cutting. There are two different types of cutting. One is superficial cutting which is a type of cutting where a person will cut to attempt to get the attention of others. Superficial cutting does not diminish the harm or risk one is taking to self-injure themselves and is looked on as just as severe as cutting by itself.
The other type of cutting is known as self-injurious cutting. This kind of cutting is done to cause harm to oneself purposefully and to alleviate emotional pain by inflicting physical pain. Most teens who cut themselves are causing harm but are not attempting to commit suicide. They are mainly trying to relieve emotional pain by the only way they know how, which is through physical pain.
Self-harming behaviors do not have to be with a blade. For example, teens who are suffering in this way can also pick at their skin or use an eraser from pencil to create burns on their skin. It can be harder to recognize these teens because the youth will usually wear long sleeves or cover the body part where they cut.
If you know a youth who would benefit from talking to someone you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Click here to read the next blog in this series.