Recent Study Says Suicide Rates Among Children Are Increasing

Ashlynn’s older sister discovered the horrifying scene of her (10-years-old) hanging from a clothing rod.  Ashlynn came home one day earlier in tears and asked to be taken out of school. Even though her parents promised her they would go to the school and talk with the principal, the depression and helplessness became overwhelming.

Ashlynn felt alone in her fight against bullying and what some report may have been life in a volatile home, she is one of hundreds of children under age 14 across the U.S. are acting on suicidal urges.

Ashlynn was bullied in fifth grade, and reported it to countless teachers and school officials, but nothing was done to put an end to the taunting. One account said that  Ashlynn was bullied by girls who thought she looked like a boy after she got a haircut.

Ashlynn’s other family members have also suffered with mental illness over the years. Stacy Conner, Ashlynn’s mother, reportedly attempted suicide twice.  All of these stressors proved to be too much for the young girl to handle.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected death-rate data for child fatalities from 1999 to 2014.

The number of deaths caused by homicide and fatal car crashes has decreased over the years, while the number of suicides in children between 10 and 14 has nearly doubled since 2007.

In 2007, 0.9 suicide deaths for every 100,000 children, the number had increased to 2.1 deaths per 100,000 by 2014.

Although once thought to be only a teenage problem, psychologist Dr. Lisa Boesky revealed that children can have their own reasons for committing suicide. Relationships with family members or fights with a child’s close friends can result in them wanting to harm themselves.

The warning signs of suicidal thoughts in teens can directly correlate to depression and severe mood swings.  In small children, ADHD is often present in those who follow through with suicidal urges.

Warning signs to look for in children:  sadness, irritability, and isolation from friends and family.

Parents and adults should focus on what their kids are saying. Phrases such as “I wish I were dead” or “I wish I could go to sleep forever” are serious red flags.

If behaviors continue to escalate,  reach out to a pediatrician or counselor.

While there is very little research available about childhood suicide, Boesky believes the CDC’s report helps pave the way for more studies.

If you suspect your child is having suicidal thoughts, please don’t ignore the issue. Engage them in conversation and seek out help immediately.

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