12 and Suicidal

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I am a 12 year old girl who has symptoms of depression and has many suicidal thoughts. i dont want to do any more activities and I’m taking about 3-6 pills a day for no reason. don’t know if i should tell my parents or what to say to them or how to bring it up. Should I even be concerned just cant stand forcing to smile one more time. thank you for your time.

A. My main concern regarding your letter is that you are having suicidal thoughts and you are taking three to six pills a day “for no reason.” Regarding the pills, it is not clear to me why you’re taking them. What specific pills are you taking and where did you get them? Are you taking them because you’ve been prescribed them and you’re not sure what they have been prescribed for? Or are you taking the pills because you’re depressed and suicidal and it’s effectively a suicide attempt?

You asked whether you should tell your parents and if so, what you should say to them. You should definitely tell your parents. They need to know the information that you have provided in this letter. They care about you and it is important that they know how you’re feeling. If you’re not sure what to say, then you could try writing them a letter. You may also want to say something like this: “Hi Mom and Dad, I have been frightened to tell you about how I feel but you need to know that I have been depressed. In fact, I’ve been depressed to the point where I am considering committing suicide. These thoughts frighten me but I’m not sure how to deal with what makes me sad. I can’t think of a way to feel better so sometimes I think about ending my life. I don’t know what else to do. Can you please help me?”

You don’t have to use that exact script, but you do want to convey to them how you are feeling. When people consider suicide usually they are doing so because they’re not sure how else to handle their situation. They may feel trapped. They may also feel that they have exhausted everything they know how to try. It would be a mistake to believe that the only way to feel better is to commit suicide. Please realize that there is help for you, but to access it requires that you be honest with your parents. They need to know how you feel so they can find the proper help for you.

If you’re not sure what to say then you can print out this letter and give it to your parents. Please realize that depression is a very treatable illness. You need and deserve help. The bottom line is that it is imperative that you speak to your parents and get help immediately.

It’s also important that you have in your possession a number to a suicide hotline. Please call 800-273-8255 in the event that you feel overwhelmed. This is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis. Good luck.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Nov 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). 12 and Suicidal. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/11/05/12-and-suicidal/

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