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Thursday, 14 September 2000

Thinking About Suicide

Written by  Naomi Baum, PhD.

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QHi, I am 13 and live in Covina Ca. I have been really depressed lately and often thought about suicide. I don't think that I could ever actually do it because I now how much it could hurt my friends, family, teachers and such. It's weird because I am a good student, always getting a 3.5 GPA or above, am pretty popular, am also on good terms with my teachers and love school, yet through all the good stuff I am always unhappy. Why do you think this is? Also how should I cope with this?

AIt sounds like you are doing a good job so far of talking yourself out of suicide. It does sound like you are depressed though from your letter it is not clear why. Sometimes there are no specific reasons for depression, and teenagers often feel low for no reason at all. If this feeling of depression hangs around for awhile, it is probably a good idea to get some help with getting a handle on it.

Adolescents often feel that they are in a bad situation and have no way out. This feeling of helplessness and thinking that there are no solutions to a problem are what lead them to suicidal feelings. Talking with a counselor at school or at a mental health center may help you understand better what is going on with you, and how you can deal with your feeling. It is important to share with your parents how you are feeling so that they can help you get the help you need.

It is important to realize that while right now things feel hopeless, these situations are usually temporary, and not permanent. Suicide, on the other hand, is a permanent solution to these temporary problems.

There are some things you might try on your own that kids find helpful. Writing a journal about your feelings is sometimes a good way of figuring out how you feel, and relieving some of the pressure you may be experiencing. Writing is often a very good outlet. Buy yourself a notebook, keep it by your bed, and write in it every day, or every night before you go to sleep. Write about the things that are happening to you and what you are feeling about them.

Another thing to try is exercise. You might laugh, but exercise has been proven to be very good for a person's state of mind. Walk, run, bike, swim or play basketball for 30 minutes every day. See what this does for you.

Good Luck.

Naomi L. Baum, Ph.D.

Also see: Crisis Center/ Suicide

Last modified on Wednesday, 01 June 2011 12:21
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Naomi Baum, PhD.

Naomi Baum, PhD.

Naomi Baum is the Director of the Resilience Unit at The Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma and the National School Resilience Project. Her work at ICTP focuses on developing programs to build resilience in communities that have been highly exposed to trauma and stress. She has successfully brought her approach to Biloxi, Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Her work there included seven visits to the city, she trained teachers, social workers, school nurses, and counselors. She has also worked with the population in Haiti following teh earthquake. She has written about Trauma and Resilience in several published articles and books.

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