It seems epidemic. Four teens have committed suicide in the past few months in the city, and one has to wonder why. Maybe it's the obsession with movie vampires -- they don't die, you know.
One thing that can't be helping is the screaming headlines on the subject. With all the adults hoovering over them, constantly asking how they feel and counseling against suicide, a typical angst ridden teen might begin to think he/she is supposed to feel suicidal.
In any case, here from the Midland Independent School District, spelling errors and all, are Warning Signs of Potential Suicide:
Change in eating and sleeping habits
Withdrawl [sic] from friends, family, and regular activities
Violent actions, rebellious behavior, and running away
Drug and/or alcohol abuse
Unusual neglect of personal appearance
Marked personality change
Persistant [sic] boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of school work
Frequent complaints about physical symptoms, often relating to emotions, such as stomach aches, headaches, fatigue, etc….. Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
Complaining of being “rotten inside”
Gives verbal hints with statements such as: “I won’t be a problem for you much longer” “nothing matters” “it’s no use” or “I won’t see you again”
Becomes suddenly cheerful after a period of depression
With the exception of the verbal clues, all of these warning signs could be symptoms of typical teenage-itis. Reacting to teen behavior has always been a challenge for adults. But treating ordinary teens like emotional cripples can't help.