Suicidal Ideation

Suicide is a tragedy, but at its heart it’s an overreaction – especially in young people. A final decision often made in haste, suicide is a perennial specter in the lives of adolescents.

It’s also frequently the sign of a mental disorder left untreated. Suicidal ideation – more commonly known as suicidal thoughts – is a powerful warning bell of a serious problem that may not have been noticed until it was almost too late. Sovereign Health knows how serious these thoughts can be. Our residential treatment center for adolescents, Rancho San Diego, offers troubled teens a safe place to heal.

Suicidal Ideation

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third-leading cause of death for teens and young adults, behind accidents and murder. Many serious – and treatable – mental illnesses feature suicidal thoughts as a symptom.

It often can be hard to tell how serious an adolescent is about suicide. The teenage years are often periods of emotional extremity. It’s a time of hormonal, social and environmental changes. Teens who come home from a bad day at school and announce they’re ready to kill themselves may be blowing off steam; teens who come home, hug their parents and quietly walk upstairs might be something else entirely.

Either way, expressing thoughts of suicide, death or simply life being meaningless are a serious sign of something wrong, especially if done in concert with substance abuse, acts of self-harm like cutting, or other disturbing behavior. Help for a suicidal teen is critical.

Symptoms of Suicidal Ideation

According to Mayo Clinic, warning signs of suicidal thoughts include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings, including irritability and rage
  • A loss of interest in activities and friends
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Changing sleeping patterns
  • Reckless behavior

Red Flags of Suicidal Ideation

  • Expressing feelings and thoughts of being a burden to others, felling trapped and having no reason to live
  • Researching methods of suicide
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Calling, visiting or texting friends to say goodbye
  • Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs

Risk Factors For Suicidal Ideation

Suicidal ideation can be spurred by a multitude of physical and mental reasons. Depression disorders, including bipolar disorder, are the chief contributors to suicides in the United States. Mental health advocacy group Mental Health America warns that between 30 and 70 percent of suicidal people had a depressive disorder.

Other mental disorders, including psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia, are also strong risk factors for suicide. Substance abuse disorders can contribute to suicide as well, either by amplifying the symptoms of existing mental disorders or by damaging an individual’s ability to make clear choices.

Environmental risks also drive suicides. Stress from school, relationships that went bad or a party invitation that never came can act like a line of dominoes waiting for a final push. Houses with access to firearms present a serious risk factor for suicide: The CDC reports 21,334 suicides by firearm occur each year. Additionally, a history of abuse, bullying and other trauma can also contribute to suicides.

Finally, multiple studies have shown a strong connection between genetics and suicidal behavior. People with a first-degree relative – a parent, child or sibling – who committed suicide are much more likely to attempt suicide themselves.

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Getting Help For Suicidal Ideation

It’s estimated 90 percent of the people who die by suicide have a mental disorder at the time they took their own lives. Many of the mental disorders that are risk factors for suicide respond well to treatment. At Rancho San Diego, troubled adolescents can receive the kind of effective treatment which a suicidal patient critically needs.

Sovereign Health uses the same holistic approach on our youngest patients as it does for our adult clients. We believe in treating our patients in both mind and body. Our therapies are designed to not merely treat the physical symptoms of suicidal depression; we also address any underlying problems, such as drug addiction. This ensures our adolescent clients can reach their full potential once they leave our care.

Rancho San Diego is a comfortable, safe and secure facility that resembles a summer camp. Located in a quiet valley east of San Diego, our facility offers 24/7 crisis management to ensure even our most troubled patients are safe. Patients attend therapy and classes and also have the opportunity to hike, swim in our pool, participate in yoga, equine therapy and other opportunities that will teach them new ways of looking at the world and dealing with their problems.

Why Choose Sovereign Health?

Sovereign Health is an ideal choice for finding a care provider for a troubled adolescent. Here’s why:

  • Our facility is safe, comfortable and welcoming, allowing your child to work on their problems in a supportive environment free from temptation
  • Rancho San Diego is fully certified by the Joint Commission, the largest accreditation organization for health care providers in the U.S.
  • Sovereign Health provides individualized care matched to each patient’s specific needs
  • We use evidence-based treatments as well as effective alternative therapies

A healthier life can start today. Call our 24/7 helpline for more information.

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