Experts advise that parents and teachers watch for a number of suicide warning signals in adolescents. These include:
Changes in eating or sleeping habits.
Increasing isolation from friends and family.
A tendency to become more active and aggressive than usual, unlike suicidal adults, who tend to become apathetic when severely depressed.
A drop in academic achievement.
Giving away a valued possession, or an increased interest in getting his or her “life in order.”
Talking about suicide.
A sudden and intense interest in religious beliefs and the afterlife.
A recent loss, such as a divorce or death in the family, or a close friend moving away.
A version of this article appeared in the October 31, 1984 edition of Education Week as Warning Signs