Suicidal thoughts are a mental battle that our society is still trying to overcome beyond a topic of taboo. Recently, a longitudinal US study journal on adolescent brain health published a shocking fact! After conducting thorough research on 11,814 children between the ages of 9 and 10 with their caretakers, it revealed that 75% of those children self-reported suicidal thoughts or behavior. Also, the involved caretakers either were ineptly unaware or chose simply not to disclose the suicidal symptoms of those in their charge.
The common societal belief suggests people often avoiding such subjects in a child’s presence. As per the assumption runs, children are too naive to even understand the concept of suicides since their life just began. However, Deanna Barch, Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (US) disagrees, “Our data suggests that’s absolutely not true. Kids are having these thoughts. They’re not at the same rates as adults, but they are non-trivial”.
This horrid research confirms that kids are not just aware of this unspeakable act but also might think and act intensely without consulting an adult about their distress. Dividing these terrifying existential crisis thoughts and actions into several categories, researchers found that 2.4% to 6.2% of the children reported having suicidal tendencies, from wishing they were dead to devising but not executing a plan. About 0.9% of these 9- and -10-year-olds committed a suicide trial while 9.1% reported self-injury.
The alarming survey further proved an association between family conflicts and inefficient parental monitoring to rising suicidal thoughts in children. Thus, it also spreads awareness among parents, caregivers and people working with children to be aware of this nightmare possibility. “If you have kids who are distressed in some way, you should be asking about this,” Barch adds so that the caregivers can help identify the kids who might be in trouble.