Depression and Suicide “Know the Signs”

Depression and Suicide “Know the Signs”

Teenagers naturally go through ups and downs; but when the lows become especially low, and are long lasting, it may be much more serious. According to the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, resulting in approximately 4600 lives lost each year.


  • Depressed mood (feeling sad or empty)
  • Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Significant changes in weight/appetite
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Agitation, restlessness, irritability
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feeling worthless, hopeless, guilt
  • Inability to think or concentrate, indecisiveness
  • Unable to cope
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation, suicide attempt or plan


Signs of depression
  • Feeling trapped, hopeless
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Anger
  • Recklessness
  • Lack of energy or wild variations in energy levels
  • Dramatic changes in behavior, actions, attitude
  • Increase in anxiety/anxiety related illness (headaches, stomach aches)
  • Changes in eating habits, sleep patterns, or personal appearance
  • Being unusually quiet or unusually aggressive/angry
  • Dropping out of hobbies, sports, school, work
Suicide:  Acute Warning Signs
  • No reason for living, no sense of purpose in life
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out · Hopelessness · Withdrawing · Uncontrolled anger, rage, seeking revenge
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • Preoccupation with death, dying, or suicide including joking about death or suicide, creative writing, poetry, artwork
  • A sudden elated mood following a time of depression
  • A previous suicide attempt
  • Serious talk of suicide, or making a plan
  • Reckless behavior
  • Increase in alcohol or drug use
  • Giving away prize possessions, saying goodbye, writing a will, writing farewell letters
Suicide: Acute Warning Signs you may hear:
  • “Nothing ever goes right for me.”
  • “It’ll all be over soon.”
  • “Whatever, nothing matters anyway.”
  • “I might as well kill myself.”
  • “I hate life.”
  • “Everyone would be better off without me.”
  • “I just can’t take it anymore.”
  • “I wish I was dead.”

Don’t leave the person alone. Remove any object that could be used in a suicide attempt such as a gun, sharp knife, razor blade, or drugs. Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a mental health professional. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK). All local calls are answered 24 hours a day by trained counselors at the Contra Costa Crisis Center and are treated confidentially.