Some Features Of Children/Adolescents

These features of children/adolescents are to be considered along with the Risk factors page

  • Impulsivity, catastrophising life events, susceptibility to shame and what others think of them.
  • Self-harming behavior
  • Previous suicidal behaviour
  • Prone to handle bad feelings with alcohol, cannabis and other drugs
  • Less experience of working through things or of things working out
  • Harder for them to access help
  • Likely to know another who has done it
  • May be part of risk taking behaviour or self-harm
  • Being bullied
  • Rumoring
  • Striving towards independence
  • Thrownaway (homelessness)
  • Change in social values and pessimism in society
  • Gender identity issues


What Young People With Suicidal Thoughts Tell Us About Their Situation

  1. They have a sense of having no control over things happening in their lives.
  2. They feel under pressure.
  3. There has been a break-up of important relationships.
  4. They want to escape from depression.
  5. There is escalating family conflict.

The suicide attempt may signal not so much a wish to die as a wish for the hurting to stop. 


Some Reasons For Attempting Suicide

Some reasons given by young people for attempting suicide are indicated as follows in descending order1                    

  1. The situation was so unbearable that I had to do something and I didn’t know what else to do.                     
  2. I wanted to stop feeling the pain.                                                                                   
  3. I wanted to die.                                                                                                                   
  4. I wanted to escape for a while from an impossible situation.                                   
  5. I wanted to get relief from a terrible state of mind.                                                     
  6. I wanted to show people how desperate I was.                                                            
  7. I seemed to lose my self-control and I don’t know why I did it then.                        
  8. I wanted to make things easier for others.                                                                    
  9. I wanted to try and find out whether someone really loved me.                               
  10. I wanted to get help from someone.                                                                                
  11. I wanted to make people sorry for the way they have treated me.                            
  12. I wanted to show how much I loved someone.                                                              
  13. I wanted to frighten or get my own back on someone.                                
  14. I wanted to try and get someone to change their mind.











1Kienhorst, I. C. W. M, De Wilde, E. J., Diekstra, R. F. W., & Wolters, W. H. G. (1995). Adolescents’ image of their suicide attempt. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34(5), 623-628.


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