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A-Z Teen Health Glossary


If you are a teen struggling with suicidal thoughts or a parent of a teen whom you believe is struggling with suicidal thoughts, we strongly recommend seeking immediate, professional care, by contacting a doctor, mental health professional, or by dialing 911. Because suicidal thoughts and behaviors can often be erratic and unpredictable, we always recommend that people exercise on the side of caution and early prevention, when considering and responding to any expression of suicidal thoughts or feelings.

For some teens that are struggling with a mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder, the overwhelming symptoms and stressors can lead to Teen Suicidal Ideation, in which teens have thoughts of taking their own lives. It’s important to recognize that when speaking about suicidal thoughts and behavior, there is a spectrum, ranging from teens having occasional suicidal thoughts to creating a plan to actually following through with the act. Along these lines, it’s important to note that during especially difficult or stressful times, teens might experience occasional or one-time suicidal thoughts, but very often these drastic, depressive thoughts may be limited to this specific instance. Generally speaking, the severity of the suicidal thoughts speaks to the severity of the teens’ condition, as well as the likelihood of them taking action. Teen Suicidal Ideation is almost always present with another mental illness, such as Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and/or Schizoaffective Disorder.


Because Teen Suicidal Ideation is most often present with another mental illness, there can be a wide range of symptoms present in teens.  However, the most important symptoms to look out for when evaluating teens for Teen Suicidal Ideation include the following:

Talking about wanting to die, sometimes phrased jokingly

Constant isolation

Drastic moods swings

Self-destructive activities

Drastic changes in eating and sleeping patterns

Depressive thinking, especially about death


The number one priority in teen suicidal ideation treatment is to ensure the teen's physical safety. In some cases, where teens’ Suicidal thoughts are frequent and consistent, they may need to be hospitalized, so that they can be supervised and therefore, their safety ensured, for a period of time. Following diagnostic evaluation, if the teens are judged to have suicidal thoughts but not be at risk for harming themselves or others, they can engage in treatment to address the condition. It’s always important to include mental health professionals such as a psychologist or psychiatrist when making such evaluations and decisions. Most often, teen suicidal ideation treatment must begin with a thorough evaluation of the other illnesses and/or underlying causes present, which are leading to the suicidal thoughts. Commonly, this includes Depression and/or another Mood Disorder and can also often involve a substance abuse disorder. By helping teens to recognize, address, and work through the underlying stressors and causes that are leading to suicidal thoughts, therapists can not only help teens to move past such thinking, but furthermore, to address the imbalances and/or conditions that are leading to this condition in the first place. It is very possible for teens who have struggled with suicidal ideation to recover fully and no longer experience such thoughts or impulses.

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leading cause of death among teens is suicide


teens attempt suicide every day in the U.S.


teens that attempt suicide have shown clear warning signs

Paradigm Austin

At Paradigm Austin, we provide therapeutic treatment to teens from Austin, as well as the rest of the United States, who are struggling with a mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder.  This includes treatment for Teen Suicidal Ideation, as well as a wide range of other mental illnesses.  Located in a beautiful, house-like setting, Paradigm Austin provides holistic-minded treatment plans for teens struggling with Suicidal Ideation, by thoroughly treating the underlying symptoms and illnesses present.

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