The suicide of children and adolescents is a tragedy that affects the entire community. “It is often considered a personal failure by parents, friends, teachers, doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists, who reproach themselves – many times unfoundedly – for not having perceived the warning signs”, says the psychiatrist Héctor Basile, psychiatrist and psychologist member of the World Network of Suicidologists.
On the other hand, he considers that “it acts as a vivid sign that society could not provide a healthy, nurturing, container environment in which children and adolescents can grow and develop.”
According to the data that Basile manages, in 1998 200 children and adolescents died; in 2003, 400, and the latest figure, in 2016, is 850. “The 2001 crisis left a deep wound. The socioeconomic influences that lead to the disintegration of the family wreaked havoc,” he laments.
As for the national rate, it is 11.97, but it rises to 30 per 100,000 in provinces such as Tierra del Fuego. “Today three boys commit suicide a day in Argentina. We need to do more prevention,” warns the specialist.
Suicide is known to be multi-causal, but addictions to alcohol or drugs increase the risk. School failure, emotional disappointments and, above all, school failure also appear as triggers. bullying.
“He commits suicide so much bullying, a boy who needs to get angry and look for a scapegoat, like the one who gets teased, because many times he does not give more, “Basile details, adding:” It is common for adults not to detect that children are having so much trouble. wrong”.
To illustrate it, he tells the case of a child with a motor disability who repeatedly requested at school to be exempted from taking physical education class due to the ridicule he received. Neither he nor his grandmother – who was the tutor – succeeded. The school refused. Before long, the boy committed suicide.
Nora Fontana, a psychologist specializing in thanatology and suicidology and vice president of the Buenos Aires Suicide Assistance Center (CAS), adds that “you have to know how to translate the messages”, because “sometimes they verbalize it with a? I abandon everything? signs, but many times they cannot be seen ”. For this reason, the psychologist asks to be attentive to our children and to any changes that we notice.
“It is always difficult to know what happens to a teenager. The main problem is that they are not given an emotional education. They are” emotionally illiterate, “emphasizes Fontana. On the other hand, he emphasizes that they also” can be depressed and sad about a Physiological and organic matter, since sex hormones change brain chemistry. “
If any of the symptoms or warning signs were recognized, Basile highlights the importance of early diagnosis and effective support to help them improve self-esteem and mature the construction of a life project that makes it possible to affirm their own identity.
In this sense, Fontana explains that “parents can make their children see that they have to face problems and find a meaning to live.”
The psychologist quotes the Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Victor Frankl, who said that “the purpose of having a purpose changes life.”
They may have variations in eating or sleeping patterns. Also, an obvious neglect of taking care of his physical appearance.
They stop hanging out with friends, going to family gatherings, or doing usual activities. They lose interest in activities that were previously enjoyable for them.
They may develop violent behaviors or even run away from home. Situations of alcohol or drug abuse can occur.
Loss of concentration
Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, and decreased quality of school work.
Such as stomachaches, headaches, fatigue or other physical manifestations, always related to emotional states. They can imply that they feel horrible inside.
Many times, they throw away or give away their favorite belongings.