PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Depression: Suicide and Self-Injury

Suicide is a scary word, but here's what you should know about it.

Most people who are clinically depressed do not commit suicide, but they are more at risk for it. You may have heard people say things like, "Someone who talks about killing himself or herself will never actually do it."

This is important: thinking about, talking about, or trying suicide is ALWAYS SERIOUS. If you or a friend is doing any of these, talk to a trusted adult IMMEDIATELY.

If you're worried that someone close to you may be thinking about suicide, watch for these warning signs:

  • Talking, reading, or writing about suicide or death.
  • Talking about feeling worthless or helpless.
  • Saying things like, "I'm going to kill myself," "I wish I were dead," or "I shouldn't have been born."
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Giving things away or returning borrowed items.
  • Organizing or cleaning bedroom "for the last time."
  • Hurting oneself or purposely putting oneself in danger.
  • Obsessed with death, violence, and guns or knives.
  • Previous suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
Once again: if you notice one or more of these signs in someone you know, get help right away.

Self-injury is when a person physically hurts himself or herself on purpose. When someone who is clinically depressed does this, it might be because:

  • He's trying to change the way he's feeling.
  • She's desperately trying to get attention she needs.
  • He wants to express how hopeless and worthless he feels.
  • She is having suicidal thoughts.
Self-injury can be just as dangerous as suicidal talk and thoughts, so don't hesitate to seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing this.

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