Parents have difficulty in raising children, your children also suffer from types of difficulties especially when they become teenagers, experiencing mood swings from day to day with liking and disliking someone can change drastically. Kids have high exposure to the Internet every day and you know, the Internet has extremely negative things.

Do not forget that your child’s brain develops very strongly and rapidly during this adulthood, so your kids will be more susceptible to external influences, more sensitive, and easier to imitate others’ actions.

With all of this going on, it’s important to watch for more serious signs that your child may be intending to harm himself or even commit suicide. The article will help you know what from the Internet can make your child commit suicide and how to prevent teenage suicide caused by the Internet.

Why are teens most at risk of suicide?

According to research, most people believe that about 10% of adolescents harm themselves, but this rate can be as high as 20%. Besides, most young people report that they start hurting themselves around 12 years old.

Dr. Jamie Zelazny, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, thinks that suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10 to 24-year-olds. What’s more, the suicide rate tripled among teenagers 10 to 14 years old, as well as in girls, and the suicide rate was significantly higher in African American children under the age of 13.

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The rising rate of suicide in this age group coincides with the current increasing rate of use of social media.

teen suicide case

Dr. Zelazny said that “A study published in 2015 found that the time when children start to have multiple mental health problems is 2 hours.” This means when your child uses social networks more than 2 hours a day, your child is more likely to face mental health issues like suffering and suicide.

In an experimental study aimed at assessing the potential of the impact of social media, Dr. Zelazny and colleagues analyzed data from 15 adolescent suicide taken from the Western Psychiatric Hospital in Pennsylvania.

Although 73% said they felt supported on social media during difficult times in their life, 53% felt more emotionally connected and 93% felt more connected to their life with their friends.

However, the results showed that 67% of participants said they felt worse about their life using social media. Additionally, 73% feel pressured to post content about their appearance to others, 60% feel pressured to adjust their posting to get more likes and more. more famously, 80% said they were affected by negative issues on social media.

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How to prevent teenage suicide caused by the Internet

Problem: Cyberbullying, low self-esteem, sexting, etc.

According to research, most people believe that about 10% of adolescents harm themselves, but this rate can be as high as 20%. Besides, most young people report that they start hurting themselves around 12 years old.

The teen suicide risk factors are varied. Your kids might encounter hot and attractive body images on Instagram and trends like thinspiration, accessing these images every day will gradually make your child constantly and negatively compare their body with others’ bodies. 

prevent teenage suicide caused by the internet

Thereby having extremely low self-esteem. Your kids will think that everyone is body shamming them and not making friends with them. This long-term condition can lead to anxiety, depression and even suicide.

Another reason is cyberbullying. There are types of cyberbullying, exclusion type is a prominent one. Exclusion occurs whenever someone is forced out of an online chat group for some reason. The rest of the group will then do whatever they can to ridicule the excluded person through annoying messages, comments, and emails.

Exclusion is also common in GroupMe – a messaging app but mostly for group chats. In GroupMe, adding and removing members of a group chat has also become a way to bully and isolate.

exclusion cyberbullying

Solution: Create an intimate conversation environment with your children

Adolescents with many sudden physical, cognitive and emotional changes can cause your child to become overly sensitive, easily influenced and thus more likely to decide on wrong behaviors. Most children commit suicide because they can no longer see a way out, the reason is that they are lonely and alone, with no one around.

So, you need to create a healthy and friendly conversation environment with your children, making it a daily routine. You need to be a person, a place where your kids can confidently share anything on even the most sensitive issues.

Create interactive conversations between you and your child, which is much more positive than giving a lecture that is rigid and overly serious.

How should you talk to your child about self-harm?

Some simple questions like “How are you feeling right now?” Or “Tell me about your day” is still helpful to dispel negative feelings for your child.

Everyone knows that suicide is a bad thing, a sensitive topic. Since this is a serious topic, you can easily react too seriously or extreme. So remember not to end a conversation where your child becomes apprehensive and apprehensive about what he or she will tell you in the future.

Problem: Frequently exposed to extreme harmful content on the Internet

A prime teen suicide case is the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who had approached a horrible number of Instagram posts related to anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide before she took her own life in November 2017.

Following Molly’s death, her family found thousands of posts with pictures and videos of suicide and self-harm on her Instagram account. The investigator also said that some of the content Molly viewed was extremely graphic self-harm materials.

Molly Russell took her own life in November 2017

Source: Family/PA

Many people assume that the algorithm used by social networks, like in this case Instagram, pushes similar content towards users based on what the user has seen before.

And when Molly saw a few related photos, these contents continued to show up, causing her to fall into a dark rabbit hole filled with the content of self-harm, leading to depressive behavior, then suicide. Investigators show that she might encounter extremely graphic self-harm materials.

Do not forget that your child’s brain develops very strongly and rapidly during this adulthood, so your kids will be more susceptible to external influences, more sensitive, and easier to imitate others’ actions. One of the extreme suicide pictures Molly saw was one with a cartoon character saying “Who wouldn’t love a suicide girl?”.

Solution for adolescent suicide prevention: Pay attention to what your children are exposed to on the Internet

You need to help your child stay away from self-harming content as soon as possible. In addition to having positive conversations with your children like above, about what you should and should not see, you should also keep an eye on what they are exposed to on the Internet.

However, instead of 24/7 monitoring what they watch or constantly looking at their screens or extremely banning them from using social media (which you are SERIOUSLY invading your child’s privacy rights), you should consider downloading online content filtering software to prevent inappropriate content from reaching them, ensuring healthy children’s physical and mental development.

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