i feel sad whenever i hear about teenagers who commit suicide. suicides are preventable and as a psychiatrist who helps a lot of suicidal patients everyday, i feel an aching regret that they didn't get the help that they needed.
most people with suicidal tendencies suffer from major depression. and we're not talking about ordinary sadness here, because major depression is NOT "ordinary sadness." major depression is package of symptoms that is caused by a serotonin imbalance in the brain. the usual package of symptoms include sleep changes, appetite changes, loss of motivation, decrease in energy, loss of focus, lingering feelings of sadness or irritability, a mind full of worries and concerns, and most possibly, suicidal thoughts.
a person who is suicidal needs to be placed on active suicidal watch for 24/7. the person needs to be placed on anti-depressant medication, needs counseling, and has to have strong family support.
when a person threatens to kill himself or herself, please do not challenge him or her to actually do so. and also, when a friend tells you about his or her suicidal thoughts, never NEVER keep it a secret, lest the burden of the suicide falls on you.
for more information on depression and suicide, here's a link: