Pediatrician lists signs your child may be contemplating suicide

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s normal for kids to have bad days.

But if a child is having more bad days than good ones, especially if it’s been that way for a couple of weeks, it could be a sign something is seriously wrong. 

“What you may notice is a sad or irritable mood,” said Dr. Kathy Polanka, a pediatrician at Community Health Network. “They may seem more angry, tearful, cranky, and they may not be enjoying things that they previously enjoyed. They may be spending less time with friends. You may see changes in appetite with either weight loss or weight gain, sleeping too much or not sleeping enough. A lack of energy. A lack of motivation. Trouble focusing.”

These are tell-tale signs a child may be suffering from low self-esteem or depression, or having thoughts of death or suicide. Polanka says it’s critical for parents to talk with their kids about how they’re feeling. Lines of communication should be open and free from judgment. 

She goes on to say if symptoms persist parents should make an appointment with their child’s pediatrician who can recommend counseling or medication if needed.