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Wayne Today - 3/23/2017

Ask Maria Elena is a bi-weekly feature in which practicing Wayne psychotherapist Maria Elena will answer reader's questions on topics of importance to children and raising families.

Dear Maria Elena:

How prevalent is suicide among teens? What are some of the warnings signs?

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 15-24 years of age. According to the Center for Disease Control for every suicide completion there are between 100-200 attempts. In 2010 there was a total of 38,364 suicides averaging 105 suicides each day.

Some warning signs are:

Talking about dying frequently - person mentions dying and how they would die, which is indicative of a plan

Change in personality- recently person becomes irritable, anxious, withdrawn, sad

Change in eating habits- sudden loss of appetite and weight loss

Change in Behavior- Not concentrating in school/work, not going out with friends, spending a lot of time alone in room, not participating in previously enjoyable activities

Low self esteem- showing signs of self-hatred, worthlessness, guilt and saying things like "everyone would be better off without me".

Abusing drugs or alcohol

Signs of Hopelessness- saying things like "things will always be this bad," " I cant take it anymore," "things will never get better"

Change in Sleeping Habits- sleeping more or less

Giving away prized possessions

Acting recklessly

Suicide Prevention Hotline-1800 273-(TALK) 8255

Maria Elena is a psychotherapist with a certification in school psychology. Maria Elena holds her undergraduate degree from Seton Hall University and her graduate degree from Rutgers University. Maria Elena sees adults, adolescents and children in her practice. To submit a question for a future column email Maria Elena at or text 973 903-1109 All submissions are confidential. Not all questions may be answered.

Ask Maria Elena

MariA Elena Misito-Kloss


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