Eighth-grader loses life to suicide in Southgate; sometimes the signs aren't obvious

Photo by Alan Burdziak/The News Herald  
Yesterday an eighth-grader shot himself in the head in a second-floor bathroom at Davidson Middle School. And officials say nothing indicated there was a reason for the suicide.

Officials say he was a good student and somewhat popular and that no one suspected he would harm himself, reports The Oakland Press. Students and staff said that the boy did not appear to have any problems with anyone.

Hearing the story broke my heart. He was barely even a teenager and had so much of his life left. And now we will never know what the future of this teenager, whose name has not yet been released, would have held.

I know that many times we think that people with depression will have a big flashing neon sign over their heads, alerting others that they are contemplating suicide. The truth is that many people contemplating suicide hide their feelings. This could be one of the reasons suicide seems like the only option — because they keep their emotions built up inside until, one day, they explode.

According to SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), sometimes people with depression can't even see the signs and symptoms themselves. Many times people suffering from depression appear to be happy just prior to the suicide attempt. Many times, people suffering from depression are afraid to tell other people for fear of appearing "crazy" or "weak" (and neither one of these adjectives is true).

In children, SAVE reports that depression can be disguised as school phobia or school avoidance, social phobia, excessive separation anxiety, running away, obsessions or compulsions. Depression is something that's miserable for adults to deal with -- but imagine being only 13 and having to handle these strong emotions.

Here are some other signs of depression in children:

-Uncontrollable anger or destructive behavior
-Harming animals
-Continual disobedience
-Easily frustrated, low self-confidence, overly sensitive
-Easily distracted
-Energy fluctuations
-Eating/sleeping problems
-Bed wetting
-Impulsiveness, accident-prone
-Panic attacks
-Excessive worrying
-Slowed or disorganized speech
-Dizziness, headaches, stomach aches
-Nail biting

No matter your age, if you feel any of these symptoms, don't be afraid to talk to someone about this.

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