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Parents face tough choices when child struggles with depression

One of the most difficult things for parents of teenagers who are thinking about hurting themselves to face is that sometimes right before a troubled teen tries to take his life, he or she might seem to be getting better.

“For teens in particular, a sudden cheerfulness after a period of depression may be a threat that they’re going to take their life,” Debbie Helms, program director for the Samaritans of Merrimack Valley, said. “There’s an energy and period of clear thinking because they’ve already made the decision to kill themselves.”

Yvonne Vissing, associate professor of sociology at Salem State University and director of the university’s Center for Child Studies, said that’s one of the aspects of teen suicide that’s particularly confusing — and troubling — for families.

“One thing is when people are very depressed that’s not usually when an attempt will happen,” Vissing said. “It’s usually when a person is feeling better.”

Read more here: Parents face tough choices when child seems in trouble.

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