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Teen suicidal thoughts.

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Teen suicidal thoughts.

My step daughter and i had a fantastic relationship, but as she grew older as with all kids things became trickier and some behavioral issues developed, lying cheating stealing attitude rudeness.....nothing uncommon. At the same time as all this was starting my wife and myself had another child, then i got very sick and then by accident another child. I figured going from a 2:1 ratio being spoiled rotten to 3:1 to 2:3 when’s she’s at home now, significantly less attention was the primary cause. I also thought it would settle. If got worse and worse and the issues started happening multiple times a day to a point where i ran out of ideas how to deal with it. I found all i did with my daughter was argue and that was now our relationship. Somewhere in there she started self harming, so we immediately sought professional help and that’s been going for a little over a year and the self harming had stopped to my awareness, but the behavior issues got worse still, and then a few days ago there was a fight between her and her mother and she used some language and some name calling that bought her mother to tears, and so i voiced my opinion on the matter, that that was not acceptable, it would never happen again and there would be consequences, the whole time getting argument and excuses for the behavior. Yesterday she confessed to my wife to self harming because of it, both me and her dad were pretty angry with her, but she also admitted to considering suicide and that i was the main reason for that thought. That has caught me off guard and kept me up since wondering what’s to do about the whole situation and after 24 hrs I’ve only come up with one solution which isn’t really a solution, so needless to say am desperate for help from anyone who can add anything of value to the situation.....thanks in advance, sorry for the long post!!
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Re: Teen suicidal thoughts.

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Hi @Jimmy ,


It sounds like a really tough situation with your step-daughter, and I can imagine that hearing her say that you were one of the reasons for her considering suicide must have been a huge shock and really distressing for you.  You sound like a really loving and involved stepfather and father, and I can really empathise with the challenges involved in blended families, as a mother who re-partnered and had a second child after many years as a sole parent myself. It's a huge shift in family dynamics, and takes a lot of patience , communication and goodwill from everyone, especially when you hit the teenage years. 


It sounds like you and your wife have been really responsive to your step daughter in terms of seeking professional help when she first started self-harming, which is really positive. Is she still seeing her psychologist/ counsellor now? 


I'm not sure if you've seen them, but we have quite a lot of resources on our ReachOut Parents page here for parents of kids who've expressed thoughts of suicide. I imagine it must be incredibly scary as a parent to hear a teen expressing those thoughts, and there's some different strategies to try there from ideas of how to have those difficult conversations, to ways to look after yourselves as parents. 

We also have a free one to one support service for parents and carers  available online, if you'd like to have a chat with a professional to get some more support for yourselves - it can help a lot to talk things through with someone else sometimes.  Thoughts of suicide aren't as uncommon as we sometimes think, and the fact that she is being open about what she's feeling to you guys shows that there is a level of trust there. 


I also wanted to reassure you that it's unlikely that you are the cause of what she's going through - sometimes it is easy to lash out at people when we are in a lot of pain, especially given the conflict you've described- but you sound like someone who really loves and cares for her. 


How are you and your wife feeling today?