Psychiatrist discusses warning signs of suicide in adults, teens

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Fashion designer Kate Spade’s death has led to conversations about mental illness, the importance of seeking help and just how complicated suicide can be.

“Situations that have recently occurred and have been covered by the media just bring about a discussion we need to have about destigmatizing mental illness and there not being shame in seeking treatment and getting help for conditions, because we want to certainly do everything we can in helping suicide prevention,” Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr. Katie Goudelocke said.

While suicidal thoughts may not discriminate, studies do show a rise in recent years of adolescents who are experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts.

“Overall helping them with a trusted adult is important and just being able to access help early and get them early treatment is critically important,” Dr. Goudelocke said.

It’s important to recognize the warning signs.

Dr. Goudelocke is a specialist with Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

She said the signs for adults and kids are about the same.

They include talking about suicidal thoughts, being overly preoccupied with death, giving away prized possessions and being more withdrawn than usual.

“Children and adolescents though tend to be more irritable and angry than necessarily sad, withdrawn and depressed as you might see in an adult, but they will still talk about and share suicidal thoughts if they’re having them and I think sometimes they’re more open in doing so than adults,” Dr. Goudelocke said.

Dr. Goudelocke said when it comes to suicide there’s never one single cause.

She stressed the importance of early treatment with a mental health professional, and if it’s an acute emergency, she recommended going to the nearest hospital or emergency room.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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