BENGALURU: Karthik (17) jumped from his seventh floor residence on Tuesday night after an alleged altercation with his father over missing tuition. While the exact cause of death is not established, child and adolescent psychiatrists say parents should look out for signs in suicidal teenagers and know where to draw the line while reprimanding them.
Dr Swaminath G, a private practitioner and counsellor, said, “When children fail to do something, parents reprimanding them is but natural. But the tone and words matter. If it is a firm and appropriate tone, it is fine. But if it lowers the self esteem and makes the child feel small, then an inherent underlying depression may manifest itself into suicidal tendencies.”
Dr John Vijaysagar has been a child and adolescent psychiatrist for more than six years at the National Institute for Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS). He told Express, “There may be certain indicators like changes in behaviour. The child may not be interested in spending time with the family. He or she may express wishes to die. There may be a number of reasons. Teachers may have complained and children would have something to say. Talk to your child before shouting at them.”
Dr Sugami Suresh, clinical psychologist, Apollo Hospital, said, “Parents can say a lot by facial expressions. The child may not be lively, may not be eating well. Look out for signs.”