Friday, October 28, 2016 30 Comments
New Study on a “hidden” problem
Kids who kill themselves
Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Looking at the overlooked
Children under the age of 12 are often overlooked in conversations about suicide and suicide prevention. The sobering reality is that a small number of U.S. children between the ages of 5 and 11 kill themselves every single year.
A new study finds that ADHD* — not depression — is the most common diagnosis for children who commit suicide between the ages of 5 and 11.
The study adds another dimension to the story of suicide’s youngest victims: more of them lived with ADHD* than any other mental health diagnosis — even depression.
* The original article uses “ADHD” — even though I avoid that “H”
unless I am quoting others or directly referring to gross motor hyperactivity –
only one symptom in a profile that is only sometimes part of an ADD diagnosis.
About the Study
The study, published September 19th in the journal Pediatrics, looked at 87 children between the ages of 5 and 11 who took their own lives between 2003 and 2012.
They were compared with 606 adolescents, between the ages of 12 and 17, who committed suicide in the same period.
Data was drawn from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), a U.S. database that collects information from coroners, police officers, and death certificates to track violent deaths.
All the children hailed from one of 17 states that participate in the NVDRS and allow outside researchers to access the data. Approximately one-third of the children overall had a documented mental health diagnosis.
Age seems to matter
In adolescence, children who committed suicide were most likely to be suffering from depression — nearly two-thirds of teens who took their own lives showed depressive symptoms before their deaths.
But in children under the age of 12, depression only showed up in a third of the children. An overwhelming majority — more than 60 percent — had ADHD (primarily hyperactive type).
CDC Statistics & Strategies