ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — Let’s start with the silver lining.
Between 2007 and 2017, fewer young people were killed. The homicide rate dropped 18 percent, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.
But here’s the bad news.
The same report shows a staggering spike -- in suicides. They’re up 56 percent for people between 10 and 24 years old.
The report does not cite a specific reason for the surge of suicides, but the CDC has reported a rise in depression and anxiety among younger Americans.
Those disorders are often linked, and in 2003, 5.4 percent of kids from 6 to 17 years old were diagnosed.
By 2012, 8 percent of kids were dealing with depression or anxiety.
So, here’s what to look for in your children:
According to the CDC, anxiety often presents itself in the form of fear.
Fear of dogs.
Fear of the doctor.
Or fear of hanging out with other people (social anxiety)
And those fears can turn physical too, with a racing heart, rapid breathing, dizziness and excessive sweating.
Kids who are depressed often feel generally sad, hopeless and irritable.
They’re eating habits can change drastically, and they can suddenly seem more sluggish -- or restless.
Any signs of self-injury or self-destructive behavior should be dealt with immediately -- and treated by a professional.
If you, or someone you know, is having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
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