Obsessed With The Concept of Suicide

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My 13 year old son became obsessed with the "concept of suicide" earlier this year after his middle school held a suicide prevention day. He never even mentioned the word suicide before that day and now he thinks about the concept of suicide very often. He assures us he is not actually going to kill himself and he doesn't show any of the "typical" signs of doing so. He's a happy kid always laughing and having fun.

He has had these boughts of obsessions in the past regarding other topics. He was extremely afraid of tornadoes for two consecutive summers where he wouldn't even go outside on sunny days. He was also mortified by the thought of getting his blood drawn even though there were no plans to do so at any time. These fears eventually went away over time.

He is on the Autism spectrum and has ADHD. He is extremely smart and high-functioning and is mainstreamed in all his classes. He has had a therapist for many years that has been helpful in calming his anxieties. He has been talking to her about these new thoughts for months now and she also believes that he is in no immediate danger and that he is not going to actually harm himself.

Has anyone ever heard of this before? Someone who is obsessed with the concept of suicide, but not actually suicidal? If so, any thoughts on how we might be able to help him move past this?


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Hi and welcome. I am sorry that u didn't get a response sooner. there is a lot of ppl here that think about suicide everyday but are not actually suicidal. As far as his obsession, I really don't know of any suggestions to help with that. I'm sure it is very distressing to u. I'm sorry that I can't be of more help. Maybe someone else will have some helpful ideas. I hope that he gets past this soon. Take care.


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You can ask what led to him to move past his fears of tornadoes and blood draws. See if there is something you can use to help speed up the process of getting past this latest obsession.


Everything Zen
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oh that's an interesting one there.
I'm gonna say that this is related to the autism and how it can get hold of obsessiveness. Your worry about this is because it's dangerous (obviously, as it relates to death). You weren't as worried about blood draws because it was brushed off because you weren't about to do one and you could just say "it's ok, you're good" basically. This isn't as easy because you're a parent and parents worry about their kids every day. This topic is highly volatile so it makes you feel extra jumpy. But the reality is you're probably looking at it from an adult point of view -- which is good -- but your son is just looking at it the same way he looked at tornadoes and phlebotomy. Likely if you and the therapist are in agreement then you should be taking a cautious but back seat approach the same way you were with the other things in order for him to lay low on the subject and not become more obsessed over it.
What does his therapist say about it?


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Hi twelvexes. I'm sorry you are going through this experience. Many times children on the Autism spectrum will have obsessions with thoughts, people and things. Your son was introduced to this "new" thought through a school prevention day. The thought of suicide is very scary for sure. Have you considered suicide to your son, is no different than tornadoes or getting blood drawn. However, because he is talking about suicide, you are doing the right thing in being concerned. I am glad that he is talking things out with his therapist. Have you thought about being involved in one of your son's counseling sessions? Maybe this would help you understand your son's thought process as it relates to suicide. You may be able to see that he does not intend to harm himself based on his discussions with his therapist. Hoping for the best.
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