27 thoughts on “How To Handle a Teen’s Dramatic or Manipulative Suicide Threat

  • April 10, 2017 at 11:07 am

    That;s great, but you never addressed WHAT to do if they ARE using it as manipulation 🙁 as in my case right now with my daughter.

    • April 25, 2017 at 5:17 am

      Just do what i did,Call the cops Infront of them and Casually b e like “Well,You did say you wanted to commit suicide,Which i should call for help” EVERY.SINGLE.TIME Until they literally become scared to say it.

      • April 25, 2017 at 5:18 am

        My daughter is 31 and still does this little ploy when i refuse to care for her child Non-Stop.

      • June 17, 2017 at 8:15 am

        “EVERY.SINGLE.TIME Until they literally become scared to say it”
        And what happens if they actually become suicidal and need genuinely need help? Then they’ll become to scared to say it to anyone so their problems get worse and worse it until it’s too late so if you take that approach and find your child dead from an overdose, don’t be surprised.

      • June 21, 2017 at 12:08 pm

        Exactly. And how do you force them to get the help they need, if they are bigger and stronger than you? And when you call 911, they run before help arrives?

    • August 18, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      I’m trying too. My daughter uses it as a power play almost every time she doesn’t get her way. And I’m not even a strict parent.

      We did treat it as serious at first. She went to counseling, the school was involved, everything.

      She refused to participate. And it doesn’t seem to of straightened her attitude at all.

      • December 12, 2018 at 5:26 pm

        I’m currently dealing with this. It’s so frustrating!

      • May 6, 2019 at 12:10 pm

        Same here…

        Taking your child to ER every time she uses the word is very taxing and draining.
        I don’t like the solution, there has to be a better one.

  • September 11, 2017 at 5:28 am

    I really need a good adolescent therapist in Rockville MD!! Preferably a female. My daughter is 17 and I had to call the police twice tonight! All because I busted her with alcohol and a fake ID. I took her keys and grounded her and she flipped out. I am worried she will hurt herself! She has massive rage and breaks stuff when angry. She is currently seeing a therapist for anger management but it isn’t working!!
    Any recommendations PLEASE!!!

    • April 21, 2018 at 11:45 pm

      Sounds like she has borderline personality disorder. She will manipulate every doctor so do some research on it and if it fits, tell the doctors you believe she has it ahead of time.

    • January 17, 2020 at 8:31 pm

      Same EXACT story here! I don’t know what to do. She threatens to get out of the car while we’re driving when we go to therapy or a Dr.

  • May 3, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Mine does it for attention and gets attention every single time and goes to a mental health facility every single time. She likes it there, she uses suicide threats to go back when she wants, and she doesn’t do any school work while there so is failing 9th grade, AGAIN. She also goes to group there, hears other people talk about their mental disorders, and pretends that she has them also. Now she is getting medicated, blaming everything she does on med side effects, and getting new meds constantly. How far do I allow this to go and how do I stop this manipulation and lies? It is going as far as everyone around her allows it to go and nobody cares because they’re only concerned about her “suicide threats.”

    • May 16, 2018 at 9:22 am

      It sounds like Borderline. They threaten suicide a lot. Their lives are better harsh. It’s best for them to find an strength and then just stick with it. It’s not an easy life but be forewarned they try to abuse others. :/ They are not the kindest people and they lean to heavily on others / codependent. Make sure she does her part in helping and teach her to give back, not be selfish. They tend to be so self absorbed they don’t see anyone but themselves. :/ There is a whole wide world here so teach her to focus on others and have her volunteer.

    • December 6, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      This is EXACTLY what my concern is. Our daughter is highly manipulative and she will write fake suicide notes (saying she’s taken pills when she has no access to any). She is in therapy and we have taken her for a suicide assessment at Vanderbilt in Nashville after she told the therapist she was suicidal. They evaluated her and sent her home. In her fake suicide notes, she said she was cutting when she actually wasn’t. She is doing this because she has been kept from seeing her friends who were doing drugs with her, having sex with her (she is 14) and after a CPS investigation, she was put in our custody and a restraining order put against these people. She and they keep finding ways to violate it. Her latest fake suicide note says that maybe this time we will take her to the hospital and call these friends of hers and understand she needs them. It’s out and out manipulation. The therapists even agree. When one course of manipulation doesn’t succeed, she ups the ante. If we send her to a center she will just learn new techniques from other patients and continue to wallow in her drama, deny responsibility for her actions, and revel in being “damaged” which she wears like a badge of honor.

      We don’t know what to do. We don’t want to ignore her threats even if they aren’t credible, but we also don’t want to feed her BPD and give her more and more tools to nurture her illness and expand her repertoire of manipulative tactics. What do we do??

    • January 13, 2019 at 2:43 am

      You just described my teenage cousin whom I’m adopting to a T. I’m currently going through this. She makes up stuff as she goes. She’s had 2 failed attempts , 2 hospital stays and claims she’s tried 6 times . I don’t believe that as she lies so much and just keeps adding things to her list. She’s had a rough life but it wasn’t until these past 6 months hanging around depressed kids that she started this. I’m at a loss. Going to get her in for some help come Monday.

  • December 20, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    My nephew shot himself because he said his gf just broke up. Then he got into huge fight with his mother she went to jail. The same night he said to friend he killing himself I called cops they looked all night and most of next day for him. He finally texted a friend said he needed help his friend was 4 miles from where he was. He saw his friend coming and he hung himself. But we all know it was not attempted to die. His friend cut him down. When we saw him next day he was laughing and carrying on. Faked like he can’t talk then all of sudden next day he was talking normal. He should held countable for doing this twice. By the way he shot himself on right side of stomach where he knew wouldn’t kill him. Why do someone like him do this to his loved ones

  • January 15, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    I appreciate your article. My niece is a cutter and texts and verbally tells her dad if he takes her for evaluation that she will follow through with killing herself. My brother tells me about all of her meltdowns which are followed by crazy behaviors of sterling her parents credit cards and sometimes spending up to $1000- online. I am bipolar 1 , and she reminds me of myself at that age. Because of her ups and downs being pretty severe i believe she is also bipolar.

    Again I really appreciate your article. It gave me the strength to contact her doctor yesterday, she had a 4pm appt, and I told her doctor everything. I had to take the chance of losing my relationship with my brother to hopefully save my neice. It is totally worth it! Thank you so much!!!!

  • April 3, 2019 at 2:04 am

    I have the same issue with my 15 year old daughter who threatens to kill herself each time she doesn’t get her way. She cuts herself, she would hang shoe strings on the ceiling fan next thing you know she will say her friend stopped her from doing it. She would take a knife to her room. We took her to ER and call crisis line as well. It’s really tough to go through this. I am getting anxiety myself, because she’s got other younger siblings. And she only care about herself—

    • April 8, 2019 at 10:28 pm

      I have a 15 year old daughter who attempted to overdose with pills. She took just enough to make herself sick but not enough to do real harm (she researched ahead of time). ER visit, 21 day treatment program and 8000 dollars out of pocket (and 60.00 every single week for a therapist)…& yet she refuses to use any of the coping skills she has learned. She is very manipulative. If we take her phone away for any reason she will threaten to kill herself. If she wants to get out of school, more threats. Blames me for forcing her to go to a school she hates. She wants to be homeschooled and won’t stop her nonsense until she gets her way. She literally has ZERO actual problems. She is smart, beautiful (like a model, I’m not kidding), super talented in the arts.. No broken home, parents and siblings who love her, no abuse, no bullying. She just hates school and doesn’t want to go. We homeschooled last year and it was a disaster. She absolutely hated it and was desperate to go back to public school. She was so lonely and said it was all my fault that she had no friends or social life. I don’t know what to do w her. Thinking of doing an inpatient program this time instead of day program to see how that goes. I’m almost positive she is just manipulating to get her way but can’t help thinking what if. So very frustrating and I feel for anyone going through similar situations.

      • May 7, 2019 at 1:09 am

        You just described my 15 year old perfectly! I want to grab her and tell her to open her eyes. There are days where she will adopt a ”ghetto” attitude and accent. I have to remind her that we are middle class suburban people. She has a Good, loving family and no problems except grades and drama at school. How do you not take the threats seriously? How do you not give in and inadvertently teach her that’s how to get attention. The last time she threatened, I implemented a 72 hour suicide watch if she were to threaten again. She’d be home (except for school) and with someone for the full 72 hours. Never alone. She threatened again last night and is currently sleeping next to me in bed (while my husband is in the couch) and I think she’s loving all the attention. Fail number 483 for this mom. 🙁
        If anyone comes up with any solutions, please share!!!

      • June 19, 2019 at 3:14 pm


    • September 19, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      My girl is the same, 15. I cannot stop her if she truly wants to harm herself. Psych hospitals make it worse. School posters about suicide prevention make it worse. I pray. I pray this will pass. I worked at this age and did not have time for this.

  • April 26, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    It doesn’t address how to handle when the teen IS using it for control or manipulation. You can’t take them to the ER every time they threaten. What they learn is: I threaten, I get taken to the ER, I get the attention I want, and then I’m sent home. My parents are now afraid and will do whatever I want. What these kids also fail to realize is on top of the mental anguish they put on their parents, the cost of a visit to the ER can also add to the stress when a parent doesn’t have the money to pay it.

    I see no value in this article.

  • August 12, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Any advice for a grandmother of a 15 year old boy whose girlfriend always threatens suicide when things don’t go as she wishes. She tries to control who he is friends with, when and for how long he can spend time with his male friends, team mates and even his twin brother, and literally flips out if he doesn’t honor her demands. She constantly tells him that she doesn’t want to live without him in her life. Even more upsetting to me is her parents do not hesitate to let him know they think he is responsible for her mental state even though she has told us that she has been on medication for her emotional issues for years. I have seen my grandson so upset and guilt ridden that I feel he needs as much help and attention as the young girl causing all the drama. I think this “relationship” is very toxic and at this young age, very scary! Kids do crazy things that cannot be undone. Advice please!!!!

  • August 22, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    i’m a single parent father with a teen who is turning 18 in a few months. She’s a good kid for the most part, but i’d say for the last 8 months, shes been trying my patience. I believe she has had some depression issues as a child and on her moms side of the family, there are some mental health issues. My ex wife and I dropped the ball getting her diagnosed at a much younger age. she struggled with reading to some degree. Her twin sister handled things much differently, and I could see animosity between “M” who currently lives with me now and her sister “L”. long story short, their mom and I had a turbulent marriage and we separated numerous times although i was always involved with the girls. years later, the mom finally decided she didnt want to be with me and wanted to move back to her native country. I was against that initially, but I later changed my mind due to the quality of life been better in that country over seas, or so I thought. They move… “M” HATED IT over there. after a few years after turning 14 “m” decided she wanted to move back to the states and begged me to stay while she was here a week before she was supposed to go back with her sister. I was aainst it but shes here. fast foward to junior year… she just starts disobeying orders, not going to some of her classes, im noticing shes smoking hookah with a vape and smoking weed. attitude is changing. I begin putting restrictions, and she bowled right through them. If i wanted to instituute some discipline ACS was thrown in my face, I then started shutting down her data… ooooh lord!! the fury from within. once that stopped fazing me, the threat of suicide came into play. now this is something she says more often. after an instance of shutting her down data wise completely, she blocked my bedroom door and said she wasnt leaving… that didnt work, then she laid on my bed and said she wasnt leaving, had a decent conversation… then she started this crying mess…. that didnt work….. all of a sudden she jumps up and says im killing myself. goes into the kitchen gets a knife and threatens to stab herself. I try to talk her down, but i decided to call 911. im battling her to get the knife out of her hands. i get it from her. Once she knew the police and EMT were coming she went to her room and sat at the edge of the bed. the all came and she was cool as a fan. they took us to the ER. she worked the doctor, and she was allowed to come back home that night. the next day, im screwed up, called out sick, drained; mean while, she’s happy about a graduation and party she was invited too got dressed all cute and went out. i threatened to send her back to her mom if she didn’t respect my household… she said, if you really want to take me seriously about suicide, that will happen over there…. she is definitely using this as a weapon now. The bill from the Hospital and ambulance service alone was $1,100. cant afford that crap again and again… its frustrating and judging from stories ive read here, this doesn’t end as teens. this is very frustrating. I took her to a great psychiatrist. she liked the guy, BUT… when she gets angry, she’ll say, im not going to him now, just to spite me. mind you, thats $185 a pop, and I really dont have the cash for that either. I cant win here. her mom is thousands of miles away, and shes angry at her mom for numerous things…i wish there was something I could do to soothe the child’s soul.

    frustrated dad.

  • March 7, 2020 at 7:22 am

    I’m not sure that it’s true that there is “no downside”. I guess you would have to have confidence in the professionals doing the evaluating. In a country like Canada where the healthcare system is controlled by a bureaucracy I’m even less trustful. Once in the system, you’re in the system, I fear, even if you don’t need to be. That’s the downside. It can be a imprisoning for some people.


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