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Justin Prentice Opens Up About Experiencing Suicidal Thoughts as a Kid

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

“13 Reasons Why” actor Justin Prentice, who plays the show’s villain Bryce Walker, recently shared he experienced suicidal thoughts as a child. When asked in an interview with Variety if he himself had ever experienced suicidal thoughts, Prentice said,

When I was a kid, I was very much a perfectionist, and I had a bunch of different compulsions. And so through all of that I had high anxiety and high stress, so I did, actually. I brought it up with my mother because I was very fortunate to be close with my parents. And she was instrumental in helping me through it, which was awesome.

The number of kids hospitalized for thinking about or attempting suicide has doubled in less than a decade, according to a study which examined the trend of children’s hospitalizations for suicidal ideation or suicide attempts between 2008 to 2015. While this statistic is heartbreaking, it’s important to note that parental support like Prentice had can be a major factor in a child’s mental health recovery. In a study examining the relationship between parental support and suicidal ideation in middle school students, researchers found that parental support had a significant influence on decreasing suicidal ideation in a child.

Prentice isn’t the only celebrity who discussed experiencing suicidal thoughts in childhood. In a segment on Dr. Phil in March, singer Demi Lovato shared she first contemplated suicide at age 7.

[My suicidal thoughts were] driven by sadness. It was loneliness and depression. And I believe that a lot of that had to do with unresolved issues with my birth father that I hadn’t dealt with yet. Now that I’ve gotten older and I’ve been able to grieve the loss of him and I’ve been able to step back and look from a distance [and see] that he was mentally ill and that it wasn’t his heart that meant to abandon me. I’ve been able to overcome his loss and understand where everything went wrong and that sadness has been going away.

If you grew up experiencing suicidal thoughts, you’re not alone. If you know a child who is or may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out to them and get them the help they need. If you’d like to read more about suicidal ideation in childhood, please check out the stories below.

21 Phrases Kids Said That Were Code for ‘I Want to Die’

17 Signs You Grew Up With Suicidal Thoughts

When You Were Born ‘Blue’

When Childhood Sexual Abuse Makes You Grow Up Feeling Suicidal

Image via Wikimedia Commons/MTV International

Originally published: June 19, 2018
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