teen suicide1





Suicide of any kind is an act in which a person takes his or her own life. FACT: Suicide is a prevalent cause of death among America’s youth today. Every day more than 1000 teenagers will think about suicide and eighteen will be successful in committing it. It is an ever-growing problem that can be described as unnecessary and uncalled for. Knowledge and understanding are key factors to preventing teenage suicide. The problem will usually originate from a period of depression, either as a medical concern, or simply because of a saddened event in a person’s life. The bottom line is, suicide among teens is not a rare event, and it may be preventable with the proper treatment.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds and the sixth leading cause of death for 5 to 14 year olds, barely surpassed by car accidents and homicide (http://www.kidshealth.org). The question is why would someone want to die? Research shows that most teens attempting to commit suicide regret it at the last minute and wish they could live after all. Faced with the certainty of their own death, most said they suddenly realized that their problems weren’t so big that they somehow couldn’t be solved. Their problems weren’t so bad that somehow they couldn’t find a way to survive them. In the second before they almost died, they knew they wanted to live (Nelson & Galas 12).
Many events and warning signs lead up to a suicide. Thoughts and attempts of suicide are commonly instigated by the medical condition, depression. The person often experiences strong feelings of stress, confusion, self-doubt, the pressure to succeed, financial uncertainty and other fears while growing up. According to the experts, more than eighty percent of the time they are extremely depressed, and their minds are therefore focused on the terrible emotional pain in which they find themselves (Colman 75). In their depression, they often dwell on what they feel is their unlucky and helpless lot in life, repeatedly leading them to believe that their situation is hopeless.
FACT: Few suicides happen without some kind of warning. Most teenagers who have attempted or committed suicide will leave several hints and warning signs along the way. They will say or do things to let others know they are in trouble and thinking about dying. A more common occurrence is the young person frequently talking about death or that no one would miss them if they were gone. Some even give away personal belongings. Few will keep their intent to die an absolute secret from everyone, and some even tell friends about their plans (Nelson & Galas 25).
Many people may begin to do more dangerous acts, like reckless driving or minor acts like not wearing a seatbelt in a car, when they are feeling suicidal (http://www.harthosp.org/HealthInfo/scripts/scr0341.htm). After all, an accident will only make dying easier. Deep down teens are scared to die. They may come to the point where they do not care if they die, but most fear it the minute they come close to touching it, especially if they are the ones doing it themselves. Besides the suicides mistakenly labeled as “accidents”, many suicides go unreported. It is painful for families to admit that their children have committed suicide (Nelson & Galas 24).
In some cases, depression can be a medical condition in which the patient should be carefully observed as much as possible. Symptoms of attempting suicide are similar to those of depression. Some of the more rampant symptoms include a change in eating and sleeping habits, a marked personality change and a lost of interest in pleasurable activities. They physically appear sad and weighted down, and can sleep a great deal, even talking in soft, tired voices (http://www.aap.org/advocacy/childhealthmonth/prevteensuicide.htm).
On the other hand while depression and suicide are similar in many respects, one will not necessarily result in another. It is possible for someone depressed to never think about suicide at all (Galas 42). Depression can set teenagers up for suicide attempts because they are often led to believe their troubles and sadness will never end. They fall into a cycle that follows a pattern of depression, isolation, sadness, and more depression. The longer the cycle lasts, the greater the risk that they will