The purpose of this paper is to explain the causes of teen suicide. This paper will include statistics and some background information on suicide survivors. Also this paper will discuss some warning signs of teen suicide.
It is important to take the subject of suicide seriously. It doesn’t seem right that a teenager, who has lived for such a short time, would choose to die, but those who can’t get over their depression sometimes do. Teen suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 24 and the fourth leading cause of death for persons between the aged of 10 to 14 and it seems to be on the rise (Hyde and Forsythe). Only accidental deaths and homicide follow it. Some experts believe that many “accidental” deaths are actually suicides. According to a 1999 Center for Disease Control and Prevention study, 27% of high school students thought about suicide, 16% had a plan and 8% made an attempt(Madison). Suicide effects teens of all races and social standing. Boys commit suicide more often than girls do. It could be because it’s easier to get the tools for suicide, boys usually use firearms and girls often us pills, so since the gun is more deadly, boys complete suicide (Klagsbrun). Over the past 15 years, the rate among girls has scarcely changed, but the rate among boys has tripled. Also, the rate among non-white males, even thought it is still lower than the
white male rate, has been rising most quickly of all. Suicide remains the second leading cause of death among whites after accidents and the third among blacks after homicides and accidents. Teen suicide is now considered a national mental health problem(Roy).
The main two causes for teen suicide is the mental disease of depression and family problems(Hyde and Forsythe). Ninety percent of teen suicide victims have at least one diagnosable, active psychiatric illness at the time of the death, which is most often depression, substance abuse, or behavior disorders(Weller and Weller). Only 33-50% of victims was known by their doctors as having mental illness at the time of their death, and only 15% were in treatment at the time of the death(Madison). The pressures of modern life are greater these days and competition for good grades and college admission is difficult which are extra stresses on already unsure teens. Some even think it’s because there is more violence in the media(Klagsbrun). Lack of parental interest may make them feel alone and anonymous. They believe that their parents don’t understand them and when they try to express their feelings of unhappiness, frustration, or failure(Roy). Many children grow up in divorced households or both parent’s work and their families spend little time together. Even the threat of AIDS is a factor that contributes to higher suicide rates(Weller and Weller). Stressful life events, such as the loss of an important person or school failure, often encourages suicides. People who have worked with depressed teens see a common pattern of unhappiness, feelings of inner disturbance, chaos, low self-worth, hopelessness and anger. Suicidal
teens generally feel that their emotions are played down, not taken seriously, or met with opposition by other people, but it should always be taken seriously(Hyde and Forsythe).
There are ways of watching for warning signs of a suicidal person and depression. Some noticable things are talking about suicide, statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness. They may have a obsession with death or suddenly become happier and calmer(Roy). They have a loss of interest in things they used to care about. They even start making arrangements or putting their affairs in order and give away their things. Teens should learn that with treatment, depression ends, but someone who is experiencing deep depression might not be able to think about that(Klagbrun). They can’t see the way out of the problem and think suicide is the only choice.
There are 30,000 suicides that occur every year in the United States and “suicide survivors” are the ones that are left affected and ruined. The people that are mourning over a suicide victim describe feelings of shock, disbelief, sadness, guilt and anger(Hyde and Forsythe). They have episodes of crying, depression, apathy, anxiety, and sometimes thoughts of suicide themselves. Some survivors experience scary and disturbing images of death(Weller and Weller).