What You Should Know About Suicide
Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s third after accidents
and homicide. It's also thought that at least 25 attempts are made for every completed
teen suicide. Why are teens turning to such a hopeless place? Here are some reasons
behind suicides and what you can do if you or someone you know is feeling hopeless,
Factors That Affect Suicide
The teenage years have always been a time of turbulence and
transition, but there has never been so much pressure to succeed. The college race
is harder and more uncertain than ever. The so-called mean-girl syndrome is rampant.
Divorce, absentee parents, familial conflict, low self-esteem, earlier pressure
for sexual activity, and body image issues all contribute to feeling the blues.
As pressures are increasing, so are anxiety disorders, eating disorders and self-injurious
behaviors. It’s pushing some teens today to feel they only have one option: give
Most girls who attempt suicide do not really want to end
their lives. Most want to escape psychological pain or unbearable circumstances.
Some seek attention. Others want to communicate their anger or love in the most
dramatic way they can think of. They feel hopeless, act impulsively and suffer for
things that are often not even in their control. Even people who normally seem “happy”
or “have it all” may find themselves confronting suicidal thoughts. While it doesn’t
happen to everyone, there is never a way to tell based on looking at someone.
There are other factors that contribute to suicidal tendencies,
too. Depression feeds suicidal thinking. Treating the underlying condition will
help eliminate the suicidal feelings. Just remember, if you feel as though you’re
depressed, it’s not because you’re weak — it’s a legitimate physical problem that
affects your brain.
There is no turning back from suicide. While the teen years
are tough, they’re worth making it through. On the other side is growing up to become
a strong, healthy and happy woman.
You also have to consider all the people who love you. Death
doesn’t just hurt the teen who commits suicide. The tragedy is devastating to her
family, friends, her whole school and the entire community. Her parents, brothers
and sisters, classmates, teachers and neighbors are left wondering if they could
have done something to prevent her from turning to suicide. They will remember her
and miss her for the rest of their lives.
How to Get Help
Here are some reliable sources where you can look up more
information on teenage suicides.
Any talk about teenage suicides must be taken seriously.
Even if your friend mentioned in passing that she is considering it, act fast and
let an adult know. Also, if you or someone you know is self-injuring, learn more
about how to help at selfinjury.com.
Learn about teenage suicide and read helpful information at BeingGirl.com.