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, too.
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 up.
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.
The Consequences 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.