My Friend Max

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My Friend Max

By: Shane Droske

FOREWORD
By: Brittany Mineard

Many people don’t recognize suicide as a major problem until it directly effects their lives. Many people also don’t connect suicide with the amount of deaths within the teenage population. In fact, teen suicide is a major cause of death among teens, being the third leading cause. According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), about 8 out of every 100,000 teenagers committed suicide in the year of 2000. Also, for every teen suicide death, it is estimated that there are at least ten teen suicide attempts. The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center did a survey of high school students. They found that almost 1 in 5 teens had thought about suicide, about 1 in 6 teens had made plans for suicide, and more than 1 in 12 teens had attempted suicide in the last year. Seeing those statistics about teen suicide should shed some light to everyone. Surprisingly, 8 out of 10 teens who commit suicide had actually tried to ask for help in some way before committing suicide. Unfortunately, some are not taken serious, or not enough help is given quick enough. There are many different causes credited to teenage suicide. Some of the most popular causes being family problems, unhealthy or abusive relationships, ending a relationship, alcohol or drug abuse, physical or mental disorders, experiencing of a personal loss, or just the inability to handle stress that may lead to depression. Along with the many causes are also many warning signs that every person should be aware of. People on the verge of taking their own life often complain of sadness and emptiness, have a loss of interest in usual hobbies, withdrawal themselves socially, neglect their appearance, can’t sleep, have changes in eating habits, grades drop dramatically, and often have physical body pains and aches due to loss of energy. The reason teenage suicide isn’t prevented as much as it should be is because it is often looked over by parents and peers. Teenage years are a difficult time. The body goes through many changes both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Some people that may recognize some of these signs in another person may credit these changes to teenagers going through a phase. Often, it’s not until a teen has gotten so deep into depression and has contemplated suicide that someone recognizes to get them help and by then it’s usually too late in their mind. One thing important to realize about suicide is that it is not prejudice. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, race, etc. Someone may be the most popular person in school, loved by everyone and appear to be happy with their life, yet commit suicide. It’s imperative to know that anyone and everyone are at risk. But with love, help and support, that never has to be the case. Shane Droske is currently a freshman at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. We both attend the same English 101 course where I got the privilege to meet him. The two of us recently went through very similar tragedies in our life that enable us to relate to each other on a different level than others. Shane’s story can’t necessarily be summed up in a few sentences, but it is about a very dear friend to him names Max. On Shane’s last day of school during his senior year, he received news that would forever change his life as he knew it. He had learned that his best friend, Max, committed suicide. Losing someone so close to you at such a young stage in your life is something you can only relate to if it’s happened to you. The teenage adolescent years are the most difficult times for anyone. The brain is still developing and you’re still trying to figure out who you are as a person. When you lose someone so close to you while you’re at this point in life, you also feel like you’re losing so much of yourself. Those people you grow up with are who makes you the person you become. When a grandparent or anyone close to...
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