Suicide Among Youth : Myths and Reality

Topics: Suicide, Bipolar disorder, Parasuicide Pages: 27 (8817 words) Published: July 5, 2012
Researchers have found that suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender youth (LGBT) is comparatively higher than among the general population. According to some groups, this is linked to heterocentric cultures and institutionalised homophobia in some cases, including the use of LGBT people as a political wedge issue like in the contemporary efforts to halt legalising same-sex marriages[citation needed]. Depression and drug use among LGBT people have both been shown to increase significantly after new laws that discriminate against gay people are passed.[1] The Trevor Project

"The Trevor Project was founded by writer James Lecesne, An American non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide, offering around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBT youth, the project "is determined to end suicide among LGBT youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including our nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone."[20] Some myths about suicide

Myth: Young people rarely think about suicide.
Reality: Teens and suicide are more closely linked than adults might expect. In a survey of 15,000 grade 7 to 12 students in British Columbia, 34% knew of someone who had attempted or died by suicide; 16% had seriously considered suicide; 14% had made a suicide plan; 7% had made an attempt and 2% had required medical attention due to an attempt. Myth: Talking about suicide will give a young person the idea, or permission, to consider suicide as a solution to their problems. Reality: Talking calmly about suicide, without showing fear or making judgments, can bring relief to someone who is feeling terribly isolated. A willingness to listen shows sincere concern; encouraging someone to speak about their suicidal feelings can reduce the risk of an attempt. Myth: Suicide is sudden and unpredictable.

Reality: Suicide is most often a process, not an event. Eight out of ten people who die by suicide gave some, or even many, indications of their intentions. Myth: Suicidal youth are only seeking attention or trying to manipulate others. Reality: Efforts to manipulate or grab attention are always a cause for concern. It is difficult to determine if a youth is at risk of suicide All suicide threats must be taken seriously. Myth: Suicidal people are determined to die.

Reality: Suicidal youth are in pain. They don't necessarily want to die; they want their pain to end. If their ability to cope is stretched to the limit, or if problems occur together with a mental illness, it can seem that death is the only way to make the pain stop. Myth: A suicidal person will always be at risk.

Reality: Most people feel suicidal at some time in their lives. The overwhelming desire to escape from pain can be relieved when the problem or pressure is relieved. Learning effective coping techniques to deal with stressful situations can help. What are the signs

Most people who consider suicide are not determined to die. They are undecided about whether to live or die, so they may take risks and leave it to someone else to save them. Warning signs may be their way of asking for help or revealing the seriousness of their situation. Warning signs can be very subtle. They can also be as obvious as someone saying, "You won't be seeing me any more." Here are some common warning signs:

sudden change in behaviour (for better or worse)
withdrawal from friends and activities,
lack of interest
increased use of alcohol and other drugs
recent loss of a friend, family member or parent, especially if they died by suicide •conflicting feelings or a sense of shame about being gay or straight •mood swings, emotional outbursts, high level of irritability or aggression •feelings of hopelessness

preoccupation with death, giving away valued possessions •talk of suicide: eg. "no one...
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