Teen Suicide

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Teen Suicide - The Unknown Epidimic

Every year, thousands of youth die in the United States, not by cancer, car

accidents, and other diseases, but by their own hand. These people make the choice that

they want to die and they take there own life. Suicide, the term given to the act of killing

oneself, is the third leading cause of death among people that are 15 to 25 years of age. It

is estimated that 500,000 teenagers try to kill themselves during the course of one year.

During the adolescent years, normal teenagers experience strong feelings of stress,

confusion, self-doubt, pressure to succeed, financial uncertainty, and other fears while

growing up. These feelings in themselves are not harmful, but normal. However those who

can not handle these situations are ones that are prone to suicide. Many people believe

that suicides are isolated incedents, but they are far from that. Suicide among teenagers is

indeed an epidimic that should be focused on and dealt with immediately. This essay will

focus on the causes of suicide, the signs of a person that is suicide prone, and what one

should do for a person who may be a target for suicide.

The main two causes for teen suicide is the mental disease of depression and family

problems. 90% of teen suicide victims have at least one diagnosable, active psychiatric

illness at the time of death, which is most often depression, substance abuse, or behavior

disorders. Only 33-50% of victims was known by their doctors as having a mental illness

at the time of their death, and only 15% were in treatment at the time of death. The

pressures of modern life are greater these days and competition for good grades and

college admission is difficult, which are extra stressors on already unsure teens. Some even

think it's because there is more violence in the media. 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 they feel that their parents either denied or ignored

their attempt to communicate feelings of unhappiness, frustration, or failure. 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

rate. 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.

Those who believe in the finality of death (i.e., that there is no after-life), are the ones

who advocate suicide and regard it as a matter of personal choice. On the other hand,

those who firmly believe in some form of existence after death on earth, condemn suicide

and judge it to be a major sin. However, there are ways of watching for warning signs of a

suicidal person and depression.

Some noticeable signs that are prevalent among people thinking about suicide are

talking about suicide, statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness. They

may have a obsession with death or suddenly become happier and calmer. They have a

loss of interest in things they usually care about. They might stop visiting or calling people

that they 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. They

can't see the way out of the problem and think suicide is the only choice.

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