Final Project: Expository Essay
May 18, 2010
Academic, social and athletic pressures can push teens to the brink of disaster and even lead them to commit suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “suicide is the third leading cause of death between 10 and 24 year olds” (Suicide Prevention, para. 1). Pressure and depression is the most common factor leading to teen suicide. The pressures teenagers are facing today is intense and many are not able or taught how to cope. A survey of 70 teenagers and a handful of adults recently conducted by the Congressional Student Advisory Council in Santa Clara County, San Jose, California indicated that a majority of the local high school students experience stress from school-related pressures and feel “school officials don’t do enough to help them cope” (Sulek, 2010, p.1). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states suicide is a serious public health problem and needs to be communicated openly (Suicide Prevention, para. 5). Suicide has been increasing since the decline in early 1990s to the early 2000s. Suicide rate is up 6% for 15 to 24 year olds and 100% for 10 to 14 years old states the Teen Suicide Statistics website (n.d). The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center conducted a survey of high school students and found that “almost 1 in 5 teenagers had thought about suicide, about 1 in 6 teenagers had made plans for suicide, and more that 1 in 12 teenagers had attempted suicide in the last year” (Teen Depression, article 1, para. 4). Both genders are part of this issue. Teen girls tend to think more about suicide than teen boys, but boys are more likely to take their lives. Girls prefer to either take pills or cut themselves. These ways are less violent and it allows them to “stage” their appearance. In the girls’ mind, this method is a more romantic means to their end. Boys are likely to use more violent methods, such as firearms or hanging, which is why boys tend to succeed more than girls (Teen Suicide Statistics, para. 7 - 8). Even though there are many factors that contribute to suicide, depression is the most common cause with teenagers. Depression can be triggered by different events in a teenager’s life. Some examples of events are failed romances, poor academic performance, financial difficulties, substance abuse, low self esteem, and unreasonable expectations by peers, parents and, teachers (Kennedy, n.d.). One’s maturing process, hormones and independence conflicts with parents and peers can also cause depression (Teen Depression, n.d.). It is important to understand that depression and suicide can be triggered by multiple events that happen at one-time and affect different people in different ways. According to Teen Suicide Statistics (n.d) website “19.3 percent of high school students have seriously considered killing themselves; 14.5 percent of high school students made actual plans for committing suicide; 900,000 youth planned their suicides during an episode of major depression” (Teen Suicide Statistics, Para. 3). Teenagers are pressured to do well academically so they will stand a better chance that they could get into a good college (Teen Suicide Statistics, n.d.). The pressure for teachers is to perform rather than to learn. Many colleges require teenagers to take multiple college prep classes (AP) and leadership classes, participate in the arts and community service and maintain high-test scores. Additionally, teachers are required to teach so much content that students are not learning the information they are memorizing the information for quizzes and tests. Teenagers are responsible for hours of homework each night because the teachers don’t have enough time to teach the amount of content. Students are exhausted from lack of sleep and downtime because of the nightly homework load. According to Max (2010)...
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