Chelsee is an energetic seventeen-year-old who loves to play soccer. She is funny and enjoys writing poetry. However, Chelsee has a side to her no one sees. Chelsee has two parents that are wealthy; she has been brought up with everything. But Chelsee has a secret; she has struggled with depression for months. She has often made poor choices such as using weed and alcohol to self-medicate. She has also engaged in unsafe sex, which has placed her at risk. Her years of struggle finally ended in her suicide attempt two weeks ago.
Chelsee is a made up person however she is not alone in her struggles with depression and suicide attempts. She is an example of how common depression and suicide is in our society. This paper will explore the incidence of suicide in our society, risk factors, treatment options and understanding the difference between coping mechanisms, suicidal ideations and actual suicide behavior.
Recent data indicate that over 34,000 people in the US die by suicide every year. Many people don’t realize that it is the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the age of 18 and 65. People think suicide just affects young people. It can truly affect anyone, no matter what age he or she is. Approximately every 15 minutes, 90 Americans take their own life. Most people who have taken their own life had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. Statistics have found that there are four male suicides for every female suicide, but three times as many females as males ATTEMPT suicide. Research shows that suicide is the fifth leading death among 5-14 years old and the third leading cause of death among those 15-24 years old. Pg. 2
For 15-19 year old African-American males the suicide rate has doubled. As mentioned before, young people are not the only ones who try to attempt suicide. The elderly population has been known to try as well. The rate for men rises with age, most significantly after the age of 65. Men are seven times more likely to attempt suicide than women who are 65+. Over 60 percent of people who die by suicide suffer from major depression, if one includes alcoholic into their depression this figure raises to over 70 percent. Data indicated that ¼ to 1/3 of suicides are associated with alcohol use. Note that alcohol in a person’s system increases depression. It has been discovered that more Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. In a given year or more, depression affects 24 million people.
Usually, people’s emotions are easy to read. However, when a person is struggling with depression, they may not show signs that tell others they are feeling badly. There are many risk factors when it comes to suicide. Depression and other mental disorders are the main risk factors for suicide. More than 90 percent of people who committed had those risk factors. Other risk factors for suicide would be family history of mental disorder, substance abuse, and previous suicide attempts. Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse is another risk factor. Suicidal behavior is not a normal response to stress. Many people could experience these risk factors, but never get to the point where they are suicidal, or even think about suicide. As had been shown by research the risk for suicide is associated with change in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, with decreased Pg. 3
levels of serotonin. This being stated that serotonin has been found in people with depression. There are also risk factors for nonfatal suicide attempts. It has been estimated that eleven nonfatal suicide attempts have occurred per suicide death. The main risk factors for nonfatal suicide attempts would be depression, and other mental disorders, alcohol and other substance abuse, also including separation and divorce, as well as loss through a death.
Many people experience failed suicide attempts. They attempted it some way, whether it was hanging, gunshot, cutting, or...
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