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“Dying Before Their Time: The Startling Trends In Adolescent Suicide”

1239 words - 5 pages

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), suicide is the third leading cause of death for adolescents aged 15-24 years old. This calculates to 33,000 adolescents killing themselves each year (CDC, 2010). The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), reported that suicide amongst all individuals nation wide has declined over all, but despite the decline, adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 have shown suicide rates that has increased by 6 percent (NCSL, 2005). The most staggering number, however, comes from the population of children between the ages of 10 and 14. For these individuals, suicide rates have increased by more than 100 percent (NCSL, 2005). In this paper, I seek to address the reasons why adolescents kill themselves, the methods adolescents use to commit suicide, and the prevention and treatment methods that are used to slow this rapidly increasing trend down.
First of all, Thio, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and the AACAP all suggest that Adolescent Suicide is often influenced by a child’s experience of societal pressures, change in family dynamics, and difficulty getting along with peers. Thio (2010), reports that the suicide rate is going up amongst adolescents because of the conflicting lifestyle that a young person leads. This conflict is illustrated in the American society through its allowance of children to engage in some adult activities like: driving, voting, and working while on the other hand, preventing other activities like: staying out late, having sex, and drinking. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), suggest that the suicide rate is increasing among adolescents because the tools for committing the suicide are easier to obtain, the pressures of modern life are greater than in previous decades, competition for good grades and college admission is harder to overcome, and the fact that violence is encouraged through television and news media (AAP, 2010).
Secondly, according to research, suicides are almost always thought-out and planned before they occur. The CDC reports that for ages 15-24, there are 100-200 attempts for every completed fatalistic suicide (CDC, 2009).Researchers all agree that males commit fatalistic suicide more than females and that women attempt suicide more than males.\According to NCPAMD, these differences in suicide can be attributed to the fact that boys are more violent than girls which means they are more likely to die by gunshot or hanging, where as women are more likely to try to kill themselves by other means such as overdosing on pills (NCPAMD,2010).
According to the Northern County Psychiatric Associates of Maryland (NCPAMD), there are two types of suicidal youth. Type 1 consists of Adolescents who are chronically or severely depressed (NCPAMD, 2004). These people often think about and carefully plan their suicides (NCPAMD, 2004). Type 2 consists of Adolescents who show impulsive suicidal behavior. These people...

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