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Hidden Pain Essay

1652 words - 7 pages

Many have agreed that the stages of adolescence are the most difficult times in a person’s life. During this period, too many people find themselves suffering in silence, and turning to harmful behaviors such as, cutting, burning, extreme dieting, and even suicide as a method of dealing with their pain. I fell victim to these factors as well. Day in and day out I starved myself to achieve perfection that did not exist. Purged every bite I was forced to ingest in hopes of ridding myself of all pain and emotional baggage. I ran my emaciated, eighty five pound, body into the ground as a method of coping with life. However, I smiled, laughed, and pretended like everything was great when I was ...view middle of the document...

3% to 7.8% from 2009 through 2011 (Neal). An additional report confirmed that “in 2007, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24” (10 leading). Many, if not all, of these suicides could have been prevented if only people knew how to recognize a child struggling with these considerations. In the book, No One Saw My Pain, Andrew Slaby and Lili Garfinkel discuss the events of eight adolescent suicides. The common theme amongst all profiles was that no one noticed the warning signs and the emotional struggles that the child was dealing with. If these parents and teachers of these children had known how to recognize the struggling child, then they could have helped or gotten their child the help that they needed, so that they did not turn to suicide. Dr. Viola, psychology professor and private practice counselor, stated that the most common causes for parents missing warning signs include “a lack of education, they are too busy with their own lives, they feel like they have a lack of influence, and they have inconsistent involvement in their child’s life.” Likewise, he explained that as teachers it is easy to feel like they have a defined role as a teacher and nothing else. Dr. Viola explained that it would be beneficial to children if teachers took the time to form relationships with their students, because then they would recognize early warning signs, such as declining academic performance that often goes unnoticed. Dr. Viola also suggested that methods of bringing the prevalence of these issues down would include “having routine mental health screenings, educational groups for students, faculty, and parents, for parents to establish early communication and stay involved in their child’s lives, and for adults to establish meaningful connections with the children and students.”
A defense that gets in the way of awareness is the all too common phase, “my child would never do that.” Of course no parent wants their child to have thoughts about committing suicide, or even consider that their child could be harming themselves on a daily basis; however, it does happen and the problems need to be addressed. Dr. Viola also explained that parents tend to have an idea of who their child is and when something so horrible as self-harm and suicide are brought to their attention they do not want to consider that their child would ever engage in such a thing. Another complication that arises is the parents feel like they have failed their child if they are struggling this way. This held true in my situation as well. My mother could not stand to admit to herself what had happened to her baby so she denied that anything was wrong with me. In my fifteen years of life I had never seen my father cry. The day that he found out I was Anorexic he held me and cried like I never knew was possible. He completely overwhelmed by his feelings of guilt that I had put myself through such suffering, and he did not notice. These responses are...

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