The Epidemic Of Teen Suicide In America

1086 words - 4 pages

     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 their 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 incidents, but they are far from that. Suicide among teenagers is
indeed an epidemic 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...

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