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Teen Suicide

Teen Suicide

Research has it that suicide comes third among the leading causes of death among teenagers between the age of fifteen years and twenty four year, after auto accidents and homicide (Corr, and Joan 35). The above trend sends a message to the caring and responsible adults to be informed and be aware of this disturbing contemporary youth culture aspect. It a high time to systematically and carefully think about what can be done for the society to re-examine this self-destructive behavior tide.

Studies have it that suicidal behaviors among teenagers are normally rooted in multiple economic, social, individual and familial risk factors, with issues related to mental state playing a significant role in the overall set up. Suicide is viewed as an action that results from perfect storm of interrelated and complex psychological problems, with most of the cases taking place without the direct conscious control of the victim.

There are a number of factors that increase the risk of young people attempting suicide and they include, feeling helpless or lonely, depression, drug or alcohol addiction, a family history of suicide, abuse, or violence, and previous attempts to commit suicide, recent lose such as break-up, death, parent divorce, stress over relationship or school, and bullying.  Perceived lack of interest from the parents is a leading factor when it comes to teen suicide, with statistics having it that in more than 90% of the suicidal cases among the teens, the victims had the notion that their families failed to understand them (Crook 4)

Both the girls and boys are at equal risk of committing suicide. Teenage girls have been observed to be at a higher risk of attempting suicide through cutting or overdosing, leading to hospitalization. The teenage boys have a four to five chance of dying when they attempt suicide, considering the fact that they use more lethal means such as jumping from heights, use of fire arms, or hanging.

Suicide has also been recognized as the second leading death cause of teens between the age of ten to nineteen years, and this percentage accounts for more than 17% of the total deaths recorded in this age group (Klerman 2). Teenagers with an adequate support network coming from family, friends, peer groups, religious affiliations, or extracurricular activities tend to have outlets to deal with day to day frustrations.

However, most teens do not believe they have the ability and feel isolated and disconnected from friends and family.

Such teens are at higher risks of committing suicide, most of the teenagers confess that the reason why they attempted suicide was because they were trying to run away from situations that to them were impossible to handle to get relief from bad feelings or thoughts.  Most of the teens who have attempted suicide at some point in their lives, have done so as an escape from feelings of hurt, rejection, or loss. Some of the teens do it out of shame, anger or guilty about something (Crook 4)

The majority of the teens who commit or attempt suicide have a substance related or mental disorder which interferes with their healthy cognitive processes and hinders them from coping normally with strains, stress, and disappointment of life. In most cases of clinical depression, a condition which is caused by particular brain chemistry like low serotonin levels, and which often has genetic and biological causes, is a determinative puzzle.

Family and personal history, lack of interests from the parents, conflicts at home, various personal disorders, past trauma or abuse, or mental illnesses are also some of the leading causes of teen attempting or committing suicide. The other causes include dramatic impulsiveness, hormonal instability, lack of experience which is typical of most of young adults and adolescents, and immaturity (Frank 7)

Teen suicide cases affect the families and the friends left behind. As much as the friends and families will pretend to go back to their day to day activities, they are often still occupied by the loss of their loved one. In an effort to avoid bothering those around them, they tend to be withdrawn from normal socializing. The sense of being deceived by a loved one or a close relative causes low self-esteem as well as nourishes feelings of shame and inferiority. Aggressive confrontations towards teenagers which might have led to the teen to end his or her life are likely to cause a feeling of guilt. The families and friends subsequently experience added psychological stress of reduced social support and societal blame.

A teen’s suicidal act reflects motives of revenge and punishment directed towards unresponsive friends and family and such action to them may seem successful. Some of the friends and family members find this too much to handle to the level that they think of committing suicide themselves. The families are left with the puzzle of what did they not do right or what was that issue that was so serious that had to be solved by taking one’s life, and such questions continue to haunt them for years, always wishing that they could do something or avoided doing something for their loved one to still be around.

As the academic community has come up with a number of theories to explain the alarming rates of attempting or committing suicide among teens, some people surmise that there exists a strong philosophical and spiritual dimension to this alarming trend. The increase in teen suicide cases is viewed as an outgrowth of the modern society secularization. It is considered as an expression of malaise, hopelessness, and desensitization to the life values that characterize a large number of the teens and the coming generation. It makes part of the fallout of living in this world, without meaning, without purpose, and without God.

There are several strategies that can be employed at the local community level to try and control the alarming teen suicide rate. Some of the initiatives include concerned friends coming together to find creative methods of raising awareness of the issue. In many societies, suicide is viewed as a taboo subject, and is rarely talked about, as it is believed that talking about it may encourage the act. The community groups should come up with initiatives of dealing with such misconception through open and frank discussions and airing of fears related to suicide tension and doubts.

Pastors, community leaders, parents, educators, teachers, local churches representatives, and public officials should be in the fore front in facilitating such initiatives in churches, schools, and other social places. On the home front, the groups should do anything to help families to invest more effort and time in the developing family bonds that are strong and coming up with communicative and open relationships with their teenage daughter and sons. Organize family nights that are church based, mother to daughter luncheons, and father to son outings.






















Works Cited

Corr, Charles and Joan, McNeil. Adolescence and Death. Springer Publishing Company, New York, 2006. Print

Crook, Marion. Every Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenagers and Suicide. Self-Counsel Press, Vancouver, 2008.

Crook, Marion. Every Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenagers and Suicide. Self-Counsel Press, Vancouver, 2008.

Frank Trovato, “Suicide in Canada: A Further Look at the Effects of Age, Period and Cohort,” in Canadian Journal of Public Health, Vol. 79, No. 1, January/February 2008

Klerman, Gerald., editor. Suicide and Depression among Adolescents and Young Adults. American Psychiatric Press, Inc., Washington, 2006.




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