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Teen Suicide

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Teenagers Have Problems Too

We are young and carefree. We go out all day to wild parties until complete exhaustion makes us return home at night. Binge drinking, mischievous behavior, and experimenting with drugs constitute part of some teensÐŽ¦ lives. Many adults do not think about a teen like this being depressed or having thoughts of suicide. They know nothing of the real stresses adults face. Many believe the problems teenagers have are trivial to those of grown adults. This is not always true.

He was sixteen at the time. He came from a strict Spanish family and was a sophomore at my school. He was an occasional troublemaker but presented no threat to anyone. He got below par to average grades, seemed to try hard to please his peers, and was generally a fun loving kid. His parents would come down on him because he did not live up to the standards his two older brothers set for him. They were both at the top of their class and very athletic. He, on the other hand, turned to drugs and started selling them at school. When his parents found out, they punished him severely. One night, he and his father got into a huge argument and his father struck him. Later on that night, he took his fatherÐŽ¦s work pants and snuck out of his house to a nearby cemetery. With his fatherÐŽ¦s pants, he tied one end around his neck and hanged himself from a tree.

The next day everyone heard the news at school over the loudspeaker. I was shocked. How could a kid with so much life ahead of him have so much anger that he would kill himself at sixteen? According to the University of Nevada, in the last decade, teenage suicides have jumped 300 percent for adolescent males and 230 percent for adolescent females ( As I was surprised by the death of my classmate, many people are often stunned when a member of an apparently happy and stable family commits suicide. While teens of all backgrounds commit suicide, I would like to focus on those whose lives appear to be enviable and what may be done to save the lives of those teens.

I believe that most teen suicides are the result of adults, parents, or friends not being able to deal with the realization that his son, daughter, or peer is suicidal. How can these teen suicides be stopped? One must first identify a suicidal teen by looking for ÐŽ§signsЎЁ. These can range from large events such as the death of a loved one, or something like their sexual orientation to poor school performance or a sudden change to drugs and alcohol. Second, the parent or person must be supportive to the teen and communicate with them openly, instead of either not talking about suicide in fear it may give the teen ideas or using punishment as a form or correcting the teenÐŽ¦s behavior. Third one should take the teen to get some counseling or to get a psychiatric evaluation to find out if the teen has a depressive disorder so they can be treated instead of thinking that the teen is just going though some normal emotional challenges, typical for that age.

Many teens behave much differently when they may be potentially suicidal. The oneÐŽ¦s that succeed are partially due to adults failing to notice signs of depression and potential suicide. National studies found that adolescent females attempt suicide more often than adolescent males, however, males complete suicide in far greater number than females due to males succeeding on their first attempt by using more deadly methods ( Once a teen is identified as suicidal, the success rate of suicide for that teen drops sharply. From this information one can conclude that support from adults and friends can prevent or stop a distressed teen from committing suicide.

The emotional stage that teens are in before they try to take their own life is ÐŽ§hopelessnessЎЁ ÐŽV when a teen is no longer able to cope with the emotional stresses of their lives. What should an adult look for to see if the teen is approaching suicide? In Why Suicide, a variety of ÐŽ§signsЎЁ are described that can be seen in a suicidal teen such as a loss or gain in appetite, sleeping all day or difficulty with sleeping, withdrawal from family, friends, and activities, sudden drug/alcohol abuse, extreme changes in personality or mood, giving away their prized possessions, and neglect of personal hygiene and appearance (Marcus 109). Sleeping and eating patterns change radically for some when under great amounts of stress. Teens are going though many psychological changes so it is difficult to tell if one is just feeling ÐŽ§downЎЁ or going though intense emotional pain. If this change in mood persists over time then one should take it seriously. A sudden turn to drugs and alcoh!

ol can indicate the teen trying to escape their problems that they may see as overwhelming. A teen that has decided to end his/her life often makes arrangements to have his prized possessions distributed among friends. Neglect of oneÐŽ¦s hygiene and appearance can also be a sign of the teen feeling hopelessness. There are very obvious signs as well such as threats of committing suicide and talk of death that should not be taken lightly. Many adults do not take these threats seriously thinking that the teen is just trying to ÐŽ§get their wayЎЁ, but for some that teen ends up dead.

Teenagers who had more chaotic childhoods are much more prone to taking their life than normal teens. According to Dr. LesterÐŽ¦s book, The Cruelest Death, these are the teens whose parents who move frequently, get divorced and remarry more (59). The upbringing of a child has much to do with the emotional and psychological stability he/she will have when facing problems. ÐŽ§A number of studiesÐŽKhave documented a high incidence of physical and/or sexual abuse during the childhoods of suicidal adolescentsЎЁ (Lester 56). Parents must be aware of their own actions. They should be more aware that these actions greatly disturb their childÐŽ¦s stability in the future, which in turn can make a teen more susceptible to suicide. Sexual orientation is also another factor. As I learned from Brian McNaughtÐŽ¦s speech at Broome Community College, as teenagers, some gays live in fear of other peopleÐŽ¦s reaction especially their own parents. They are more susceptible to depression because many feel out-casted and are tormented by the fact that they may not be accepted as homosexuals. As a parent or friend, one must be supportive and carefully word their opinions because this is a very vulnerable time the teen may be going though when he/she reveals this.

The ÐŽ§signsЎЁ that a teen may be suicidal may not always be obvious. For my classmate, a large part of it had to do with the disappointment that he felt when he came in contact



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