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Teen Suicide: A Growing Problem

Good Essays
'Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.';

Teen suicide as an extremely complex tragedy, that unfortunately happens all the time throughout the United States. There are friends, parents, and peers that are facing the misfortune of losing a young, close, loved one to suicide. Most people don't realize that adolescent suicide is common. They don't want to believe how often this occurs in the secure environment found in the small towns of America, as well as in its largest cities.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds, and the sixth leading cause for 5 to 14 year olds. Suicide accounts for twelve percent of the mortality in the adolescent and young adult group. Young males are more common than young woman suicides. These are only children who followed through with the suicide. For every successful suicide there are fifty to one hundred adolescent suicide attempts. In other words, more than five percent of all teenagers tried to commit suicide, and the number is still rising. It is scary to think that four percent of high school students have made a suicide attempt within the previous twelve months. In a small safe town like Avon, in the Avon High School where you and I practically live, you can see the faces of 22 students that have tried to commit suicide. That is enough to fill a classroom.

It is hard to precisely determine the cause of an adolescent suicide. But through notes that are left by the victim and the turn of events that have seemed to have taken place in the young person's world, common causes can be found.

Some of these are broken romances, family tension, problems at school, and other pressures. All though most of the time it is more than just one of these causes. There are many signs to look out for in a teen that will/may commit suicide. Child and adolescent psychiatrists recommend that if one or more of these signs occurs, parents need to talk to their child about their concerns and seek professional help when the concerns persist.

? Change in eating and sleeping habits.

? Withdrawal from friends, and family and regular activities.

? Violent actions, rebellious behavior or running away.

? Drug and alcohol use.

? Unusual neglect of personal appearance.

? Marked personality change.

? Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrati...

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...urt by this problem every day. But unlike most problems in America, this can be prevented. And it is being prevented with the help of such groups as the American Association of Suicide Sociology and The Suicide Prevention Group. Also local schools are developing stress questionnaires, so that they can evaluate their students on their stress and see if anyone may be suicidal. But it needs to go further than that. Parents, teachers, and other mentors need to be aware of any suicidal adolescents. They need to be aware of the signs, and educate themselves on how to deal with a suicidal teen. We can't just rely on organizations and the government to watch our own children, it is our responsibility, each and every one of us.

Throughout researching teen suicide for my I-search report, I have learned many things. That no matter where you live, even in a small, sheltered town, there lurks the devastating reality of teen suicide. That there is no escaping it, all you can do is try to prevent it. All though I found my topic extremely depressing, I also found an extreme profoundness while researching it. It made me realize just how lucky I am, that I am the one helping, not the one hurting.