We Must Work to Prevent Teen Suicide

We Must Work to Prevent Teen Suicide

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     Each year, thousands of our children are dying, not from cancer or car accidents, but by their own hands. They make the choice to take their lives. The number of teenagers who take their lives is rapidly increasing each year. Teen suicide has increased four-fold in the last few decades and is now the third leading cause of death among youth 15-25 years of age('Teen Suicide,';NP). In youth 5-14 years of age, suicide is the sixth leading cause of death('TeenSuicide,';NP). Teen suicide is out of control and no one seems to realize just how bad the issue is becoming. Society needs to be more aware of the causes and warning signs that often lead to suicide in young children.

     Depression is often associated with suicide, but the problem can usually be prevented with proper treatment such as counseling or anti-depressants. About five to ten percent of teens at some time in their life suffer from depression, and if not treated properly, depression can lead to suicide in almost fifteen percent of those troubled teens('The Demon Called Depression,';pg.12). Depression is the typical trigger for most suicide attempts. For example, in the novel Who Killed Christopher? by Irina Korschunow, a boy named Christopher suffered from depression for a while but no one ever figured it out until he roe in front of a car and committed suicide. Many factors can contribute to depression and eventually suicide. The first one would be negative thoughts and actions such as low self-esteem, perfectionism, substance abuse, heavy drinking, and eating disorders. If a teenager experiences any one of those problems that most likely means he or she will eventually suffer from depression. External and personal pressures may also be a contribution to depression. These include abuse, parental divorce, girlfriend/boyfriend breakups, pregnancy, loss of a loves one, and conflicts between parents. Those pressures on teens are the ones most closely related to suicide('The Demon Called Depression,';pg.12)

     Some teens, when faced with adult problems, do not know how to cope with them. That is why more parents, teachers, and friends need to be alert about troubled teens. Once a teenager is faced with depression, he or she will need extra special treatment to get their lives back on track. The National Mental Health Association has found that four out of five people who attempt suicide show at least one of the following depressive signs: an obsession with death, suicide threats, a drastic change in appearance or personality, strange behavior, a change in eating or sleeping habits, a drastic drop in grades, and the desire to give away one's belongings('The Demon Called Depression,';pg.

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12). When a teenager shows any one of those signs, they are usually suffering from some sort of depression and could be seriously thinking about suicide. A few not as common signs of depression could be behaviors such as abusing drugs, fighting, or even smoking cigarettes. Too many of our young people are dying because of the simple fact that they have no one to talk to or discuss their problems with. An estimated five hundred thousand teenagers try to kill themselves each year, and about five thousand succeed('Teen Suicide,';NP). Those statistics are right up there with cancer and homicide. There are so many ways teenage suicide can be prevented, but most adults do not want to be bothered or simply believe that their child is depressed or suicidal. More often than not the problem is swept under the carpet and ignored.

Our youth in America are important too, unfortunately in many cases, parents do not realize their child has a problem until it is too late.
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