Teenage Suicide

Teenage Suicide

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     When people think about suicide, they think about someone taking their life away on purpose, or in other words it means, “to kill yourself” (Marcus 1). Suicide is a dramatic word that can change the way people view things in life. It is a thought that brings a teen to the point of self-murder. It is an event where a young one feels desperation and pain just before pulling the trigger or jumping off the bridge. Many of those who have thought about suicide or have committed suicide have done so because their life has changed, and many are having difficulty adjusting to it. It is a time where everything seems to go wrong, and a person starts to feel empty inside. It is like a mystery that could happen to young, old, rich and poor. The only thing a person can do when there are signs of suicide is to prevent it from happening, but why is it that people turn over to suicide, and how can a person prevent it from happening?

There are about eighty deaths for teenage suicide every day in the United States, and there are about one thousand five hundred teens that attempt suicide. Many fail suicide, which is a good thing. After trying to attempt suicide for the first time, many can attempt to cry for help before a second attempt is made. People need to keep in mind that if a person turns to suicide and achieves suicide, there is nothing a community can do. But there are always many ways in which people can help suicidal teens. Even though there are teenagers who truly want to die, there are ways in which anyone can help if there are warning signs of suicide.

In this case there are many ways in which a teenager could turn over to suicide. Loneliness, depression and the abuse of drugs and alcohol are just a few ways. A loss in a teen’s life could be very traumatizing, and losing a loved one for any reason may bring teenagers into the borderline of killing themselves. Being left out and not fitting in with a new group could often lead a teenager into feeling lonely. Loneliness causes a person to lose hope in life. Not having someone to talk to can make a person feel that they are nothing in this world.

     Depression is another affect that can lead a person into suicide.

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“Depression is a disease that produces physical emotional, and mental symptoms.” (Lewis 38) It is a disease that could be difficult to recognize, because teenagers often worry that if they tell someone how desperate they are feeling, they will not be taken into consideration. People can detect a person who is going through depression by excessive anxiety dullness or crying. The longer depression continues, the more dangerous it becomes.

     Drugs and alcohol are very dangerous and an overdose or the wrong combination of drugs can kill a person. This means that the more addicted a person gets when they are young, the more of a chance the abuse can lead to death or harm. Drugs and alcohol can be very addictive due to depression and many teens feel that taking drugs and drinking alcohol will help solve their problems.

There are many others ways in which a person can turn suicidal, but there are also ways in which a person can help prevent teen suicide before it is too late. “Young people who choose suicide see no easing of their pain in the future. If we can offer them hope, they may choose to live instead of to die.” (Handwreck 68) It is never too late to prevent suicide.

     Being a friend to a suicidal person is the most important thing a person can do. Listen to what they have to say in order for a friend to make a move. Listening to a suicidal person is very different from chatting with a non-suicidal friend. “Learning the “dos” and “don'ts” of dealing with a suicidal person may mean the difference between life and death.” (Jacobs 80) When there are warnings of having a suicidal friend, never keep it a secret. Let others know what the problem is. Always as questions that could give information. These questions could be:

1) Why are you so unhappy?
2) Has anything happened to make you feel so unhappy?
3) Does anyone else know the way you feel?
4) Have you thought about harming yourself?
5) What would make things better for you?
6) What can I do to help you right now? (Handwreck 66)
These questions can make the suicidal friend feel comfortable. At times a troubled friend doesn’t like the idea of turning to a teacher or a parent. They feel more comfortable turning to a close friend, a friend on whom they can count on.

     If the problem has been ongoing, remind the suicidal friend of other problems that have been solved. Remind him or her of successes that turned out well in life. Always sound like there is care for a suicidal person. “I’m worried about you and I want to help you” or “I understand,” (78) can be some things that can be said. Always arrange another time in which a get-together can be made. Don’t just let go of a friend and keep in touch with them. “Always acknowledge the person’s feeling of helplessness. You can say I can see how you feel.” (Hyde 103) Taking some of these questions, talk calmly, listen carefully and sympathize.

     Never keep it a secret. A suicidal friend usually wants to keep it a secret. Keeping it a secret will not help much. Always let people who can be counted on know what is felt inside. “Many young people feel awkward about approaching the troubled teens parent directly. They are afraid the parents will be angry or will not listen.” (77). This is true in some cases, but here are always ways in which help can be obtained. Not only are there friends that can help, but there are also many adults that are willing to help. There are local agencies such as, “youth center, the police department, a hospital emergency room, a mental clinic, a family service organization, or a crisis hotline center.” (Francis 39)

     Peer counseling is a way in which many suicidal teenagers seek help from. Peer counseling in school is a way in which many teenagers can get help from. Teens like to communicate with each other, because they know they will be successful in helping each other out. Counselors can also help to recognize dangers signs, and could help stay alert to life threatening situations. Getting this kind of professional help can create a good atmosphere for the person who has been thinking about committing suicide. “It makes the patient express his or her feelings freely, so that the intensity of those feelings diminishes.” (Handwerk 68)

     Getting this kind of professional help causes the patient to go through many changes. A patient is there to discover why they feel the way they do. Many patients discover that they are angry with someone in their life. Helping a person prevent suicide can make a person feel good about them self. Virginia, who has thought about suicide at some point in her teenage years, states that:

Apparently I still wanted to live, because I wanted to get to a psychiatrist. I never missed an appointment. My psychiatrist was a big man, full of life. After the initial visit, he prescribed an antidepressant, and then I met with him twice a week for the first few months. He told me that I should stay away from all the depressing novels and books that I was reading because they were just going to ruin my life. (102)
After Virginia had attempted suicide, the only thing she could think of, was to try and prevent the thought about suicide from happening again. She sought professional help, and she learned new things about her life. Virginia feels like a new woman and feels that her psychiatrist is like a hero to her. He has changed the way she views life today. Virginia no longer reads depressing books that made her feel bad towards her self.

     A major concept that can prevent suicide is removing weapons of choice. Having a suicidal friend with a weapon can be a warning. Try and avoid for a suicidal friend to get a hold of a weapon because the first thing that a suicidal friend turns to is a weapon. They have no other thought in their minds but to shoot themselves.

     Many suicide thoughts can cause harm and could lead a young person into killing themselves. As Eric Marcus, in “Why Suicide?” explains that there are many ways in which a person can kill themselves:

There is a handful of ways in which a person can commit suicide, but the most common include firearms, hanging, drugs, motor vehicles exhaust, and jumping from high places. The less frequently used methods include suffocation by plastic bags, drowning, slashing, natural gas, crashing cars and airplanes, jumping from a airplanes, electrocution, starvation, jumping from or in front of moving vehicles, injection of many numbers of agents, burns, cold, explosive, and leaping into an active volcano. (46)

     The only way people can prevent teen suicide is by helping respond to the thought before it is too late. Preventing teen suicide involves many different things. It involves helping a friend walk their way out, peer counseling, or getting the message out.

     When a friend talks about killing himself, pay attention to them. If they talk about suffocating themselves, try and let them know how concern a person can get. Don’t go along with them; try to express a concern expression. Remember that suicide is not only a personal tragedy, but it is also a tragedy for the entire community. When a community finds out that someone has committed suicide, they feel that they somehow failed that person.

      Getting the message out to people can be a big factor in preventing suicide in teens. Providing any information such as numbers to hotlines, counselors, or arranging a school assembly dealing with teen suicide can also be a big help. Suicide prevention centers, such as crisis hotlines, family physicians, and teachers are some of the different community resources available to help a suicidal individual.

     Some of these programs, however, are questionable because there is a controversy about whether or not suicide prevention centers can actually prevent suicide. The overall study, however; is that suicide preventions centers may show beneficial effects that will help diminish the rate of suicide in teenagers. These programs are especially designed for junior and senior high schools.

     The best part about these programs is that they are designed to help a suicidal individual. Many teenagers have committed suicide and there is nothing a person can do to bring them back. The only thing that can be done is help others teens who have thought about suicide. There are usually warning signs of suicide, and people as a community can always prevent a teenager from attempting suicide. It is always nice to see a firefighter save a person from a burning building as well as to see a person helping their suicidal friend from dying.

Works Cited

Cook, Blanche Wiesen. Eleanor Roosevelt. Penguin Books, New York 1993. Volume
1: 1854-1933

Davidson, James West. Nation of Nations. McGraw-Hill. Texas 2001.

Toor, Rachel. Eleanor Roosevelt. Chelsea House Publisher, New York, Philadelphia
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