Suicide in Teens Paola Andrea Prefer Villae Miami Dade College Abstract Suicide is a growing problem in the united States, especially between the ages of 15-24. Many people fail to understand what suicide is all about. Often time’s people feel uncomfortable talking about suicide due to the lack of knowledge and think that teens who experience suicidal thoughts just want to manipulate or are been overestimated. For this reason is important to understand and comprehend the meaning of suicide and the psychological aspects of it.
According to the CDC teen suicide is the third leading cause of death in the United States after accidents and homicide. This essay will present the risk factors of suicide, what causes it, ways to identify a suicidal teens, and ways to prevent suicide or help someone having suicidal thoughts. Keywords: Suicide, Teens, Mental Disorder, Depression Teen Suicide Teen suicide is a growing problem in the united States. Often times these teens feel misunderstood, hopeless, and think that their only solution is to kill themselves.
People feel uncomfortable talking about suicide due to the lack of knowledge. Some people might think that suicidal people, especially teens, use this to manipulate, therefore they do not take it with the seriousness it entitles. In order to help someone thinking of suicide, first one has to understand the meaning of suicide and everything that it entitles. Suicide is the act of killing yourself, usually as a result of depression or other mental illness. In the United States, suicide accounts for about two percent of all deaths.
Teen suicide is a growing health concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third-leading cause of death for ages between 15 to 24-year-olds after accidents and homicide. One in five teenagers in the U. S. Seriously considers suicide annually, according to data collected by the CDC. In 2003, 8 percent of adolescents attempted suicide, representing approximately 1 million teenagers, of whom nearly 300,000 receive medical attention for their attempt; and approximately 1 ,700 teenagers died by suicide each year.
The risks increases dramatically when teens have access to weapons, such as firearms at home, and nearly 60% of all suicides in the United States are committed with a gun. According to the CDC suicide results in an estimated $34. 6 billion in combination with medical and work loss costs. Experts such as, Michelle Mocks, Jennifer Achilles, and Doug Gray, the causes of suicidal thoughts can be caused by psychological, environmental and social factors; mental illness been the leading risk factor for suicide.
Suicide risk-factors vary between age, gender, ethnic group, family dynamics and stressful life events. According to a 2004 report by the National Institute of Mental Health, research shows that some risk factors for suicide include depression and other mental disorders, and substance-abuse disorders which may be in combination with mental illness. More than 90 percent of people who die due to suicide have these risk factors.
Suicide thoughts frequently OCCUrs in combination with external circumstances that seem to overwhelm teens who are unable to cope with the challenges of adolescence. Examples of stresses are domestic violence, a loss of a family member or a friend, being the victim of bullying sexual orientation confusion, and physical and sexual abuse. There are many behavioral indicators that alp family and friends to identify suicidal behavior/thoughts in a loved one.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAME) this signs are extreme personality changes, loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable, significant loss or gain in appetite, difficulty falling asleep or wanting to sleep all day, fatigue or loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, withdrawal from family and friends, neglect of personal appearance or hygiene, sadness, irritability, or indifference, having trouble concentrating, extreme anxiety or panic, drug or alcohol use or abuse, aggressive, seductive, or defiant behavior, and poor school performance.
Currently, there are suicide prevention programs that have trained mental health professionals and other public educators who have the sufficient knowledge to recognize who is at risk of suicide and provide them with the help needed. Some of this organizations are: The Teen Screen Program which is a community-based mental health screening program for young people that accurately identifies youth who are suffering from mental illness or are at risk of suicide. The program’s primary objective is to help young people suffering room depression or other mental health problems and their parents in dealing and coping with the situation.
Stop a Suicide Today is a school based suicide prevention program that has had documented success of reduction in reported suicide attempts. The program was developed by Harvard psychiatrist Douglas Jacobs. This organization teaches people how to recognize the signs of suicide in family members, friends and co-workers, and encourages people to make a difference in the lives of their loved ones. (Stop Suicide Today Website) Apart from having organizations that are involved tit the community and the teens suffering from suicidal thoughts, there are also organizations such as The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Their mission is to provide immediate assistance to individuals in suicidal crisis by connecting them to the nearest available suicide prevention and mental health service provider. This organization is the only national suicide prevention and intervention telephone resource funded by the Federal Government. (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website) Not only can these organizations help, but family members and friends can help too. The most important thing to do is to communicate and let them know they are not alone.
Listen to them, most of the time people with suicidal thoughts just need someone to be there for them and know someone cares. Family and friends need to take the incentive in order to prevent suicide in their loved one. Suicide is a very serious topic that should not be taken lightly, people need to get educated on what suicide is all about. The growing suicide rate, especially between adolescents is alarming. There are many ways people can prevent suicide, the first step is understanding and talking about it, there is o need to feel ashamed or uncomfortable with the topic.