Too Young To Die
edited: Saturday, January 26, 2002
By stephanie a dispoto
Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2002
Become a Fan
Why would someone want to end their life...before it has even begun?
To many adults, young people seem to have everything. They are in the prime of life, filled with strength, health and the beauty of youth. How many times have you thought "If only I were young again, I could do so much with my life. If I knew then what I know now..."?
If being younger would solve all of our problems, then why do we have these statistics?*
*Suicide is the THIRD leading cause of death of people ages 15-24
*Suicide is the FOURTH leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 14
*276,000 teenagers, 15-25 years old, try to kill themselves every year
*5,000 teenagers succeed
*Men COMMIT suicide FOUR times more than women
*Women ATTEMPT suicide FOUR times more than men
*Males use more violent methods, such as handguns to kill themselves
*Females usually tend to use methods such as overdosing on drugs or cutting themselves
*Gay and Lesbians are THREE times more likely to ATTEMPT suicide
*Suicide kills youth three to six times more than homicide
We MUST take the subject of suicide seriously. It doesn't seem right that a teen-ager - who has lived for such a short time - would choose to die. But adolescents who can't get over their depression sometimes do kill themselves. The numbers are disturbing, and yet they only partially convey the tragedy of teen and young adult suicide, since every victim leaves a hole in the fabric of their communities and schools, and an ongoing ache in the hearts of their families and friends.
Why has the youth suicide rate gone so high in recent years?
There is no ONE reason, there are many reasons for the current explosion of suicide among the young, but none is more important than the stress kids go through today.
The fact is that growing up today is more stressful than it's ever been before.
The teenage years are a period in ones life where everything seems to be turned upside down. You are learning new social roles, developing new relationships, making decisions on your future. When you are looking for answers to problems, sometimes, it just seems like no one has them - and when the search for answers to these daily life challenges is complicated by problems outside a teens control, such as divorce, domestic violence, abuse, confusion about one's sexual identity, or drug or alcohol abuse, in environments like this, normal problems can seem as if your whole world is collapsing. Many teens feel as if they have nowhere to turn and result in dealing with taking away the pain with drugs or alcohol. Or they express their frustration and anger through violence or destruction. Then, when a crisis such as breaking up with your boy friend or girlfriend, the death of a pet, failing your Algebra test is added on top of all the emotions a young person is subjected to, some will result to the ultimate escape to end their pain.
What can we do? Most people who are depressed or who are thinking about committing suicide don't or won't talk about how they are feeling. In "Every 17 Minutes II - Myths and Misconceptions" we noted some of the warning signs to watch for. Now, let's take it one step further, and remember, this doesn't just apply to teens, it applies to anyone you feel might be depressed, might be suicidal:
Talk. Listen. Don't judge the person. Let them know there is help available, and MAKE THE CALL TO GET HELP IF THEY WON'T. Remember, they may have no hope. They deny their emotions or think that talking about their emotions will bother others because no one cares. They may even get mad at you for getting them help. Well, let them.
They will have a whole lifetime to thank you.
If you, or someone you know needs to talk with someone regarding suicide, please call:
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) National Hotline
*Statistics from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control