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Suicide Essay Research Paper 1 Suicide

Suicide Essay, Research Paper

(, 1)

Suicide is intentional self-inflicted acts that end in

death(”Suicide,” Compton’s). After a series of traumatic

events, normal coping abilities can be pushed over the edge;

the result may be suicide. In each year, an average of

30,000 suicide deaths occur in the United States. It is

estimated that 5,000 of those suicides are committed by

teenagers(SAVE, 2). One major reason that the suicide rate

among teenagers is so high, is that the teenage years are a

period of commotion. New social roles are being learned,

new relationships are being developed, bodily changes are

occurring, and decisions about the future are being made

during the teenage years.

Teenagers tend to commit suicide after large changes,

significant losses, or abuse has occurred in their lives.

An important change in a relationship, school or body image

may contribute to a teenagers’ tendency to commit suicide.

The death of a loved one, the loss of a valued relationship,

and the loss of self esteem are some significant losses

which might be a factor in teen suicide(”The Real World

[Suicide: Facts],” 1). Perceived abuse such as physical,

emotional, psychological, sexual, social abuse or neglect

can lead to self-murder(”Teen Suicide,” 3). Significant

changes, losses, and abuse can promote suicidal tendencies.

Few suicidal people have some type of depression, yet

those who have one can be provoked to commit suicide. There

are two main types of depression suffered by

(, 2)

suicidal people(”Suicide,” {Grolier}). The first type is

reactive depression. This type of depression is the

reaction of a difficult and often traumatic experience.

Endogenous depression is the second type of depression. It

is the result of a mental illness which is diagnosable by a

professional. Some suicidal people have a combination of

both reactive depression and endogenous depression. Others

could have a depression which is undiagnosed. A persistent

sad mood, thoughts of suicide, persistent physical pains

that do not respond to treatment, difficulty concentrating,

irritability and fatigue are some symptoms of

depression(American Psychiatric Association, 4). If a

person has four or more of the symptoms lasting for more

than two weeks, that person could have a type of depression.

Those people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and

clinical depression have much higher suicide rates than

average(Tom Arsenault, 2).

Teenagers display warning signs of suicide. The

indications come in two ways. First exhibited are the early

warning signs. These signs include difficulties in school,

depression, drug abuse, sleep and eating disturbances, and a

loss of interest in activities. Restlessness, feelings of

failure, overreaction to criticism, overly self-critical,

anger, and a preoccupation with death or Satan are also some

signals teenagers contemplating suicide will give(”Teen


(, 3)

3). The other type of clues are late warning signs.

Talking about death, neglecting appearance, a feeling of

hopelessness, a sudden improvement in personality, and

giving away possessions are some of the typical late warning

signs given by a suicidal teenager(”Teen Suicide,” 4). Not

everyone who portrays these symptoms is suicidal. In order

to know if a person is really thinking about committing

suicide, someone needs to ask them. Offering other ways to

deal with a suicidal persons’ problems, may save their life.

Most teenagers contemplating suicide would not commit it, if

they knew of another way out. By talking with someone who

is suicidal, that person might see that there are people who

love them.

Despite the efforts of people to stop a teenager from

committing suicide, some succeed. The statistics of

considered and completed suicide are shocking. Ten percent

of teenage boys admit that they have attempted suicide.

Girls in their teens have a much higher percentage(eighteen

percent), which will admit that they unsuccessfully tried to

commit suicide. A teenager in 1990 was twice as likely to

die from suicide than a teenager growing up in 1960. One of

the most startling teenage suicide facts is that since 1961,

there has been a tripling of completed teenage suicide(”The

Real World [Suicide: Facts],” 1-3).

When a teenager is able to successfully commit suicide,

they leave behind family and friends. In a

(, 4)

normal death situation, people usually feel grief. When a

teenager performs suicide, family and friends left behind

experience many feelings. A feeling of confusion and great

distress over unresolved issues is very common. Family

members and friends often feel anger and resentment after a

suicide. These emotions can cause friends and family to

become very isolated feeling. A friend or family member may

find that it is difficult to relate to other people after a

suicide. These people may decide that other people view

them as a failure because they were unable to stop someone

close to them from committing suicide. A fear of forming

new relationships after a person has completed suicide is

common. People feel that by creating new relationships,

they might be hurt and experience the same pain they are

going through. In order to help people who have

experienced the suicide of someone they deeply cared about,

“survivor groups” have been created (”Suicide-Frequently

Asked Questions,” 6). Knowing they will be accepted without

being judged or condemned, helps a person go to a “survivor

group.” At a meeting, the people’s intense burden of

unresolved feelings may be lessened.

Suicide is the third leading killer among

teenagers(SAVE-Suicide AwarenessVoices of Education, 6).

Suicide can be committed for a number of reasons. Anyone

who talks about suicide, should be taken to see a

professional. The most important way to prevent suicide

(, 5)

is to talk.

(, 6)

American Psychiatric Association. “Teen Suicide.” APA

Joint Commission on Public Affairs and the Division

of Public Affairs. 1988. Pages 1-5.

Arsenault, Tom. “Did You Know?” http://www.save.org/

index.html//save@winternet.com. 1996. Pages 1-4.

“The Real World [Suicide: Facts].” http://www.paranois.

com/%7Ereal/suicide/facts.html. 1996. Pages 1-3.

SAVE-Suicide AwarenessVoices of Education. http://www.

save.org. 1996. Pages 1-6.

“Suicide.” Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia.

Compton’s NewMedia, Inc. 1994.

“Suicide-Frequently Asked Questions.” Oxford University

Libraries Automation Service. http://www.lib.ox.


19 July 1996. Pages 1-8.

“Suicide.” Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia. Grolier

Electronic Publishing, Inc. 1995.

“Teen Suicide.” American Academy of Child and Adolescent

Psychiatry. 1996. Pages 1-5.

Teenage Suicide

Psychology 100

December 19, 1996