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Child 2 Essay Research Paper Teenage SuicideSuicide

Child 2 Essay, Research Paper

Teenage Suicide

Suicide is the voluntary act of taking one s own life. In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers. Only accidents claim more lives each year. In 1987, there were more than 600,000 suicide attempts. Six thousand of them ended in death. That average out to about 16 dead teenagers every day. The national suicide rate in increasing every year. There are no signs that it is slowing down. The epidemic affects rich, poor, black, white, everybody (Stewart 10) . There are many different signs, methods, causes, myths and preventions of teen suicide.

What are the warning signs that tell us an individual is thinking of suicide? A prime warning signal in the preoccupation with the themes of death and dying. Many young people have been known to write poems, stories, essays, and songs about death and suicide shortly before their own self-inflicted death (Homer 19).

Another sign is talking about suicide and the wish to die. It is myth that those who talk about suicide will not do it. Studies have shown many of those who have killed themselves have given clear indications of their plans in advance, both in words and actions (Homer 19).

Indications that a person feels depressed, sad, and hopeless-complaints about feeling worthless and useless (Homer 19).

Giving away loved possessions such as a favorite jacket or sweaters. Also, making final arrangements or making a will might be a warning sign (Homer 19).

Changes in sleeping habits-the person who can stop sleep, or falls asleep easily, only of awaken after a short time and then like awake all night. Similarly the person who seems to be sleeping all the time may be at risk (Homer 19).


Changes in eating habits-a major weight loss or gain. In addition not being able to eat or gain. In addition, not being able to eat or a disinterest in food (Homer 19).

Sudden behavioral or personality changes should also alert family and friends that something is wrong. The most obvious behavioral change in young people is his or her appearance. Someone that has taken great probe in appearance suddenly appears not to care. More important is the sign of cheerfulness and hope in a person who has recently appeared sad and hopeless. Plans have already been made and the person feel good, because the pain will soon be over (Homer 20).

A sudden change in school performance is also suspect, as is the inability to concentrate or the inability to sit still. Any hobby or activity that is carried to extreme (Homer 20).

Increased use of drugs or alcohol. Most experts say that drugs or alcohol does not cause suicide, but alcohol and certain drugs are depressants. Use of such substances may increase any depression already present (Homer 20).

Excessive risk-taking-Driving to fast, as well as the lethal combination of drinking and driving, are the most obvious signs of risk-taking. The individual who is constantly injuring him or herself in accidents or who has frequent falls or broken bones, may be an individual who is at risk (Homer 20).

Some drugs, such as barbiturates, can shut down the brain, including its ability to regulate breathing. Other drugs, such as many antidepressants, not only affect consciousness but can have a direct and fatal affect on the heart (Chiles 67).

The amount of drugs taken is obviously important, as its purity. In addition to the

3 nature of the drug and the amount taken, a victim s state following an overdose will be affected by the length of time that passed. Also, tolerance of day can vary from person to person. Habitual narcotics users can tolerate much larger doses of drugs that someone who us not accustomed to using them. If other substances are taken with the drug used in an overdose, that too can affect the outcome ( Chiles 68).

Alcohol is frequently used by someone preparing for an overdose. It almost always make more ideally the effects of the other drug (Chiles 68).

Most male youths who commit suicide do so with guns and explosives. Hanging is the second most common method, while taking pills and poisons is the third. Female youths who kill themselves do so most often with pills and poisons, but in recent years, guns and explosives have become the second most common method. Hanging is the third method most often used by young female suicides. On the other hand, young males and females who attempt suicide, do not use such violent methods as guns and explosives. Most attempts have taken barbiturates, poisons, or slashed their wrists allows time for rescue (Evans and Farberow 18).

Suicide has become the tragic solution for growing number of young people, including adolescents, who experience problems that may seem unresolvable. For many, it has become increasingly difficult to be a young person in our society. A number of forces-cultural, social, biological, psychological can create unbearable stress. The pressure to succeed in school, is one major source of stressful friction between teenagers, college students, and parents. Unrealistic expectations of both young people and parents in this


regard can lead to extreme anxiety, communication problems are now considered by experts as being a leading suicide at risk factors in young people (Kuczen 251).

Stressful behavior is where the person acts nervously, irrationally, peculiarly, differently is one clue, or critical indicator of possible suicidal thoughts coupled or clustered with other verbal or behavioral clues, this often signals suicide (Kuczen 251).

The term depression is often referred to with the familiar expression being down in the dumps. Depression is widespread among teenagers and has been reported in children as young as six year old. It can be caused by a traumatic experience, poor nutrition, or chemical imbalance. The symptoms are closely related with those for stress (Kuczen 145).

More stress plan you can handle can cause depression. When you think of someone being depressed you probably imagine them weighed down with problems, moving slowly, sleeping a lot and crying. Since teenagers have a lot of energy, they can be wild and hyper when they are very depressed. Depression can ultimately lead to suicide (Cohen 128).

Suicide has been topic that most people avoid talking about, and over the years myths have replaced facts about suicide. Such wrong ideas only make understanding a suicide, or an at-risk teen, that much more difficult (Stewart 33).

One myth is that anyone who would attempt to commit suicide is crazy. This is not true, but it can be a very damaging idea to the teen who has been troubled or at-risk.

Hopelessness and despair are feeling that many of these teens have, and to be thought of as crazy only adds to their problems (Stewart 34).

Another myth is that any teen who commits suicide must have had terrible parents. Most parents of suicide victims cared about their children very much. In many cases the


family had trouble communicating. Stress and pressure caused by family problems often causes a teen to be at risk (Stewart 34-35).

One very dangerous belief about suicide is that anyone who talks about suicide would not really do it. This belief is dangerous because a teenager talking to friends or family about suicide might not be taken seriously. Anyone who mentions suicide s extremely troubled, and in a way, asking for help (Stewart 35).

It is generally accepted that most suicides are not due to terminal conditions. Instead they typically occur among individuals who have mental health problems, most often depression. These individuals feel unable to cope. The behaviors, verbal statements, and other circumstances can help others recognize that they are suicidal. Mental health services are generally available to intervene and prevent the vast majority of them from trying to end their pain by suicide (Hermes 156).

In addition to individual, group, and family therapy techniques, suicide prevention has been effected through crisis interventions and suicide prevention centers. These centers, developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s exist throughout the United States, Canada, and elsewhere in the world. Often these interventions are through phone contacts and some combination of referrals to community mental health services and therapists, emergency medical interventions, and inpatient and out patient therapy service (Hermes 156).

It is possible that no matter how hard we try, or how much we care someone we know could commit suicide. Young people who choose suicide see no easing of their pain in the future. If people can offer them hope, they may choose to live instead of dying.



Thesis: There are many signs, methods, causes, myths, and preventions for teenage suicide.

I. Warning Signs

II. Methods

A. Overdose

B. Guns & Explosives

III. Causes

A. Stress

B. Depression

IV. Myths

V. Prevention