Suicide: A Growing Issue

October 19, 2013
In the U.S. today, suicide is the third leading cause in death among teenagers. Everyone assumes that suicide is done because the person is weak and selfish or that they just wanted an easy way out. What they do not know is that they are completely wrong. There are three main causes for why teens all around are deciding to end their life. These causes can all be avoided or stopped, but for some reason, they all still occur. The three causes are bullying, mental disorders, and abuse.

Bullying, whether it is cyber, verbal, or physical, is the first main cause for why teenagers commit suicide. Those who have been bullied are two to nine times more likely to commit suicide. Victims of bullying are always told to not let it get to them, to tell an adult, or to just get over it while the bullies get away with destroying someone’s life. First off, telling someone who is being bullied to not let it get to them is like telling someone with cancer to not let it get to them. If someone is calling you names, threatening you, or hitting you, chances are it is going to upset you in some way, shape, or form. Secondly, telling an adult is a good thing to do, if the adult actually does something about it. When I was in eighth grade, my best friend was subject to some pretty bad bullying. So, she went and told the principal. The principal said he’d look into it and call her back into the office. Weeks went by, the bullying continued, and he never called her back into the office. So, she went to the counseling office and told the counselor s. They listened to her story and said they would put a stop to it. Before we knew it, it was the end of the year, she was still receiving messages about how “fat and ugly” she was, she was still being written about on the bathroom walls, and they never did anything. Thankfully, she did not commit suicide. However, she still did suffer from other effects, such as self harm and low self esteem. When it comes down to it, adults do not really do much when it comes to bullying. Lastly, you do not just tell someone to get over bullying. It is impossible because no matter how much you try to block it out you can still hear everyone’s words sinking into your head and eating you away before you cannot take it anymore. While all of this is happening to kids, people still say that bullying is just “kids being kids”. The truth is that they do not want to accept the truth that bullying is a growing issue and is turning into thousands of dead teenagers. While bullying is very serious and bad, it can and should be prevented. If a teacher knows of a school bully, that teacher could call the students parents and let them know. If the child is still bullying, the teachers should take higher actions, such as suspension or expulsion. Bullying is tolerated more than it should be, and it needs to be stopped.

Mental disorders are the second cause of suicides. A majority of people today view mental disorders as fake, all because you cannot see it. The truth behind mental disorders is that even though they cannot be seen they are still just as bad as any physical ailment. For example, depression cannot be seen on the outside and is usually dismissed as being lazy due to the extreme fatigue that can be experienced. However, depression occurs when the chemical serotonin is lacking in the brain. This can be fixed very easily by a doctor. Unfortunately, people who suffer from a mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, paranoia, schizophrenia, etc, will go untreated in fear of being seen as an “attention seeker.” In doing so, they are putting themselves at a higher risk of committing suicide. Untreated depression is actually the number one cause of suicide. Depression can also be caused by a traumatic event such as the death of a loved one, divorce (whether it be your own or your parents), loss of hope, and low self esteem. All of it can be resolved by being treated, but besides feeling like an “attention seeker”, another reason people do not seek medical attention for a mental disorder is because of the cost of medicine. When you go to a check-out line at a grocery store, you might see a fund for someone who has cancer or needs a new kidney. Usually, the container for the money is at least half-way full. What if when you went to the check-out line, you saw a fund for someone with schizophrenia? Most likely, there would be little to no money in it because people do not find it as relevant as needing a new appendage. All in all, if people were to give a helping hand to those with mental disorders like they do to people with cancer, then maybe, just maybe, more people would be cured and less people would kill themselves.

Abuse is the third cause of suicides. Abuse comes in three common forms, known as physical, verbal, and sexual. A myth about abuse is that it happens to everyone in the house when in fact; it is common for parents to abuse only one child while the others are fine. Physical abuse usually occurs when the parents is stressed out with work, bills, and other assorted things in life, and the parents takes out their anger on their child by hitting them or putting them in pain in any assortment of ways. Physical abuse can be spotted in kids by these warning signs: unexplained bruises, marks, and/or cuts, unexplained burns, fractures, abdominal injuries, unbelievable explanations for injuries, nervous when is subject to any physical contact, becomes upset when they have to leave a protected environment, absence from school, double dressing, and habit disorders. Verbal abuse usually occurs because the parent feels as if their child is better than them, so they lash out due to their own low self esteem. Signs that someone is being abused are being sensitive to even the smallest comments, feeling worthless, lack of communication among peers, and low self esteem. Sexual abuse occurs usually when the abuser has been abused themselves, causing them to also carry on the link of abuse. Sexual abuse is usually done to someone by a relative or a close friend. Signs that someone is being sexually abused are difficulty walking or sitting, suddenly refuses to participate in gym or physical activities, nightmares or bedwetting, sudden change in appetite, a fear of a certain gender (usually that of their abuser), a sudden knowledge and expression of sexual behavior, rash or redness in the genital area, and stomach pains. All of these types of abuse are horrific and can no doubt lead to suicide. Although abuse can be hard to prevent since you cannot easily see it coming, it can be fixed. If a teacher or parent notices any of these signs being exhibited from a child, they need to take action and call authorities. Even if it is a false alarm, often times it won’t be, and you might end up saving someone.

Suicide among teenagers is a growing issue that seems to have no solution. On the contrary, there is in fact a solution. If you or someone you know is being bullied and the teachers at school are not taking action, take action yourself. Call the bully’s parents, call the police if necessary. If you or someone you know has a mental disorder, do not hesitate to tell someone. In the long run, it will help you or someone you know. If you or someone you know is being abused, tell someone immediately. There are many hotlines for abuse. There’s even a hotline for suicide prevention. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Everyone has a chance to make it through life and succeed. Just know life will never throw anything at you that you cannot handle.

Hotlines you can call if ever needed:
Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255, 1-800-784-8433
Hope Line: 1-800-394-4673
Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7743
Eating Disorder Hotline: 1-847-831-3488
Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673
Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272

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