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Suicide in Teens

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Suicide is the third leading cause of death in people aged 15-24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even more alarming, is the fact that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in people aged 10-14, according to the CDC. Teen suicide is becoming a major issue in the United States today with males making up 84% of it. The suicide rate for teenagers is rising, and it is important to know why. Attempted suicides actually outnumber suicides. Because males often choose more violent methods, they are often more successful. In 2009, 6.3% of high school students attempted suicide. To prevent suicide, it is important to know what leads to it, and how to treat the causes.

There are many different risk factors that can contribute to the cause of suicide. There is so much pressure put on teens, like fitting in socially and performing academically, that puts them under a ton of stress and worry. Major life changes and bullying can also put suicidal thoughts into teens minds. Major life changes can include parents divorcing, moving, death of someone close to the teen, or a parent leaving due to military services. This puts thoughts into the teens' mind that they are different. But the most common factor is depression. Those who have depression have feelings of hopelessness or anxiety. Sometimes teenagers think suicide is the only way to solve their problems, when it most certainly isn't. There could be signs that a teen is showing, but you just aren't catching them.

It is important to know what some major signs that teens show include. Some of the most common signs to look for are they talk about death/suicide, even in a joking manner, says that nobody cares for him/her, has attempted suicide in the past, lose interest in their favorite activities, or shows signs of depression. Look and listen for these signs especially after a major stressful life event like a breakup, a divorce, or a major family conflict. What is difficult about some of these signs is that some look like normal teenager behavior. That's why it is important to be on the lookout and talk with teens.

Often, preventing suicide means you have to treat depression, since 75% of the people who commit it are depressed, according to the University of Texas. If you have a friend, son, daughter, or relative that you think might commit suicide, never leave them alone, and seek help immediately. There are three different methods that can help a teen, which I think are necessary. They are counseling, treatment, and medication. Of course, medication is a last resort because anti-depressants have been said to increase the risk of suicide. The most important treatment is support. If family members or members of the community support a child and give them words of encouragement, it lifts their spirits.

If you know that a friend or family member is thinking about suicide, get help as soon as you can. A doctor can refer you to a psychologist or a psychiatrist, or you can call (800) SUICIDE. Suicide is not the way to get rid of problems. By attempting or successfully committing suicide, it hurts not only you, but others as well.



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