Life and Death

October 3, 2011
By Anonymous

She is a teenage girl who is battling depression. Her social skills have rapidly deteriorated. You are her parents who are being locked out of her life as she recoils from the outside world. You are the parents who are clueless of her attempts to commit suicide, clueless of the rope and the chair in her bedroom that she uses to hang herself. She is part of the 30,000 people who commit suicide each year and you are part of the 30,000 who won’t know it until it’s too late. You, as teen parents, should actively encourage your children to physically take part in team sports to help maintain both the social and mental well-being needed to prevent suicidal thoughts and actions.

Teenagers are becoming increasingly violent towards their bodies as a way to relieve the overpowering depression they face on a daily basis. Suicide is the result of more than 12.9% of deaths that occur in the age range of 15-24 years. 120,000 to 750,000 people try to commit suicide each year. It is proven that more females attempt suicide, but more males are successful; it is also proven that physical activity decreases depression, stress and anxiety by offering social support. “Females who exercised 1 to 2 times per week were less likely to feel hopeless, compared to inactive females.” stated Taliaferro. Parents, like you, are losing your children when physical activity is an easy step to prevent suicide. What your children really want is for you to step in when they need it most, even if they don’t directly tell you. Thus you should encourage your children to live a more active lifestyle.
Teenagers put more emphasis on their physical appearance than any other aspect of their life. Over 33% of adolescents are overweight, and high school students tend to “bully” people who fall under the category of the ugly ducklings. This is one of the main causes of suicide. Teens with suicidal thoughts often have a lower self-esteem because their peers don’t accept them for who they are. They tend to feel lonely, unwanted, unloved and extremely insecure. Do you realize your children are feeling this way? You have to take the initiative to dig deeper when your children are in the critical stage of adolescence. Participating in athletics helps teenagers keep their body in check and healthy. Activities, such as sports, helps provide the social stability and acceptance teens are longing for.

The depressed teenage girl demonstrates how social disadvantages can impose suicidal thoughts on teens. Current Issues states, “Individuals are more likely to kill themselves if they are isolated from other people.” This is the point where you as parents step in and make them feel worthy. School sports provide the ideal environment for healthy activity and social interaction. They are forced to work with other people and function as a team rather than an isolated individual. Bonds are formed when participating in team activities that provide the teen with a sense of acceptance. Concentration and goals build up the mental wellness of an athlete as well.

Suicidal thoughts are often times the result of feelings such as hopelessness or being inadequate. People who have thoughts of suicide often feel they can’t cope with the
obstacles life throws them, and they begin to view death as their only solution out of their misery. In reality, there are people all around going through those same exact struggles. Often times teens put on a mask, keeping their struggles to themselves, causing them to go mentally insane. You should encourage your children to interact with their peers and take time to express their feelings. Let your children know that they can confide in those around them in order to reduce the risks of suicidal thoughts.

She’s a ray of sunshine, a social butterfly. She’s an athlete and happy. You are her parents, staying active in her life and watching your daughter grow up healthy. You are her cheerleaders on the sideline. She is the life every teen deserves; you are the ones who prevented her from committing suicide. You gave her hope. Physical activity is a healthy way to express ones doubts and frustrations. It provides a stable environment for both social and mental wellness and growth. Children are experiencing instability throughout their adolescent years, and you need to be their rock. You need to look for the red flags in your child’s life, take it upon yourself to make sure they are mentally, socially and physically healthy. Suicide can easily be prevented if you play an active role in your children’s lives. Parenting is like being reborn, you have to re-experience adolescent struggles and learn how to once again relate to them.

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