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Teen Suicide Essay

The problem of teenagers’ suicide is one of the most burning social problems nowadays. For the past years the statistics shows us the fact that the rate of young people who committed a suicide in the Developed countries is growing rapidly, who knows how to solve the problems and prevent further growing and what are the reasons for such a behavior.

“The disease control agency’s analysis found that in 2004 there were 4,599 suicides in Americans ages 10 to 24, up from 4,232 in 2003, for a rate of 7.32 per 100,000 people that age. In the years before that, the rate had dropped to 6.78 per 100,000 in 2003 from 9.48 per 100,000 in 1990” (Carey, 2007). The statistics is deplorable and give a lot of thoughts. So why do the young people who have so many wonderful times ahead are committing a suicide?

There are so many indicators in the behavior of teenager that could help their parents or friend to recognize the suicide threat in a dear person. “Many warning signs and symptoms of teen suicide feelings are similar to those of depression. Parents should be aware of warning signs. If they see the signs, they should talk to the child about their concerns, and seek professional help. These signs include: Change in eating and sleeping habits, withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities, violent or rebellious behavior, or running away, drug and alcohol abuse, unusual neglect of personal appearance, radical personality change, persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of school work, frequent complaints about physical symptoms often related to emotions, such as stomach ache or headache, fatigue, Loss of interest in pleasurable activities, not tolerating praise or rewards” (Glenn 1986).

The previous information was given by qualified doctor a member of the Academy of Child psychiatry. The fact is that the symptoms of suicide commit are very notable and everyone could find out that something is going wrong.

Some journalists like Benedict Carey from the New York Times make parallels between growth of teenage suicide and antidepressant drugs: “Some psychiatrists argue that the reason for the increase is the decline in prescriptions of antidepressant drugs like Prozac to young people since 2003, leaving more cases of serious depression untreated. Others say that it is impossible to know if the increase is linked to patterns of antidepressant prescriptions. The one-year spike in suicides could be a statistical fluctuation, they say, and not the start of a trend.  The increase was particularly sharp among adolescents, especially girls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released the figures yesterday. The timing of the increase coincided with a public debate in the United States and overseas over whether the antidepressants increased the risk of suicide in a small percentage of young people who took them. In late 2004, after public hearings, the Food and Drug Administration called for drug makers to put a prominent “blackbox” warning on the drugs’ labels, cautioning about the possibility of increased suicide risk in minors” (Carey, 2007)
Another scientist Doctor Matthew Nock is keeping to the so called escape point of view: “Most teens interviewed after making a suicide attempt say that they did it because they were trying to escape from a situation that seemed impossible to deal with or to get relief from really bad thoughts or feelings. They didn’t want to die as much as they wanted to escape from what was going on. And at that particular moment dying seemed like the only way out. Some people who end their lives or attempt suicide might be trying to escape feelings of rejection, hurt, or loss. Others might be angry, ashamed, or guilty about something. Some people may be worried about disappointing friends or family members. And some may feel unwanted, unloved, victimized, or like they’re a burden to others” (Nock, 2008). He is also persuaded that the answer on the question why lies in the fact that the majority of people trying commit a suicide have strong depression that influences all their actions.

The fact is that the majority of young people think in this case only about themselves. They are persuaded that suicide will make them better and they never think about their parents and friends, who will suffer too from this problem.

The problem of teenage suicide increasing touched not only the United States. It is an acute problem all over the world. Some people connect teenage suicide with a very popular musical movement EMO. According to the NME : “An inquest in Maidstone has heard that Hannah Bond, a 13 year-old girl from Kent, committed suicide by hanging herself – and emo music has been blamed. The coroner who gave the verdict of suicide, suggested that the fact that Bond was an obsessive fan of such music was linked to her death” (NME, 2009).

A well known fact connected with teenage suicide and music is the death of so called pop idol. Kurt Cobain was quite an impressive figure in American music and after his death there was a great wave of fans’ suicide (teenage and mostly among girls between the age of 10-17) all over the world. How could this be explained? I think that the main reason lies in the psychology of teenager, at that period the formation of personality is going on and sometimes it is very difficult to understand youth.

It has always been difficult to find в the solution and the aim is to answer the question: Suicide won’t be common if… we have studied several examples of that who and why blamed either culture or antidepressant in growth of teenage suicide. I think that goth and emo cultures made death attractive for the young people, who eager to escape from everyday problems. The routine of everyday life and miserable social problems, lack of attention are the key reasons. Probably if some parents tried to speak more to their children it will be possible to avoid many cases. According to many psychologists the majority of teenagers wants to turn attention of dear people to them, to their solitude, to misunderstanding. I think that this theory is most verisimilar, than blaming the government because of they have changed the system of selling antidepressants or some cultural layers that influence the psychological statement of the child. I do not write off their influence and partial fault but the main reason and psychologists has proved that lies in the families and surrounding. Wrong intersocial communication, misunderstanding, and a wish to turn attention of dear people make them act in such a way. And if some parents and sometimes friends could even imagine what their actions and words may cause they would think twice before telling something offensive to a teenager who is probably in some kind of a “risk” zone. As kit was written earlier teens who are going to commit a suicide usually have a lot of in common and if it touches you in particular you can do anything. But the best way, to my mind is just trying to avoid difficult situations in any kind of relations and think not only about yourself but about the others too.

Sometimes I am coming to the idea that people, who tried to commit a suicide, were alone. They always seem to feel solitary and abandoned for me, as if they even have no other just to chat, to share their feelings and emotions and sometimes the influence of a certain culture make them act strangely. It is a well known fact that every person is dependent of social attitude and social influence, I think that these two factors are among so called “risk” factors. Teenagers could react on the words of disapproval in such a way, that they would try to commit a suicide thinking that they are not understood, either by friends or by parents. It is a very difficult question to explain why do people commit a suicide and everyone is giving his own reasons, but I am persuaded that all the reasons have psychological background. Nowadays some Americans are thinking that the reason of suicide rate increasing is because of governmental politics toward antidepressant drugs, but it seems to me that social influence also has a great role in that as well as social attitude towards certain cultural levels. As it was told earlier teenagers suicide is not the problem of one country, it is the problem of the whole world and we should solve this problem together.


1. Carey B. (2007) Suicide Rises in Youth; Antidepressant Debate Looms, The New York Times, 7th September 2007

2. Glenn T. J., Teen Suicide Warning Signs, from http://www.familymentalhealth.com/suicide.htm, retrieved 17th June 2009

3. Nock M. (2008), Why Do Teens Try to Kill Themselves, from http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/suicide.html#, retrieved 17th of June 2009

4. NME (2008), Emo Music Attacked over Teen Suicide, from http://www.nme.com/news/various-artists/36468, retrieved 17th of June 2009.

5. American Academy of Pediatrics, Some Things You Should Know about Preventing Teen Suicide, from http://www.aap.org/advocacy/childhealthmonth/prevteensuicide.htm, retrieved 17th of June 2009

6. Mullen, P.E.(1996) “The Long-term Impact of the Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Abuse of Children: A Community Study,” Child Abuse & Neglec, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 7-21, 1996 (Pergamon)

7. Friday, J.C. (1995) “The Psychological Impact of Violence in Underserved Communities,” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Vol. 6, No. 4, 1995, pp. 403-409.

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