Written Speech on Teen Suicide Imagine you’re standing atop a high bridge, you take a deep breath, say one last silent goodbye to your friends and family, and you leap to your death. By doing this, you’re making a permanent solution to a temporary problem. You may be solving your own personal problem, but imagine the pain, suffering, and anguish that your friends, family, and peers go through. The people around you are wondering what was going through your mind and why you did it. Maybe you even told some of your friends that you were going to do it, and they didn’t believe you, thinking it were a joke.
You may have told your friends about your plans, but apparently your parents had no clue as to why you would choose to take your life, but this is the case with most teenage suicides. A lot of the time the parents don’t have any clue that there was anything wrong in their children’s lives, and also the teen’s friends might have had some kind of clue, but they didn’t do anything about it. Overall, they are left grieving their dead child or friend who took their own life away without any explanation. Sadly, teen suicide occurs nearly 5,000 times each year. Even more amazing is that 400,000 to 2 million teens attempt to commit suicide each year. Psychologists and therapists, teachers and school couslers, leaders of youth groups, and researchers who study society and young people have come up with a list of reasons as to why the teen decided to kill themselves. The list of culprits is long: too much divorce, too little religion, too much television, and too little communication between parents and children have been blamed.
Absent parents, too much sexual freedom, widespread use of drugs and alcohol, too many guns, not enough love, and a world that seems hostile has also been blamed for pushing young people to their deaths. All these reasons have probably contributed to the suicides of teens, but none of them provide the final explanation as to what pushes the kids over the edge and why they choose to die. Maybe its the peer pressure, or the painful reality of growing up in a time in your life where it’s important to be accepted by your peers. Or maybe the teen is in a condition of extreme guilt or shame, they could be pregnant or might think they are pregnant and are ashamed to tell their parents. But the most concrete reason Psychologists say there is, is the severe depression some teens go through. They might have an extremely bad day or week when nothing seems to go right.
Psychiatrists cite certain factors that often lead to depression; they include new surroundings, family problems, failure, the ending of a relationship, or death. And in some cases there seem to be no reasons at all. Just like the case of an African-American male named Todd Robinson, who was in the lower risk category for suicide. According to statistics, on any given day, only five African-American men can be expected to take their lives. On July 7, 1987 Todd became one of those men. He shot himself in the head in his room.
His parents didn’t expect anything. He just graduated from high school, had a bright future ahead of him, and didn’t really have any physical or emotional problems. Even after they looked through his journal there wasn’t really any clue, but his last entry read “Lately the thought of suicide has crossed my mind. I don’t know why. I have a wonderful family and friends.
I have an excellent future ahead of me. But I’m going to do it. Mom, Dad, don’t fall apart.” Sometimes there is just no explanation, again there really is no telling what goes on in kids minds as they contemplate taking their lives. The Centers for Disease Control report that between 1980 and 1993 the suicide rate has risen 120% for 10-14 year olds, and for 15-19 year olds it has risen almost 30%. Also, between 1970 and 1980 one out of every six Americans who committed suicide was a young person between the ages of 15 and 24.
Studies in California and Kansas report that about one out of every ten teens questioned admitted to having attempted suicide. Right now you are probably wondering WHO could be stupid enough to try and commit suicide? Psychologists say that there is no such thing as a “typical” suicidal personality. But most suicides are committed by white males from middle-class homes. The suicide rate for whites is nearly twice as high as it is for nonwhites. Yet, statistics say that African-Americans attempt suicide more often than people of other races, they simply do not succeed as often.
And among Native American youths, the number of suicides has tripled during the last 20 years. Studies also show that 25-30% of gay and lesbian youth attempt suicide. While there is no “typical” suicidal personality, experts say victims do share some common traits: the following is a list of traits from Eleanor Ayer’s book Teen Suicide Is It Too Painful to Grow Up? First is Low self-esteem. People who feel good about themselves, their personality, the way they look, have high self-esteem. But those who have a negative opinion of themselves, think they have no place in the world, feel inferior to others, have low self-esteem.
Often, there is no basis for low self-esteem. Talented, good looking, kind, intelligent people often suffer from it. Next, Loneliness. Lonely people are among the highest risks for suicide. Loneliness is a feeling of not being accepted by others, whether by one’s classmates, one’s parents, or other adults.
Some teenagers isolate themselves with drugs or alcohol. Some have a disability or are made to feel different for religious or racial relations. Some just never perform close friendships. Third, Difficulty expressing emotions. People who can let off steam easily when under stress generally are those who do NOT attempt suicide. Instead, it is the person who lets anger or sorrow build up inside, the one who is afraid to cry when he or she is sad, who is in danger.
Teenagers who are unable to express their feelings often think of themselves as being emotionally dead, which leads to thoughts of being physically dead as well. Fourth, Easily angered. Some teenagers become angry easily and are quick to fight. These people lack self-control. It is hard for them to react calmly or logically in a different situation. Fifth, Perfectionism. People should always try to do their best.
But a teenager’s need to be perfect is all consuming, perfectionism is no longer healthy. Often, perfectionists are very intelligent, even gifted teenagers. But they set such high standards for themselves that they are never able to meet them. When they fail, they become frustrated, depressed, and sometimes suicidal. Sixth, Pessimism.
For pessimists the world is a trap, waiting to spring its jaws shut. Teenagers who have a pessimistic view of the world are more likely to try suicide. They see little hope for succeeding or for solving their problems. More than 30,000 people a year, 5,000 of that number are teens, kill themselves in the United States. Friends and family members are always shocked saying they had no idea. But if you look close enough, listen hard, and dig deeper under the surface you will be able to see and hear some of the common warning signs. List courtesy of Eleanor Ayer’s book Teen Suicide Is It too Painful to Grow Up? The first is Excessive talk of death Severely depressed teens often dwell on death. They may say things like, “I wonder what it’s like to be dead? What happens to your mind when your heart stops?” Often they show great interest in any news story or conversation that involves death.
Threat of Suicide. A young person in distress may threaten “If I don’t do well on these finals, I’m going to kill myself.” Sometimes the statement is less direct like “I wish I’d never been born,” or “You’d be better off if I weren’t here.” Acting up. It is normal and expected for most teenagers to object to authority. Adolescence is a time for developing independence, for breaking away from parental control. But when a young person is continually wild and unruly, the problem may be more serious.
No concern for personal appearance. Most teens want to have clothes, shoes, and hair, that is “in” When a teenager cares little about his appearance, it could be a way of saying, “Why should I care? I’m not good anyhow”. Lack of interest. If a teenager begins to lose interest in friends, hobbies, sports, or school, he or she may be losing interest in life. Long periods of sitting and staring into space or sleeping during the day can be signs of serious depression.
Getting rid of personal items. When people give away the things that mean the most to them, they may be putting their lives in final order, getting ready for the end. Prolonged sadness or crying. Extreme moodiness and depression can be signs of a meaningless and empty life. With these moods come tears, silent sobbing, or a continually sad look. Moody teens rarely smile and never laugh.
Life no longer seems worth living, and their faces show it. Increased drug or alcohol use. A person who is about to commit suicide may start to use drugs and alcohol more regularly thinking ” What does it matter if I get drunk every night? Soon I won’t be here at all.” Increased use of drugs and alcohol can be a major warning sign of severe depression and po …