A recent study showed that about one in every 12 teenagers in the United States has attempted suicide.
Suicide is an increasingly serious problem among young people. The suicide rate among teenagers has quadrupled in the last 40 years. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people between the age of 15 and 24. A recent study showed that about 1 in every 12 teenagers in the United States has attempted suicide.
Unfortunately, the reasons for the increase in teen suicide are not entirely clear. There are several factors that may contribute to the problem. The rising divorce rate and breakup families have created a situation in which many teenagers feel a sense of isolation and a lack of family support.
Only a few decades ago, several generations of a family often lived in the same house. A young person usually had at least one close relative a parent, a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, or a cousin – to talk to. Today teenagers live in smaller families, with few adults around to offer emotional support.
Also, people today move from place to place more often than in earlier times. As a result of a parent’s job loss or transfer to another city, children and teenagers often lose their old friends and must adjust to new schools. Many teens live in trouble families, and feel that the love and care that they need is simply not there for them. Some teens may also experience physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
Another factor may be the pressure to succeed in school and in future career. Young people may feel like failures if they do not live up to their own or their parents’ expectations. The increased use of alcohol and drugs among teens also contribute to suicides. Although mind-altering substances may provide a temporary escape from emotional pain, they make things worse in the long run.
Using alcohol and drugs damages a person’s ability to solve everyday problems. And being drunk or high interferes with a person’s judgment, and increases the chance that a person will act on a suicidal impulse.
Finally, the popular media have romanticized suicide to a certain extent. When famous people kill themselves, they are sometimes made to seem like mythic figures. Suicide, such a message may seem to say, is glamorous and romantic. But once a celebrity is dead, he or she is not around to enjoy the romantic image. Suicide is not a glamorous act; it brings only death.