Family instability, competition, social pressures, the opioid epidemic, and social media are all contributors to teen and young adult suicide today. Suicide in these age groups has reached their highest level in nearly two decades. Teen suicide has increased by 10 percent between 2014 and 2017, according to researchers. Oren Miron, a research associate at Harvard Medical School, said, “You can go back decades, and you won’t find such a sharp increase.”
Teens Face Many Issues
It is usually difficult to determine why young adults decide to end their life. Although their problems may seem small to some, significant to others, to the young person, their problems may become unbearable or overwhelming. They sometimes have a change in behavior. They may withdraw from friends and family. They may show violent and aggressive behavior. They may be dealing with a major disappointment. This might include a rejection, such as the loss of a boyfriend or girlfriend or even a friend. They may suffer from failure at school or in sports. This difficulty can trigger thoughts of suicide because they have a challenging time coping with these issues. To make it worse, they probably do not know or understand how to cope.
Other Causes Of Suicide
It is not possible to know, understand, or list all of the possibilities associated with suicide in youth. However, there are additional reasons, as suggested by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. They suggest that stress, confusion, pressure, and worries about self-worth are other reasons young people might have thoughts of suicide. The academy says that teens may be victims of physical or sexual abuse. They may be struggling with their sexuality. This leaves them with feelings of distress, anxiety, or agitation.
The Reasons Continue
Another leading cause of suicide in young people is depression. A young person may have feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, according to Kids Health. One study shows that 75 percent of people (from all age groups) committing suicide suffer from depression. Abusing drugs or alcohol can often lead to impulsive behavior. This behavior can be intensified if a young person also has a mental disorder or family difficulties. Kids Health reports that substance abuse and mental disorders play prominent roles in the majority of suicides.
Staggering Suicide Rates
Suicide is the second leading cause of death of people in the age group of 15-24. Each day approximately 123 Americans kill themselves (from all age groups). Every 12.3 minutes, someone commits suicide in the US (from all age groups). One of the most frightening facts is the fact that 1,439 teens will attempt to end their life, in the US, in the next 24 hours. Suicide is the second leading cause of death between the ages of 10-24. More teens and young adults die from suicide than from heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, pneumonia, influenza, cancer, and lung disease combined. Although four out of five teens give warning signs of their pending suicide, the signs are often missed or ignored. Ninety percent of teens who commit suicide have an underlying mental illness.
Surviving The Suicide Of A Child
The loss of a child is devastating to parents and family members. It is usually more devastating if the child ends his/her own life. Losing a child due to an accident, illness, or assault is overwhelming for a family, but suicide adds a layer of guilt. The family asks, “Could I have done more?” There is help, offering hope for families. Joining a support group is one way to cope. Family counseling can also assist a person to deal with the loss. The loss of a child through suicide is one of the most devastating experiences a parent can ever experience – outside help should always be considered to help to get through such a terrible loss.