Suicide and DepressionThough suicide and depression are far too common among teens, there are still many places to find help.
By: Samantha Salsbury, Sibley Scribe
Suicide is a word that in Latin means “a killing of oneself.” Some make jokes, others think it will never in a thousand years happen to anyone they know, but I would like to think that we all know it as something that takes thousands of teenagers away from their families each year, and brings a solemn sense of community to high schools all across the country.
It is said that it is borderline impossible to tell the difference between a “normal” person, and someone contemplating such acts as suicide and self-harm. As someone who has experienced a loss of this nature in the last few months, I will tell you that in my opinion, it is true. It is very hard to tell the difference. I personally worry that suicide will become an even bigger trend than it already has already become, and although no one can say exactly why people harm themselves or try to kill themselves, it is said that for a majority of people who do such things the problem stemmed from some form of illness or condition such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorders. According to the Minnesota State Health Department, in 2007, 25% of ninth graders had at some point contemplated taking their own lives, and 20% of these ninth graders also reported intentionally hurting themselves (cutting, burning, etc.) at some time in the past. S.A.V.E. (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) states that for young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the third leading cause of death, and that 1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year. These chilling statistics could potentially also reflect the number of teenagers that are subjected to persistent and unreported bullying as a result of being too ashamed to report seemingly minor harassment. Almost five times as many cases of suicide are in youth (14-18 years old) of the LGBT community, and according to the results of a survey on livescience.com of more than 30,000 eleventh graders in Oregon, 20% of the LGBT community involved claimed to have made some attempt at suicide up to twelve months before the survey.
Honestly, I find the statistics themselves really disturbing. Think about how many families have lost sons and daughters, and nieces and nephews. How many grandparents have had to watch as their children sat hopeless as they said goodbye to their own children for the last time. I can’t imagine the emotional impact on older and younger siblings. If you have any siblings, I think this rings true. No matter how annoying they are, or how much they have tormented you (older brothers, anyone?) it would still be pretty painful to lose them. They could be bullied. Your friends could be getting treated like dirt and you wouldn’t even know, until it was too late to pull them back up again. Today, I challenge you all to speak up for yourselves, and anyone you may know who is going through this. And for anyone feeling like there is no hope, please remember that there are always going to be people who can help. Almost all treated cases of depression are successful, whether it seems like it or not. There is always going to be someone who cares. Just reach out and someone will be there to catch you. Just know that your impact on people is huge. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong, because this is YOUR life. Live it.
Sources for this article :
http://www.livescience.com, http://www.health.state.mn.us, http://www.save.org