Suicide A permanent solution for a temporary problem
Test your knowledge Which of the following would you say is the most likely to commit suicide? A. A straight-A student B. A student who is gifted in athletics C. A student who is abusing drugs and failing in school D. A student who is very popular E. All of the above are at equal risk
Answer E. Under the right — or wrong — circumstances, all of the above could commit suicide.
Teenage Suicide Facts It is the 3 rd leading cause of death among young people ages 15-29. Every day approximately 12 people between the ages of 15-24 die from suicide. Nearly 1 in 5 high school students have stated that they have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.
More Facts….. Teen girls attempt suicide more often than teen guys. (About nine times more often) But, teen guys are four times more likely to succeed when they try to kill themselves. Teen guys tend to use more deadly methods like guns or hanging while girls tend to use overdoses of medication or cutting.
Suicide is a serious issue Things we will discuss: What causes a person to consider taking his/her own life? What puts a teenager at risk for suicide or self harm? What are the warning signs that someone might be considering suicide? Where can someone go for help?
Thinking about suicide Thinking about suicide is often related to stressful events and feelings of sadness. Some teens feel so overwhelmed, sad and in despair that they think they will never feel better. Teenagers tend to experience strong feelings of stress, confusion, self-doubt, pressure to succeed, financial uncertainty, and other fears while growing up.
Feelings may be brought on by Anger or violence in the home or school May be doing poorly in school and feel inadequate Depressed Alcohol or drug problem they can't handle They may be angry and heart-broken over a break-up. They may feel like they don't belong, either in their family or with their friends. Divorce Formation of new family with stepparents and stepsiblings Moving to a new community Sometimes, they may feel very sad with no obvious cause.
What makes some teens at risk? Depression Feelings of sadness, loneliness, disappointment. Every teen feels anxiety and confusion at some point, but it helps to get through tough times by turning to people you trust and love. But sometimes the feelings can last all day, every day. If feelings last for more than two weeks a person may be experiencing major depression. Many teens have experienced major depression.
Depression and Suicide Serious depression involves a long- lasting sad mood that doesn’t let up and a loss of pleasure in things you once enjoyed. Thoughts of death, negative thoughts of oneself, hopelessness, changes in appetite or sleep can also occur. Depression distorts one’s viewpoint making them focus only on their failures. Depressed thinking can convince someone that there is nothing to live for.
When someone who is depressed gets the proper treatment or therapy, their distorted thinking is cleared and they can find energy, pleasure, and hope again.
What else puts a teen at risk? Substance abuse problems Alcohol and some drugs have depressive effects on the brain. Misuse of these substances can bring on serious depression. Alcohol and drugs also alter one’s judgment. Many suicide attempts occur while a teen is under the influence.
Other risks Life Stress Being a teen is not easy. There are many social, academic, and personal pressures. Teens who have additional problems to deal with can make life feel even more difficult. Physical or sexual abuse Divorce or death in the family Struggle with body image and eating problems
Finally… Having access to guns. For any teen who has any of the other risk factors, having access to a gun is very dangerous. Many lives could be saved by making sure those who are at risk do not have access to a gun. More than 60% of teen suicides deaths happen with a gun.
Warning Signs- What to Look For Pulling away from friends or family Trouble concentrating or thinking clearly Changes in sleeping or eating habits Major changes in appearance Talk about feeling hopeless or guilty Talk about suicide Talk about death Talk about “going away” Self-destructive behavior (drugs, alcohol, driving too fast) Giving away favorite possessions Suddenly very happy moods after being depressed or sad for a long time (this person may have a suicide plan)
Paying attention and responding to the warning signs can save someone’s life. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone about suicide if you think they might be considering it. It allows you to get help for that person. Just talking might make the person feel less isolated and more cared about. It may help the person to consider that suicide is not the solution.
Getting Help If you have been thinking about suicide. Get help right away. If you have a classmate or friend who you think is considering suicide. Get help right away. Even if you have been sworn to secrecy. You may save your friend’s life.
Where to get help Parents Teachers Counselors Friends Call 9-1-1 National Suicide Hotline 1-800-SUICIDE
Remember…… Suicide is a PERMANENT solution for a TEMPORARY problem.
References www.kidshealth.org www.4girls.gov American Association of Suicidology www.suicidology.org Developed by Bridget Robinson, RN, BSN,SNM University of Kansas School of Nursing HETC Project