To live means not only to exist biologically or as a psychic entity, but also to cope with difficulties, interact and communicate with people, make decisions, and sometimes undergo excessive psychological pressure. Even an adult mind can fail to maintain pressure, making an individual see no other solution but suicide. Along with this, a risk group that is even more exposed to suicides is represented by teenagers, who are more vulnerable to stresses and usually do not possess strongly-shaped personalities. According to the statistics, suicide is the second (after motor vehicle accidents) leading cause of death among teenagers (CHealth); this makes about 1 of 10000 people. Considering the problem’s scales, factors which cause adolescents to do away with themselves should be distinguished.
One of the most common reasons for adolescent suicide is a divorce of parents, as well as a new family formation—including step-parents, step-siblings, and so on (CHealth). According to the study of 146 adolescent friends of 26 adolescent suicide victims, those teenagers who lived in single-parent families were more likely either to commit suicide and to have psychological disorders, compared to children from complete families; more precisely, three of four adolescent suicides were committed by children raised in single-parent households (Lists101).
Depression can be another reason for teenagers committing suicides. Scientists usually connect the development of depression to the lack of the brain chemical serotonin, which controls impulsivity; this is important considering the fact that many suicides are committed impulsively (NAMI). Moreover, symptoms of depression can also serve as warning signs of a teen having suicidal thoughts. Among the most common signs, parents or caregivers should pay attention to the following changes in behavior: sudden changes of eating and sleeping habits; withdrawal from friends and family members; giving up favorite activities; lack of response to praise; alcohol and drug use; suicidal feelings, and so on. Statements about wanting to die or hints like “I won’t be a problem much longer” should also be payed extra attention (The Ohio State University).
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Yet another common reason for adolescent suicides is unsuccessful love. Teenagers are vulnerable due to the complexities of a transitional period between adolescence and adulthood. They also tend to maximize and generalize certain events of their lives. Thus, a breakup or unrequited love, which themselves are rather complicated conundrums, may be seen as a total disaster, and thus push a teen towards making a final decision for a temporary problem.
Adolescence is a unique period, which is fraught with adverse experiences, fears, hopes, and stresses. Unfortunately, sometimes teenagers cannot cope with the challenges life exposes them to, and do away with themselves. Among the most common factors standing behind this terrible decision are the divorce of parents and new family formations, depression, and difficulties in intimate relationships. Thus, parents and caregivers should pay close attention to the mental condition of their children to prevent them from making this crucial mistake.
“Adolescent Suicide.” CHealth. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Dec. 2013. <http://chealth.canoe.ca/channel_condition_info_details.asp?disease_id=135>.
“Youth Suicide and Divorce/ Single Parent Homes.” Lists101. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Dec. 2013. <http://lists101.his.com/pipermail/smartmarriages/2000-January/000012.html>.
“Teenage Suicide.” NAMI – The National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Dec. 2013. <http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/Teenage_Suicide.htm>.
“Teen Suicide.” The Ohio State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Dec. 2013. <http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/mental_health/mental_health_about/children/suicide/Pages/index.aspx>.