Do you know how many teens seriously consider ending their lives everyday?
You wake up one morning and get ready for school. You shower, put on clothes, eat breakfast, get in the car and drive to school. Everything is normal. But someone is missing. You wonder where your friend is. No big deal. It’s not uncommon for them to miss school every once in a while. You go through the day normally and head home after school. Your parents are waiting for you in the living room when you arrive. They tell you to sit down, and then they tell you your best friend was found hanging in the closet that morning.
Everything is flipped upside down. You’re on the floor screaming. You can’t believe it’s a reality. But it is. It’s a reality for many, many people.
How did this happen? What on earth could make a 17-year-old kid with a future, tons of potential, and lots of friends get so fed up that they didn’t think it was worth it to keep going? The reality is, teenagers are under MASSIVE pressure from everyone in their lives. Teachers demanding hours of homework every night, parents demanding they complete them and uphold their grades, friends demanding they be athletic, smart, generous, and caring when they don’t do it themselves. The other gender demanding to be attractive every day, and many can’t do anything about it. Colleges demanding huge GPAs or test scores. Jobs demanding weekends. Where is the time for the person in all that?
Adults have developed an ability to shake off criticism, see the better side of things, and realize what is important. Teens, unfortunately, often have not. Feelings hurt due to being used and conned by friends, lonely because they don’t feel attractive, or despaired because their grades aren’t good enough are daily things for many teenagers.
One in five teenagers SERIOUSLY consider suicide. By serious, I mean to the point where they are making arrangements for afterward. Although the idea is still foggy, they think about how they’d do it, who they would leave their things to, where they would leave themselves so a certain person would find them.
According to the Jason Foundation, 5,400 kids in grades 7-12 ATTEMPT suicide every day in the United States. Countless more are considering it. Four out of five who attempt it give clear warning signs. These include, but certainly are not limited to, the following:
- Making comments, even in a joking manner, that mention that person’s death. Saying things like “It’ll be better when I’m not around anymore,” or “I’d be better off dead,” often are not jokes, so take these seriously.
- Previous suicide attempts. Failing at committing suicide makes the sufferer feel even more worthless. They are often tempted to try again, often in a more foolproof way. People who have failed to commit suicide are 100x more likely to attempt it again, according to The Jason Foundation.
- Depictions or writing having to do with the “beauty of death.”
- Sudden increase in aggressiveness, lack of compassion, increased irritability.
- Making arrangements for their things, family or ideas. TEENAGERS ARE NOT KNOWN TO PUT THEIR AFFAIRS IN ORDER. If they are doing so, they could have a concrete plan to commit suicide.
- Taking excessive risks. They may put everything on the line feeling they have nothing to lose.
If you notice any of these signs in the people around you, try to talk to them, or talk to someone who you think can help them. Talking about suicide does NOT increase someone’s desire to do so.
Please help anyone who may have suicidal thoughts.