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  • Lioba de Graff

Suicide in Teenagers

The number of teenagers suffering from what is known as “suicidality” has increased massively in the last decade. Suicidality includes suicidal thoughts, attempts and plans. Overall, 22% of teenagers in a recent survey admitted to having seriously considering suicide within this past year, which has increased by 16% since 2011. 18 % said that they had made a suicide plan and 10% said they’d attempted at least once. Although all races, sex and ethnicity experienced this, certain groups were at a larger risk. Female students continue being a higher risk for suicide attempts than males, however boys were 4 times more likely to die from a suicide attempt. Three in ten females experience these thoughts. A quarter of them had made a suicide plan. Black students were more prone to attempt suicide more than any of their white, Hispanic or Asian peers. LGBTQ+ teens were also three times more likely to consider suicide, make a suicide plan, or even attempt it. Almost 6 out of 10 students were more likely to commit suicide if they had the same-sex partner. People from the ages 10-14 account for 14% of suicide worldwide, making it the third most popular cause of death for this age group. Teenage years can be the most stressful years of a person’s life. Lots of things can change, leading to suicidal thoughts. For some teens, normal developments can be a large factor in suicide thoughts, especially when combined with other events such as problems in school, changes in friendships, moving to a new town, siblings or close friends moving, death of somebody close to you or changes in their family, such a parents getting divorced. Suicide can also be a topic many people such as friends or family of a suicidal teenager find hard to navigate or help with. It is very important to know the warning signs of depression and suicide: · Feeling sad, hopeless and lonely · Sleeping either to much or to little · Being nervous, grouchy or agitated · Changes in weight and appetite · Declining school performance · Loss of interest in friends and activities such as sports If you have a friend experiencing suicide warning signs you can take the following steps: · Take their behaviour and thoughts seriously · Encourage them to talk to an expert or adult and if needed, go with them · Talk to a adult you trust completely about the situation to make sure your friend can get help and stay safe

Here is a story trying to portray the thoughts going into a suicide attempt. The Taste of Fear Should I jump? Is there anything left to live for? Is this a phase? Does the road to happiness run through a sewer? Endless thoughts, questions and empty sentences are running through my head like a bull stampeding with no finish line or tangible goal. I tell myself, think logically as I contemplate the biggest decision of my irrelevant life. As I look down at the dull water, a single, lonely tear drops from my eye. I chose tonight because the sky is jet black without a star present to illuminate the Earth upon which I stand. There is no sun, it is freezing. No one else would brave these conditions. No one can intervene. No one can attempt to stop me. This is my decision and mine alone. My current position, sat on the edge of the golden gate bridge looking down at the deep blue water lit only by the moonlight. Seconds ago, the water was not glistening and tranquil. How can I see two different things with the same eyes? There is a flickering streetlamp to the right side of the bridge. All other lamps have burned out. Somehow it makes me mad that the lazy government hasn’t bothered to fix them. A simple, easy fix and no one can be bothered. As I try distracting myself by taking in all my surroundings, I attempt to ignore what matters most. Am I going to end everything tonight? Am I going back to my awful life? I need to end it. The streetlamp goes out. God. Darkness. Silence. Just the noise of the salty, muddy, lifeless water below crashing against the rocks. If no one cares, I do not care. I do not need to second guess myself. All I need to do is jump. Flying shouldn’t be this difficult. Why can’t it be simple? It is just falling. All the rules of physics tell me I am just falling. I take one last look, before I drown out all my thoughts and relieve myself from this ledge. Now, I can’t go back. Darkness.

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