Suicide Prevention: Live to See Tomorrow

Depression and other mental illnesses are becoming more common amongst teens and adults, and if not properly treated can lead to suicide.

Suicide is the action of intentionally killing yourself in result of mental illness, substance abuse, or depression. Almost 30,000 people are victims of suicide every year, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S. for 15 to 24-year-olds and second for 24 to 35-year-olds. Suicide is an act often used as a gateway for those who suffer internally from mental disorders, feelings of hopelessness, and for individuals who feel the need to escape their problems.

The one thing about suicide is that it doesn’t discriminate. People of all age groups, minorities, religion, and backgrounds can all be victims of suicide. Often one of the big questions relating to suicide is the “why?” factor. Why end your life? Why didn’t they ask for help? These are the questions that often hang over the family and friends of the victims that suffered and didn’t get the help they needed before it was too late, which can cause those close to the victim to put the blame on themselves.

It is normal to experience bad situations or go through a rough patch, hoping that with time things will fall into place. As people, we experience the good and bad in life, and we are constantly facing new challenges every day that can often lead to stress and make certain situations feel overwhelming and consuming. For those suffering with depression and suicidal thoughts, it is deeper-rooted than that. We often make this mistake for those who are suicidal by dismissing their illness for just common feelings and don’t see the bigger problem.

For those contemplating suicide, it is not that easy for them to just ignore the feeling of loneliness and change their view of life as useless and unfulfilled, making them question their existence. In the United States, the Caucasian ethnic group has the highest suicide rate compared to other minorities. Suicide has become more common amongst older adults than any age group, and is increasing. Often when older adults of this age attempt suicide, the recuperation is more difficult to overcome, making their chances of survival less likely to happen.

Teen suicide is on the climb as well. Young teenagers are at high risk for suicide attempts averaging at 3,740 attempts per year. Guys and girls differ in their approach when it comes to their methods of suicide. Girls often contemplate suicide twice as much as guys often do, however guys are four times more likely to follow through with the act than girls. Girls who commit suicide often use substances like lethal poisoning or partake in self-harm, whereas guys often use a firearm. Firearms is the most common method of suicide because unlike drugs, it is quicker and there is no turning back. When using drugs, the victim could have a moment of realization and could possibly try to stop it or seek help.

Although suicide is impulsive, it is preventable. There are many signs that can lead someone to think that a person is suicidal. One of the signs is excessive sadness, moodiness, or unexpected rage. This is the side of mental illness when the mind is taking over, and makes the victim go through these different types of emotions in extreme levels. Hopelessness is also another warning sign. Often when people are suicidal they give up and feel hopeless in their life and future, leading them to the question: “What’s the point?”

Sleep and withdrawal can be warning signs of suicide. When someone is suicidal or severely depressed they often spend most of their days in bed, avoiding relationships and responsibilities, and disconnect themselves from the outside world. They withdraw themselves from activities and hobbies that once brought them joy and fulfillment. Often those who want to commit suicide will make preparations whether it being buying a firearm or drugs, or writing a note explaining why they did it.

50% to 75% of those considering suicide will give someone, like a friend or relative, a warning sign. It is not the same for every case, but the victim will try to depart from their loved ones in some kind of way. The aftermath of a suicide can be brutal. Suicide can be considered sinful in some cultures and religions, making it hard for some people to acknowledge it, especially if it takes the life of a loved one. Often families ask the “what if” question about the situation and ask themselves what they could have done to prevent the situation, or what if they could have been there to stop it. Suicide can cause mixed emotions of anger, grief, and abandonment leaving some people to consider suicide themselves.

With the rise of social media, it plays a big part in our mental health. As we scroll through our social media, we constantly compare ourselves to others, and create this idea that we must create the most ideal version of ourselves and live to certain criteria in order to gain acceptance from those around us, and if we fail to do so; we are not good enough. Social media has become a playground full of cyberbullies, that make people feel that if they don’t achieve a certain level of acceptance, we must shun them, causing them to have low self-esteem, engage in self-harm, or worse: suicide.

Suicide and severe depression are not a joke. If someone is contemplating suicide, be the one to help them. With so much going on in the world and the constant pressures of life around us, it can be a struggle. Society has made these guidelines that if we don’t achieve certain goals and set certain expectations for ourselves that we are failing as individuals. This can push someone over the edge if they do suffer from a mental illness, making them question their own lives and if it is even worth it.

If you ever feel that someone is in danger of becoming suicidal; talk to them, get them the help they need before it is too late. There are so many resources like counseling, rehabilitation centers, and medicines that can help make depression easier and put you in control. Suicide can happen to anyone, no matter who you are.


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