Causes of Teenage Suicide
Growing up can certainly be a difficult time in one’s life. Things are changing physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s a time when you are still trying to find yourself, plus you have the obligation to try and meet the standards set by your peers, teachers, and parents. For these reasons teen suicide is a serious epidemic. According to the National Institute for Mental Health suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens in the United States.
One major cause of teenage suicide is stress. A study by the National Science Foundation links stress in teens with the underdevelopment of the prefrontal cortex, which affects your ability to make decisions, thus creating more stress. The study states that “stress is more stressful on teens.” For example many teenage students might spend a lot of time worrying about what to wear, or stressing over a member of the opposite sex, something that an adult might not consider as stressful or as hard of a decision. The time from thirteen to nineteen is some of the most demanding years one will endure. Really if you think about it the teenage years are a breeding ground for stress. You run into so many new experiences that you don’t know how to handle. The opposite sex is definitely an experience that causes stress for both male and female teenagers. The attraction towards the opposite sex grows as does the urge to satisfy developing sexual needs. Failing to catch the eye of a young crush plus the already stressful plate of a teenager is certainly a cause of suicide.
Another huge cause of teen suicide is bullying and low self-esteem. In which ever order they come this is one of the largest causes of suicide among teenagers. With the pressure created by the media and society to meet the standards that they consider acceptable, plus the recent boom in social media over the past year has shined a spotlight on what is acceptable or cool and created a rise in cyber bullying over the past decade. Don’t forget that teenagers can already be extremely judgmental and can be very harsh on their peers. The Ark of Hope a website dedicated to putting a stop to bullying states “One in seven students have been a victim of bullying” and “bully victims are two to nine times more likely to consider suicide.”
Last but not least with all the stress and pressure a teenager must endure dealing with change is a huge factor in teenage suicide. This could consist of moving to a new town which includes leaving your old friends and people you would turn to for strength in tough times, and having to go to a new school where you will be labeled “the new kid” by teenagers that have possibly known each other their whole lives, formed their own groups and clicks and will not likely be happy to include said “new kid.” This could also mean losing a loved one you were particularly close to. Something that would be difficult for anyone to handle, could be particularly rough on a teenager who has not had a lot of experience losing someone close.
Divorce is another change that leads to depression and teenage suicide. Again adding the additional stress of adjusting to a new way of living especially when you have just perfected a routine that works for you can seem impossible to some. Plus in many cases teens tend to blame themselves for problems in the family this can be attributed to lack of self-esteem and not feeling like they can meet their parent’s standards.
In conclusion suicide is a large and steadily growing issue faced by teens everyday all over the world. This can be attributed to a large amount of stress on the inexperience to deal with it, bullying from peers, and the difficulty to adjust to change. These factors plus the lack of life experience could be so much for teenagers to handle that they feel there is no other option.