The contemplation of committing suicide is definitely a very awful idea and it is even more horrible if the person contemplating such is a teenager who has a whole life ahead. It is normal in ones life to at times experience periods of sadness, anxiety and despair as a result of pain resulting from disappointment or rejection. However, those with illnesses which are serious, undergo very extreme reactions which are likely to leave them in a pool of hopelessness. After loosing all the hope, some teenagers feel that suicide is the only solution to their predicaments. Committing suicide is a really bad solution as it involves the solving of a temporary problem by permanent and irreversible means. Most mental health providers feel that most of the people who commit suicide have a disorder which is either substance abuse or mental, but these disorders are diagnosable. Therefore the feelings leading to suicide can actually be treated if they are well noticed in good time (Lori, 1985).
Suicide among the teenagers ranks highly with statistics showing that suicidal deaths are mostly dominant among the teenagers aged between fifteen to twenty four years. Teenagers who attempt or commit suicide are usually confronted by events which make them feel horrible and experience great pain. Such teenagers are incapable of dealing with the challenge and end up viewing the act of committing suicide as the only viable solution. Although, the methods and the statistics used in the calculation of morality can differ in different nations, they are all in agreement in one thing that teenage suicide is increasing. The statistics also show that females make more attempts to commit suicide than the males. However, their rate of succeeding is less than that of males. In fact, in every five successful suicides, it is only one with a female victim while the rest are males (Shaffer, 1996).
In human development, the adolescent stage is considered to be the most vulnerable stage acts of committing suicide. This is because the stage is usually characterized by change in role, problems in communication and teenagers at times feel left out and isolated. The cause of committing suicide varies widely. However, there are regular circumstances and situations that usually lead young people to taking such extreme actions. These include rejection, disappointment, losses such as breaking with a boyfriend or girlfriend, performing poorly in a major exam and going through a family turmoil. An overwhelmingly majority of the teenagers committing suicide usually have a disorder that is related to either mental or substance abuse. Such teenagers usually have difficulties in coping with stressors of high magnitude. They are rendered incapable of seeing any possibility of a turning point in their lives, and they therefore feel that it is impossible to overcome certain stressors in life and they therefore commit suicide as an indicator of defeat in dealing with such problems. It is worth noting that the factors listed above are actually not the causes of suicide but are factors that trigger an act of suicide especially in a teenager who is distressed by mental illness or has a disorder that is mentally related (Lori, 1985).
A more recent research focused on biology which was thought that there are people who have genetic components and which run in families. The research revealed that the disorders which are substance related and mental ones affecting those people who commit suicide actually run in their families (Lori, 1985).
Most teenagers committing suicide are actually running away from some situation that they cannot deal with or get over. They try to escape from bad feelings and thoughts. And under such circumstances, they view dying as the only solution. Majority of people committing suicide usually are depressed. Depression makes people to mainly pay attention to their disappointments and failures and to emphasize much on their pessimistic side of life. It makes people to downplay their own worth and capabilities. People suffering from depression are in most cases unable of seeing anything good in life. Such people have a feeling that makes them see that they will never be able to enjoy life and that there is nothing in their lives that will ever make meaning to them. Depression is at times so bad that even those persons feeling suicidal do not at times realize that they are suffering from it (Shaffer, 1996).
Drug and substance abuse is a major problem making teenagers at a higher risk of committing suicide. Some drugs that are commonly abused by teenagers have effects of depression to the brain. Thus teenagers who due to their family history, biological factors and other stressors in their lives and who are misusing drugs, are likely to suffer greatly from depression which can ultimately lead them to taking away their own lives. People who are already suffering from depression and decide to misuse drugs and alcohol only worsens the situation. Such people fail to realize that the effects of alcohol are depressive and that drugs generally increase depression when used for a long time (Lori, 1985).
Drugs do not only have depressive effects but they also alter the judgment of those who use them. They usually interfere with ones ability to evaluate risk, come up with solutions to their various problems and to be able to make the right choices. In fact, most of the suicides attempts take place when the person committing suicide is actually being controlled by either drugs or alcohol, or is under the influence of both. It is worth noting that not every person with a drug or alcohol problem, or who is depressed will attempt to commit suicide. These conditions especially when put together increases ones vulnerability to committing suicide.
There are times when people who are depressed plan to execute suicide in advance. But in many circumstances, suicide attempts occur impulsively. This happens almost instantly when one feels desperately troubled. Situations like fighting with ones parents, break ups, being ousted by a friend or someone close, pregnancy which is not deliberate or being victimized in one way or another. If such things happen to a teenager who is already suffering from depression, they make the situation worse and in fact act as the last straw (Lori, 1985).
Some people attempting suicide actually mean business and they want to die but there are some who are not completely sure whether or not they want to die. Some people attempt to commit suicide as a way of expressing some deep emotional pain. They are unable to express how they feel and see suicide as the only way to communicate. This is quite sad because someone who really did not mean to die might end up dying or getting critically ill when attempting to commit suicide (Shaffer, 1996).
People planning to commit suicide usually show some signs. Such people will keep talking about death or suicide or going away to an unknown destination. They also start giving out their belongings as they also pull away from their friends and relatives. People who are about to commit suicide will in many instances express their hopelessness and a feeling of guilt. They cease from taking part in their favorite activities, they concentrate less or are unable to think clearly. Such people are likely to alter their sleeping and eating habits and they engage in self destructive behaviors.
Since, most people commit suicide as a result of feeling lonely and hopelessness, one can help such fellows by providing company to them. Through increased interactions with them, they will be able to communicate frequently and openly thus they will be in a position to freely express their problems hence creating an avenue through which they can be helped. For one to be able to help them, it is very important to make it clear to them that you really care and love them. One should stress his willingness to pay attention to them, and also try as much as possible to talk seriously about suicide. People helping such persons should avoid ignoring threats or remarks that at times seem casual (Lori, 1985).
The members of the community, professionals in mental health, school personnel, fellow peers, parents and religious leaders can play a vital role in minimizing teenage suicide. The religious communities and churches can lend a helping hand, by sponsoring programs that are aimed at stopping these suicides. They should engage teenagers in implementing and planning such programs. The young people should be engaged more in community work such as offering services at day care centers, helping the elderly and environmental conservation programs. After school programs can also be initiated at community level, these can be used in providing formal outings where the teenagers are enriched culturally, job and sexuality counseling, crisis intervention techniques and good health care. Such programs would help the teenagers in involving themselves in more important activities (Shaffer, 1996).
The mental personnel can also be used in educating teenagers, teachers, counselors and other people in identification and prevention of suicide. This would go a long way in assisting teenagers who may be contemplating to commit suicide for one reason or the other. The school counselors can liaise with the community, professionals in mental health, parents and the teenagers in trying to curb these deaths. It is also very important for parents to be very attentive to the difficulties their teenagers may be going through to be able to assist them adequately and become more useful people instead of terminating their lives prematurely. The teenagers who might be on drugs should be assisted through counseling whereby they can be educated on the effects of drug and alcohol abuse in their lives.
Maintaining open lines of communication is the most effective method in preventing teenage suicide. Thus it is quite important to make teenagers understand the need of sharing their troubles with people they trust. This is very important since some of them feel that by sharing their problems, they are actually troubling those people. It is also good to seek medical attention especially for those teenagers who might be depressed. Once depression has been lifted, the victim finally gets proper treatment or therapy; their distorted way of thinking is done away with. Such a person is finally in a position to have energy, find pleasure, and have hope in life again. We should therefore not run away from teenagers who might be suffering and contemplating to commit suicide, but we should instead try as much as we can to help them since they are very much in need of our help. Let us listen to their voice and let us ignore it no more (Shaffer, 1996).
Lori, P. J. (1985): Teenage Suicide: Identification, Intervention and Prevention. Highlights: An ERIC/CAPS Fact Sheet. Retrieved on 10th April from,
Shaffer, D. (1996): Teenage Suicide, Retrieved on 10th April from,