It drives me crazy when I hear people say “suicide is so selfish”. This is such an ignorant statement. If a person was thinking rationally and considering their family and friends, they wouldn’t have committed suicide. Instead, the reality begs the question: how awful and lost must this person have felt to want to end it all? It goes against our survival instincts and is the ultimate sacrifice – losing life.
When a person commits suicide they are not in a rational frame of mind, not on any level. The World Health Organisation estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds. Youth suicide is increasing at the greatest rate, especially among teenage girls.
Teenagers face incredible pressure these days. There is more competition than ever to get a good University placement. Stressed out parents means that teens are often more stressed too – especially those that live with parents who take their stress out on their children. Peer pressure at school, the intense pressure to conform and all the hormonal changes make a lethal cocktail that can challenge even the most solid and stable teenager.
Danger signs to look out for:
Regular talk of depression or wanting to “end it all”.
A suicide by someone at school or a friend
Loneliness and withdrawal
Psychological problems (anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, anger issues, aggression)
Lack of enjoyment in anything
Not wanting to socialise
Don’t ignore warning signs, try to talk to your teenager about what they are experiencing. Be supportive and offer unconditional love.
In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 (male and female).Suicide results from many complex sociocultural factors and is more likely to occur during periods of socioeconomic, family and individual crisis (e.g. loss of a loved one, unemployment, sexual orientation, difficulties with developing one’s identity, disassociation from one’s community or other social/belief group, and honour).
There is always a way out, mental health professionals can help. The light at the end of the tunnel exists, some people just need help to see it.