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Teen Suicide and Prevention

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Teen Suicide and Prevention

Most teens grow up knowing someone who has attempted or completed suicide. When a teen takes his or her life, it has a devastating effect on everyone involved in the teen's life. Teen suicide is a complex, social issue that has become more common over time. This paper will inform the reader about this serious issue that impacts teens including the facts on teen suicide, what causes a teen to consider taking their own life, what factors puts a teen at risk for suicide or self-harm, the warning signs that someone might be considering suicide, and how they can get help to find other solutions.

Teen suicide is becoming increasingly more common every year in the United States. In fact, only car accidents and homicides kill more people between the ages of 15 and 24, making suicide the third leading cause of death in teens and overall in youths ages 10 to 19 years old. Most teens who consider suicide tend to suffer from depression.

Teen depression is often not recognized by family members, school staff, or friends. Different genders often experience depression differently (Matthew). Boys who are depressed tend to be angry and avoid others. They may also become aggressive toward others. Girls tend to show more typical expressions of low mood, like crying spells and sad expressions. Not only are there gender differences in how teens experience depression, but also the means by which teens attempt suicide (Matthew).

The means by which teens attempt suicide tends to differ by gender. Boys tend to use more lethal and aggressive means of suicide like hanging or the use of firearms while girls tend to overdose on drugs or cut themselves (Matthew). Because boys tend to use more lethal means, their rate of completion tends to be higher (Matthew). These facts help make us aware of the risk factors in teens that are suicidal.

There are several risk factors associated with teens considering suicide. Perhaps the most significant risk factor in teens is depression (Matthew). Depression is not uncommon with teens and, unfortunately, it is not often recognized. Common signs of depression in teens are a change in appetite, activity level, and sleep pattern (O'Connor). Depressed teen may keep to themselves and may even tell their friends or family that they are depressed. Another risk factor that often accompanies depression in teens is substance abuse.

Teens sometimes use alcohol or drugs to relieve depression (Matthew). They may steal or use other people's medication or their parents' alcohol. Unfortunately, alcohol has a depressant effect, and tends to make teens more depressed after they drink (Russell). Along with depression and substance abuse, behavioral problems are also risk factors.

Teens with behavioral problems have a higher risk of suicide (O'Connor). They



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