Monday, May 2, 2011

The Facts on Suicide By Intern Hannah Davis

Suicide is a very serious topic that many people avoid talking about, but some things need to be discussed. If this saves even one life then it has been worth every second it takes me to write this blog.

First off let me start by saying if you or a friend is having suicidal thoughts get professional help immediately!

According to, four out of five teen suicide attempts are preceded by clear warning signs. If you think a friend may be suicidal you should look for these signs:

  • they withdrawal from people they love such as family and friends

  • they either loose or gain a lot of weight

  • they starts to sleep all the time or very little

  • they begins to give away their possessions

  • there is any talk about suicide

  • they stop participating in activities they use to enjoy

  • they pick up self destructive habits such as drinking, driving recklessly, and taking drugs

If any of these things are occurring you should talk to people you and your friend can trust. This can include teachers, family members, a school counselor, doctor, or an adult friend. You can also contact certain support groups by calling 1-800-suicide to reach The Hotline For Suicide Crisis, the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-talk, or 911. There are also helpful online resources at, and

Sadly suicide is the third-leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 24. The risk increases when there are firearms easily accessible to a suicidal person. Rates for girls are higher in their number of attempts, but since the common method for women is drugs and cutting, they survive more often. Boys, on the other hand, die about four times more often then girls because they use more dangerous methods such as hanging, jumping from heights, and guns.

What can cause a person to want to end their life? Teens who are depressed, may be using alcohol and drugs, could have been subject to physical or sexual abuse, or may dealing with their homosexuality in an nonsupporting family or environment; these are just a few examples of what lead to a higher risk for attempting suicide. Other factors include a family history of suicide or depression, lacking a supportive network, feeling isolated, and feelings of distress, irritability, or agitation.

Since so many teens attempt or succeed in committing suicide, chances are you know someone who has done this. I remember in junior high school one of the students hung himself in the bathrooms. Even to this day I get upset when I think about the loss of this person. It is typical and okay to be angry at the person who killed themselves. You may be mad that they gave up and left you behind. Or you may feel guilty because you couldn’t stop them from hurting themselves. Or you may feel confused, lost and sad. All of these emotions can be very strong and need to be discussed with a trusted person, preferably a counselor or professional, in order to help you get through these hard times.

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