A Plague On The Young
Suicide had become one of the leading causes of death for young people each year in the United States. “More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, combined” (The Jason Foundation). While experts try to find an answer as to why teens decide to take their own lives, many put too much attention on single factors such as bullying. Bullying is just one factor among many in the decision to commit suicide. “While bullying must be addressed, Reidenberg said there is no research to suggest it is any greater a risk factor than divorce, substance abuse, social isolation or other problems”(Olsen). Others experts say, “Despite methodological and other differences and limitations, it is increasingly clear that any participation in bullying increases the risk of suicidal ideations and/or behaviors in a broad spectrum of youth” (Kim). So, is bullying a major cause of teenage suicide? Since suicide rates are on the rise, awareness should be made to teenagers to help cope with their suicidal thoughts. What are the signs of a teen wanting to take their own life? If you saw a teen trying to commit suicide, what would you do to help? “Bullying is an aggressive behavior in which individuals in a dominant position intend to cause mental and/or physical suffering to others” (Kim). Many people who bully probably do it because there is bullying in their household maybe by a parent, stepparent, or sibling. “Each year, nearly one in six students in grades six to ten is a victim of bullying” (Kim). Bullying is no just someone punching you in the face or someone calling you names. Bullying is a lot more than that. There are even different types of bullying such as: verbally, physically, indirect bullying, social alienation, and cyber bullying. Verbal bullying is name-calling, or making offensive remarks about a person’s religion, ethnicity, sex, or the way they look. Physical bullying is any physical contact that would injure or hurt a person, for example, hitting, punching, kicking, slapping, and many more. Indirect bullying is when someone spreads rumors or stories told to you in private. Social alienation is when someone excludes a certain person from a group on purpose. Cyber bullying is when a bully talks bad about you or sends you hate via social media. “Young people who have been bullied or abused are more likely to experience low-self esteem. Victims of bullying and abuse feel that their opinions and emotions are not valued or important. Sometimes they feel powerless to improve their situations” (Powell,16). Some teens are likely to commit suicide because they have been repeatedly bullied and cannot live with being bullied anymore. “ Many children and teens are bullied at school every day. Some of these victims become depressed and lose interest in their schoolwork. There have been too many instances where young people have committed suicide to escape the torment of bullies” (ProQuest Staff: Bullying). “Suicide, the act or an instance of intentionally killing oneself” (Dictionary.com). Suicide rates have been on the rise and the question is why? There is no one single thing that leads to suicide, but a lot of people look for an easy answer when suicide happens. There are many reason teens decide to commit suicide, some of those reasons being: depression, parent’s divorce, abuse, substance abuse, and bullying among many more. “But in 90 percent of the cases, experts agree, there is an underlying mental-health disorder--depression or bipolar illness, which includes among its symptoms agitation, anger, distress, mood swings, and impulsivity. There is evidence, too, of a genetic component that suicide may run in families” (Hochman). Teens who are suicidal do not know how to cope with all the feelings they are experiencing and they think that suicide is the best way to get rid of the feelings. “Young...
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Kim, Young Shin, Leventhal, Bennet. “Bullying and Suicide. A review.” International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health Volume 2.2 (2011): Pg. 133-154. Web. 12 Apr 2013.
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Powell, Jillian. Self-harm and Suicide. New York: Stevens, 2008. Print.
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