By: Nicole Lipski
I believe everyone is familiar with suicide; it's when an individual harms themself with the intent of dying. What people may not realize is how common it is among adolescents. According to the CDC, "In 2020, an estimated 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.2 million attempted suicide." This kind of harm should not be normalized and can be prevented, but first, let's identify the facts.
What is suicide, really?
Suicide is when a person kills themself, and a suicide attempt is when they try to deeply harm themselves but end up living. People throw around the word "suicide" a lot without really thinking. It's become really normalized, and you'll hear kids say "I want to kms (kill myself)" after any minor inconvenience, but they may not realize why some people really feel this urge to disappear. The CDC states, " Suicide is connected to other forms of injury and violence. For example, people who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence have a higher suicide risk." Suicide shouldn't be something to be joked about, and before using the term kids should look into the meaning.
Well then, what causes suicide to happen?
Stone Water Recovery states that the top 3 causes of suicide among teens are discouragement, rejection, and defeat. Many young people deal with a lot of negativity in their lives, and these events can greatly impact them.
An example would be a divorce- parents play a huge part in a child's life and being separated from one of them can feel like your life is being torn apart. Typically, these feelings come in quickly and take over you. AACAP (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) says "Among younger children, suicide attempts are often impulsive. They may be associated with feelings of sadness, confusion, anger, or problems with attention and hyperactivity."
It's important to note that suicidal thoughts may be different for everyone, and it's best to take action as soon as possible.
Suicide doesn't just come from depression as well; there are multiple different people that have an increased chance of being suicidal, like if suicidal thoughts are genetic and runs in the family. According to Child Mind Institute, some kids have a higher risk of attempting suicide if they have had:
A prior suicide attempt
Alcohol and other substance use disorders