Imagine you’re standing atop a high bridge, you take a deep breath, say one
last silent goodbye to your friends and family, and you leap to your death.
By doing this, you’re making a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
You may be solving your own personal problem, but imagine the pain, suffering,
and anguish that your friends, family, and peers go through. The people
around you are wondering what was going through your mind and why
you did it. Maybe you even told some of your friends that you were
going to do it, and they didn’t believe you, thinking it were a joke.
You may have told your friends about your plans, but apparently
your parents had no clue as to why you would choose to take
your life, but this is the case with most teenage suicides.
A lot of the time the parents don’t have any clue that
there was anything wrong in their children’s lives, and also the
teen’s friends might have had some kind of clue, but they didn’t
do anything about it. Overall, they are left grieving their dead
child or friend who took their own life away without any explanation.
Sadly, teen suicide occurs nearly 5,000 times each year. Even more
amazing is that 400,000 to 2 million teens attempt to commit suicide
each year. Psychologists and therapists, teachers and school couslers,
leaders of youth groups, and researchers who study society and young
people have come up with a list of reasons as to why the teen decided to
The list of culprits is long: too much divorce, too little
religion, too much television, and too little communication between parents
and children have been blamed. Absent parents, too much sexual freedom,
widespread use of drugs and alcohol, too many guns, not enough love, and
a world that seems hostile has also been blamed for pushing young people
to their deaths. All these reasons have probably contributed to the suicides
of teens, but none of them provide the final explanation as to what pushes
the kids over the edge and why they choose to die. Maybe its the peer
pressure, or the painful reality of growing up in a time in your life where
it’s important to be accepted by your peers. Or maybe the teen is in a condition
of extreme guilt or shame, they could be pregnant or might think they are pregnant
and are ashamed to tell their parents. But the most concrete reason Psychologists
say there is, is the severe depression some teens go through.
They might have an
extremely bad day or week when nothing seems to go right. Psychiatrists cite certain
factors that often lead to depression; they include new surroundings, family problems,
failure, the ending of a relationship, or death. And in some cases there seem to be no
reasons at all. Just like the case of an African-American male named Todd Robinson,
who was in the lower risk category for suicide. According to statistics, on any given
day, only five African-American men can be expected to take their lives. On July 7,
1987 Todd became one of those men.
He shot himself in the head in his room. His
parents didn’t expect anything. He just graduated from high school, had a bright
future ahead of him, and didn’t really have any physical or emotional problems.
Even after they looked through his journal there wasn’t really any clue, but his
last entry read “Lately the thought of suicide has crossed my mind. I don’t know
why. I have a wonderful family and friends.
I have an excellent future ahead of
me. But I’m going to do it. Mom, Dad, don’t fall apart.” Sometimes there is just
no explanation, again there really is no telling what goes on in kids minds as they
contemplate taking their lives.
The Centers for Disease Control report that between 1980 and 1993 the suicide rate has
risen 120% for 10-14 year olds, and for 15-19 year olds it has risen almost 30%. Also,
between 1970 and 1980 one out of every six Americans who committed
suicide was a young person between the ages of 15 and 24.
Studies in California and
Kansas report that .