Ateenager stands in the middle of a dry and desolate paddock With what is left of his father’s once magnificent flock of sheep. He holds the rifle used to execute the remaining sheep. He thinks of all the pressure on his family and the constant teasing at school. He raises the gun and without thinking fires. When his father finds the young man’s body later that day, he is horrified. The farmer thinks to himself, why didn‘t I know this was how he felt and why did he kill himself? The deep depression felt by teenagers who often take their own life is a worrying trend in both rural and urban youth. For years suicide has been a deadly killer to teenagers. Teen Suicide is the third leading cause of death for teenagers next to accidents and crime. Over 25% of adolescents think of ending their lives. Most recently. teen suicide has got the respect that it deserves. Over 5,000 teenagers will die this year because of the thought that there is no way out of their problems.
In 1960. only 1.500 adolescents took their life. Because of this dramatic increase scientists have spent many years thinking of ways to prevent this horrible. gruesome death. Despite this increased suicide rate. depression in this age group is greatly underdiagnosed. Anyone can be aVictim of teen suicide. whether it be the star quarterback or the class brain. Young males are five times more likely to take than life than females. The leading ways for a female teenager to commit suicide is drug overdose or slitting of the wrists. Males, on the other hand. use the hanging or jumping method. The use of fire arms are equal among the genders Many people believe that depression is directly associated with teen suicide. Depression is a serious mental disorder in which a person suffers long periods of sadness and other negative feelings, Therefore it comes to no surprise to discover that adolescent depression is strongly linked to teen suicide.
Brown (1996) has said the reason why depression is often over looked in children and adolescents is because “children are not always able to express how they feel.” Sometimes the symptoms of mood disorders take on different forms in children than in adults. Adolescence is a time of emotional turmoil. mood swings, gloomy thoughts, and heightened sensitivity. It is a time of rebellion and experimentation. Blackman (1996) observed that the “challenge is to identify depressive symptomatology which may be superimposed on the backdrop of a more transient. but expected. developmental storm.” Shaun Lukes. a researcher into youth suicide, sites daydreaming. acting as the class clown. hyperactivity and the sudden dislike of school and/or a dramatic fall in school performance as pointers to potential suicidal behavrour.
The main risk factors in suicide attempts are heavy alcohol consumption; depression; Aboriginality; preVIous attempted suicide attempts; significant fall out rn a relationship in recent months (a very high risk factor).These factors can be recognized and acted upon, either with counseling from the family doctor or by access to one of the many “help lines” run by specialist suppon groups With support from family and professional treatment, children and teenagers who are suicidal can heal and return to a more healthy path of development. Showmg them that their Me is of value to you may be all they need to prevent them becoming a statistic m the saga of escalating youth suicide.