Teen Suicide

By Mallory Dixon

Depression in Teens

According to Dr. Lyness D'Arcy, editor of the article "Suicide" in TeensHealth, "A teen with depression may feel like there is no other way out of problems, no other escape from emotional pain, or no other way to communicate a desperate unhappiness. Depression leads people to focus mostly on failures and disappointments, to emphasize the negative side of their situations, and to downplay their own capabilities or worth." Many times teens don't even realize that they are depressed, and think it's the situation that's effecting their feelings, when really it's (Depression; Identity Crisis) the depression that's bringing them down.
In fact, "One out of four people will suffer though depression at some time in their lives," says Karen Zeinert, author of "Suicide a Tragic Choice." People with cases that are not typical can't always get diagnosed correctly. They may hide their depression. Instead of crying they act out, seeking punishment because they feel worthless. Young kids may throw tantrums, teens may resort to fighting or drugs. Those who abuse drugs and alcohol do it to escape pain, as many are already depressed. This also leads to family conflict and conflict with loved ones and makes them withdrawal to a make-believe world. They fail in school loose job and this can lead to depression or increase it. According to The National Institute of Mental Health depression can become of people who don't have a family history of depression. Scientists are studying genes that might make people more likely to get depression.

What triggers suicidal thoughts?

10% of teens have attempted suicide, with 750,000 attempts each year but Karen Zeinert explains how it's impossible to pin point exactly what triggers suicidal thoughts, it cannot be narrowed down to one thing. Usually suicide occurs when someone is trying to escape from a situation that seems impossible to deal with or to get relief from really bad thoughts or feelings.

Stress and Family Struggles

One of the biggest problems that teens face is stress, according to Zeinert. Many times teens become stressed out because of family problems, friends, peer pressure, athletics, relationships and expectations other people place on them. Suicidal thoughts are not uncommon among teens, in fact, 65% of high school students have admitted to having suicidal thoughts. Vivian Auerbach tells us how some families teach kids wrong way to cope with things. This makes it a struggle for teens to deal with their problems in a organized manner. Other times teens may be under a great amount of pressure by having set unrealistic expectations and become very upset when they fail to achieve them. They are rarely pleased with their performance and the sense of failure often increases depression and hopelessness and they may live their life in fear of failure. Over 66% of teens who committed suicide were on negative terms with their family. (To the left, "Family Stress")


Sometimes people that are bipolar are more common to have suicidal thoughts because they have times of serious depression and times of high energy, which affects their emotions and moods making it difficult to be realistic for the person and their decisions, says Dr. Lyness D'Arcy. They sometimes cannot think straight allowing them to make life or death decisions at any time. Some people may not even realize that they are bipolar and may not consider what mood their in when making choices.


Studies have shown that the higher levels of internet use have been linked to higher levels of depression and loneliness. The dependance on technology may cause unreal relationship between people and the need for technology. Cyber bullies tend to hide behind the masks that the internet provides by using a different name as a screen name. Because an online bully may not have as much face-to-face contact with the victim, they may not know and understand the effects they are having on the person. Because of that, they are much less likely to feel guilty and they're more likely to say something hurtful through technology than to someone’s face. "Traditional bullying is more likely to take place in school; whereas cyber bullying more likely to take place at home. This may increases a child’s anxiety and vulnerability," according to Kristina Kersting author of "Technology and Youth Suicide." (Above to the right, "Cyber Bullying")

Before Suicide

The Signs

For every one person who commits suicide, one hundred have attempted suicide. Here is how to stop it, before it happens. Before teens commit suicide their behavior represents a help cry and if they don't receive help, they could find deadly solutions. They could be impulsive or abuse substances so they really don't know what they are doing and their judgment isn't there. One out of three teens that commit suicide are intoxicated. They could have a low self-esteem or are not emotionally stable such as a teen with depression. Also if someone they love has committed suicide in the past they are more likely to commit it and think it is acceptable. Having a dysfunctional family or be very stressed on top of everything, includes Vivian Auerbach, author of "Teen Suicide: A Growing Concern." Teens deal with suicide in many ways sometimes they act out, other times they try to push it down and they remove themselves from many activities. They may resort to loneliness, drugs, violence or all of the above. Some cry a lot and go into depression, or stop caring about themselves. Everyone deals with suicidal thoughts in a different way, because everyone has a different story and different past.


Dr. Lyness D'Arcy tells us how there are many symptoms of people who think about committing suicide such as:
  • talking about suicide or death
  • talking about "going away"
  • referring to objects they "won't be needing,"
  • giving away items
  • talking about sad feelings
  • pulling away from friends or family
  • losing the need and want to go out with friends
  • having no want to do favorite things or activities
  • having trouble staying focused
  • changing habits, eating or sleeping
  • drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or cutting themselves, ect.

Unexpected Suicide

Dr. Lyness D'Arcy explains that some people don't give warning before they commit suicide, which leaves family members or friends or classmates unable to understand why they did it. This may leave them with a feeling like they missed something in the persons life. It's important for people that have to deal with someone committing suicide unexpectedly to understand that people don't always give a warning and that it isn't your fault. People that have gone through this may be more vulnerable to think of suicide for themselves. If you find yourself with these thoughts talk to a group of survivors that have been through the same situations as you or talk to a guidance counselor.

Coping with Suicide

Counselors and Therapists

In the article "Suicide" Dr. Lyness D'Arcy tells us that counselors and therapists can provide support and can help teens build their skills up for dealing with problems. Around 90% of teens who commit suicide, feel like no one understands them. Some people may find it helpful to join a support network with other people who have to deal with the same problems as them. This will become a positive, caring environment where you can feel ("Someone out there needs you")
comfortable to talk through problems because you will be around others who have similar problems.


Dr. Lyness D'Arcy explains that hotlines are there for people who don't have anywhere else to go. People who don't want others to know what's going on may find these lines very helpful. Not everyone has a person they can trust and confide in. Some hotlines may contact local authorities, but many do not for fear that that is invading in on the trust the person has. Many crisis lines do not trace calls and will only offer to send medical assistance if the caller asks for it, thus ensuring that callers can use the service without fear of unwanted emergency services involvement. (Above to the left, "#suicideprevention")

Suicide Statistics

("World Suicide Prevention Day")


Karen Zeinert, author of Suicide Tragic Choice says there have been about 40 different methods of suicide found and they depend on what is available and the different genders. Fire arms are a faster way to die and they are located in over half of all American homes so they are readily accessible. Ingestion is favored by females so their bodies aren't disfigured. This method is slower and the person is more likely to be saved, which explains why more males die than females, since females have a greater chance of being rescued with their preferred death strategies.

According to Kevin Caruso, publisher of "Suicide Statistics" the most common methods of suicide are use of firearms, hanging, strangulation or suffocation, poisons and a small percentage of other methods. Firearms are used in 58% of men and 31% of women suicides, and hanging, strangulation or suffocation, is used in 23% of men and 20% of women. Whereas, poisons are used in 12% or men and 39% of women suicides and other methods are 8% of men and 10% of women.


"Suicides are most often committed in the middle of the night and in winter and are usually committed in broad daylight in the month of May. Though if suicides are planned ahead they are usually on a date with specific meaning. For example, one man killed himself on July 4 to symbolize his freedom from anguish and pain," according to Zeinert.

Suicide Rates

Karen Zeinert tells us the suicide rates in 1995:
west: 14.1
northeast: 8.6
Midwest 11.4
American suicide rate: 11.0 (11 in every 100,000 people)
Females: 3.8
Russia suicide rate: 44.4-> Highest in world (1995)
Italy suicide rate: 7.1-> lowest in world (1995)

2010 State Statistics

According to "Facts and Figures: State Statistics." in 2010 there were 793 suicides committed in Wisconsin, the 27th highest in the nation and a 23.2 suicide rate.

Wyoming was the highest suicidal state with 131 suicides and a 13.9 suicide rating.

New York had an 8.0 suicide rating with 1,547 suicides committed, making them the lowest ranked state in the U.S.


Auerbach, Vivian. "Teen Suicide: A Growing Concern." World Book. N.p.: n.p., 2013. 1-6. World Book Advanced. Web. 5 Feb. 2013. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/advanced/media?id=sr200005&st=suicide>. This shows some facts about suicide as well as how to deal with it and how to prevent it. I got this off Destiny.

Caruso, Kevin. "Suicide Statistics." Suicide.org. Kevin Caruso, 2003. Web. 11 Feb. 2013. <http://www.suicide.org/index.html>. This site is a hotline, awareness, prevention, about, statistic site with everything you could possibly want to know about suicide and everything you need to help someone or yourself that is having suicidal thoughts.

"Cyber Bullying." MetaLife. 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.
<http://metalifestream.com/wordpress/?attachment_id=2228>. I found
this picture on Google Images.

D'Arcy, Lyness, PhD, ed. "Suicide." TeensHealth. Nemours, Nov. 2011. Web. 6 Feb. 2013. <http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/feeling_sad/suicide.html#>. This was a site given on the LibGuide.

"Depression." Identity Crisis. Susan Scheff, 2011. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. <http://susan-scheff.info/teen-depression/teen-depression.html>. I found this on Google images

"Facts and Figures: State Statisitics." AFSP. AFSP, 2013. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.
<http://www.afsp.org/ index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewPage&page_id=05114FBE-E445-7831-F0C1494E2FADB8EA>. I searched for this on the Interenet and it seem reputable because its a
foundation and orgaization. I have also found references to this website
before this.

"Family Stress." IU News Room. Indiana University, 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.
<http://newsinfo.iu.edu/web/page/normal/5214.html>. I found this
picture on Google Images.

Kersting, Kristina , R., MA LPC. "Technology and Youth Suicide." 2008. Microsoft Power Point file. This was a reference in a book. It provides information on technology, cyber bullying and suicide from these things.

"Someone out there needs you." Keep Living. Tumblr, 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.
<http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/keep%20living>. I found this picture on
Google Images.

The National Institute of Mental Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 27 Sept. 2010. Web. 10 Feb. 2013. <http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/suicide-in-the-us-statistics-and-prevention/index.shtml#suicide-attempts>. This website is put out by the government making it a trustworthy site, and it was also published in the last five years.

Zeinert, Karen. Suicide Tragic Choice. Berkeley Heights: Enslow, 1999. Print. This book provides statistics about suicide as well as the Who What When Where Why and How and also what you can do to prevent suicide from happening.

"#suicideprevention." Keep Living. Tumblr, 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.
<http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/keep%20living>. I found this picture on
Google Images.