Teen Suicide by Patricia Fagan

I came home to find my son very disturbed about his friend’s sister whom at the young age of 14, committed suicide. Two weeks later, another friend ended his life at the age of 17. It seems like the more people you talk to about teen suicide, their stories become so eerily familiar.

I asked my son about his friend and if there were any signs contributing to his actions? He knew he was having difficulty with his grades and was a little socially awkward. There were no other clues to signify his behavior. All of his other friends believed he was generally a happy kid dealing with life’s challenges and problems.

What in the world is going on with our youth? There life is just beginning and yet there is a feeling of hopelessness, pain and frustration. Our teens are living troubled lives and there are no boundaries as to its’ next victim. Suicide targets all races and has no socioeconomic barriers. Rich or poor, the results are the same.

Are our expectations too high? Are we listening to our kids? Why are they choosing to check out rather than check in and seek help? Are schools doing enough to help those children in need? Broken homes and broken families may be part of the problem, however, there is much more to their stories of discontent. During the teen years, there is peer pressure and a desire to fit into certain groups. Poor relationships, bullying, and social isolation, is also part of the pressures that teens face day to day. If that’s not enough, the expectations of their grades and career choices upon graduation are also a contributing factor. Trying to conform and fit into this socially constructed system makes some teens feel overwhelmed.

As I contemplated what took place recently, I wondered how many of these teens turn to God in moments of intense stress. Do they know the Lord? Has anyone shown them the way to gain inner strength? Do they have any coping skills that will help them get through the tough times? Are we supplying them with the right tools to build a better life? So many questions and not enough answers.

Prevention is a key factor. We need to look out for signs of hopelessness and despair and take action. We were all teens once upon a time and we should all remember the difficulties we experienced. However some of us are able to go through the fire and persevere. Others depending on their circumstance need a little help from teachers, friends, parents and doctors.  As a community we can do much more to help teen suicide even if it’s just a word of encouragement to help those who are suffering the most. It’s a complex and disturbing condition and can seek out any home. Be aware, and recognize contributing factors of stress and depression. Sometimes their actions and words can’t be dismissed as just being a teen. It might be more serious if you look beneath the surface. Seek help whenever possible. If they won’t talk to you, find someone they are willing to talk with in order to have an outlet for guidance.

 

STATISICS

  1. Suicide is a silent epidemic and is the third leading cause of death for ages 10-24
  2. 1 in 5 teens had thought about suicide
  3. For every teen suicide death, experts estimate there are 10 other teen suicide attempts

Prevention Hotline…1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

12 thoughts on “Teen Suicide by Patricia Fagan”

  1. Thank you for shedding light on our teens. We all struggle and can forget how vulnerable we were as we were just beginning to figure out our place in the world. Our teenage years seem to be the time where we care most what others think of us. We can make a big difference in small ways.

    I remember my adolescence as one of the toughest times in my life. Grades were sub-par throughout middle-school, as fitting in became the primary order. I didn’t feel I was doing that well either.

    I will never forget the words of encouragement given by a teacher at the close of our school year. The crux of his message was, ‘many students who have not been able to do well in middle-school, go on to be very successful in high school.’ The teacher was never one that I never particularly cared for, yet his was a powerful message of hope that I am still grateful for to this day.

    We are all here to be a love and encouragement to one another. We need to take advantage of EVERY possible opportunity as if it were our last chance to let someone know that they are loved.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Shameless plug but I do talk a little about teen suicide in my book; Suicide: The Bible and Today. In my book I try to look at the different suicides that occurred in the Bible, what brought them to that point, and how we can help people before they get to that point.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. It’s important to realize how much impact the use of the internet and social media to include gaming systems have on this today as well. These are not necessarily things we had to deal with. This is a form of social isolation that is often overlooked. When people begin trading real friendships and engaging in activities with one another that release endorphins they/we start seeing things differently. We were built for community and relationship almost from the beginning. The relationship was always there and the community began after it wasn’t good for man to be alone. We need meaningful human interaction in our lives. With our lives being so busy and running around from one place to the next we easily can put relationship on the back burner, or at least I know I can, and we can quickly end up I a place where we desire more in life without maybe even realizing what the more is.

    Thank you for your words and for bringing to light how important life is and how much our children need us. God bless you.

    Jeremy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment. Life is really based on relationships as noted, slowly but surely we are all losing our way and unfortunately for our children, technology has given them a reason to be more isolated from others. Being aware of the problem is a good way to start the conversation to assist and direct those teens who need a kind word of encouragement.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. A painful topic handled very well. Thank you for talking about this, and thank you all for your insightful comments. There is a loneliness that comes with being full of hormones, driven to become independent and feeling like everything is permanent. Sometimes as teens (or even as adults) we drive people away or shut them out when we most need them. Parents, don’t let yourselves be shut out. You’re familiar and you’re safe so you might get the brunt of a teen’s emotions but find ways to say “I care enough that I will be here whether you want me or not.” Teens, if you believe nothing else that we say, believe that life NEVER stops renewing itself–the people and problems you have today will be gone and your life will be different in a few years. Hang on and count the years, and find one thing you can do each day to build the life you want to have at that time. And get to know Jesus. The life He brings can get you through anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great insight..our teens need to know they are loved. Whatever they are experiencing is a small snippet of
      their entire lives. Having God as the foundation will help them through emotional struggles and someone they trust for support.

      Liked by 2 people

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