Depression Depression is a leading cause of teenage suicide. Suicidal teenagers may become depressed and contemplate suicide after the death of a loved one, parental divorce, inability to make friends or do well in school, or witnessing violence in the home. These teens may feel extreme despair that they do not understand, and may feel helpless and hopeless because they cannot see a solution for the anguish they feel. To these teenagers, suicide may seem like the only way to make the pain stop.
In addition, rejection from friends, peers and family may cause teenagers to become suicidal. Ridicule from parents because of sexual orientation may cause insecure teenagers to commit suicide as a way to gain freedom from the negative stigma. Mental Illness Teenagers who have a mental illness are more prone to commit suicide than teenagers without a mental illness. KidsHealth. org states that approximately 95 percent of teenagers who commit suicide have a mental illness at the time of death.
Many times teenagers suffering from mental illness do not consistently take their medications, and when they do not take their medications on a regular basis they may experience depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety which can lead to suicide. Physical and Sexual Abuse Some teenagers commit suicide because they are being abused. These teens may feel like the only way to escape the physical and sexual abuse is to commit suicide. Teenagers are often afraid to tell anyone about the abuse if the abuser is a family member or close friend for fear of retaliation.
Suicidal teenagers may feel isolated and unable to disclose what is happening to them. These teens may believe that the only way to make the abuse stop is to commit suicide. Lack of Support A lack of support may prompt teenagers to take their own lives. Suicidal teens may have a poor relationship with their parents or extended family members. These teens may not feel accepted or loved, and often lack the support of friends. They tend to feel isolated and rejected by their peers. These teens have a hard time making and maintaining friends.
They often appear awkward and strange to other teenagers. Suicidal teens may complain that no one understands them. Ninety percent of suicidal teenagers believe that their parents ignore their points of view, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. These teens believe that once they die, they will go to a place where they can find unconditional support and acceptance. Family History and Biology According to HealthyPlace. com, teenagers with a family history of suicide are 2. times more likely to commit suicide than those without a family history. Teens may also be more susceptible to suicide if they experience multiple suicides within the family. The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that suicidal tendencies appear to have a genetic component that is passed down through generations. Teenagers may also be more prone to suicidal behavior due to low levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that controls impulsive behavior such as suicide. Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is another cause of teen suicide. Mental-Health-Matters. com states that teenagers who drink heavily and use drugs constantly are at risk for suicide. These teens may start abusing alcohol and drugs as a way to fit in or a way to ease their sadness, but as the abuse increases they may find that the drug abuse only numbs the pain and that the depression returns after the effects wear off. Substance abuse may lower a depressed teenager’s inhibitions and encourage impulsive behavior such as suicide.