Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people age 15 to 24. Accidents are number one and homicide just passes up suicide and come in second. According to the National Mental Health Association, “Each year, almost 5,000 young people, ages 15 to 24, kill themselves. The rate of suicide for this age group has nearly tripled since 1960…”(1). More and more teenagers are being pushed to the edge, as explained in the story of eighth grader, Luis.
Luis was the skinniest eighth-grader in his class. He also wore glasses and had braces on his teeth, and the other students picked on him every day. They thought it was fun to push Luis into lockers and steal his money, because he was too weak to fight back. The teachers never did anything about it. "I should just kill myself," he thought, "then they would be sorry." He pictured them all at his funeral, wishing they had been nicer to him. After one very hard day at school, Luis decided it was time to teach them a lesson. He swallowed about twenty sleeping pills. Then hey just lay on his bed and felt glad that the other kids were going to regret making his life so hard (Schleifer 25).
Teen suicide effects everyone; whether friends, family, or peers. There are many things that cause the need for suicide; there are many obvious warning signs, and also many ways to prevent someone from committing suicide.
Even though most teens know that suicide is not a good way to solve their problems, there are many things that just push teens over the edge and cause them to commit suicide. Teens often feel alone, abandoned, ignored, or rejected and they feel that the only way to get some attention is to try to kill themselves. A feeling of hopelessness, depression, low self-esteem, and feeling like a failure are all of the main reasons why suicide is committed so often. Pressure can come from family, work, school, or friends to try to do better then the teen can actually achieve. Everyone knows how it feels to be close to someone and when that relationship is shattered, so is the person's esteem. When breaking up with a significant other, teens often feel very alone and that life can't go on without that other person who is now missing in their life. Even if that important relationship wasn't a romantic relationship, it can still greatly affect a person. If a teen moves away or has a close friend move away, they may think there is nothing left to live for.
An acne medication called Accutane has been proven to be a possible link to teen suicides. According to Cosmo Girl magazine, the fast acting acne medication was developed in 1971 as a use for cancer treatment but abandoned. It was then starting to be used in 1975 as a way to clear up different forms of acne, and then the United States approved of Accutane after a nine month FDA study (115). At first doctors were not required to inform their patients on all of the side effects that come along with Accutane. However, after many teen suicides have...