Understanding and Preventing Teen Suicide Essay

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The devastation caused by teen suicide is one known around the world. It is a sad reality that many families go through, and deal with every day. Throughout the United States, in causes of deaths, suicide has become the 3rd leading reason ranging from ages 15 through 19. The years of adolescence, the role one plays in their own life becomes extremely difficult to navigate through, due to both mental and physical changes. With this comes the feeling of loss and hopelessness. A feeling that can lead to many more devastating disorders down the road, ultimately becoming a factor of suicide. As well as many other unseen factors such as alcohol and drug abuse, and even sexual physical abuse. The mental state that these factors can put teens through is a traumatic one that many people may never understand. There are many influences that cause teens to make this devastating decision, it becomes difficult to narrow down to just one, but when it comes to understanding teen suicide, you must first begin to understand there are many misconceptions about suicide and the myths that surround it, as well as the connection between suicide and non-suicidal self-injury and even ways to prevent it with different methods and treatments.

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Considering that teen suicide is the 3rd most common death behind accidents and homicide, stated Karyn Horowitz of The Brown University Child and Adolescence Behavior Letter, there is still so much to be discovered about this devastating occurrence. Unfortunately, many people believe in myths that degrade the severity of suicide, such as the suggestion that suicide simply happens with no warning signals of any kind, which happens to be a myth. Since suicide varies in each case, many of these myths happen to be what people actually believe suicide to be. Such as if a suicidal teen has attempted it once, they are just looking to gain attention from other people and are believed not to actually try it again. This degrading outlook of the situation can cause someone to miss signs and become a problem for future occurrences. When the reality is most suicidal teens show signs of depression and other behaviors that raise red flags, warning others of what may come, and though many believe it’s simply a cry for attention, the truth is they are a major risk to themselves at any time. There as well is the belief that once suicidal teens make up their decision to commit suicide, there is not changing it. Although despite controversy, there are plenty of beneficial resources and understanding the treatment given for those diagnosed with these disorders can play a major role in decreasing the thoughts of suicide in young teens. With these, it is imperative to understand the importance of looking deeper into the thought of teens with suicidal intentions.

Along with suicide can come many non-suicidal self-injuries beforehand. Stated by Kerri L. Kim, 16% of high school students have seriously considered committing suicide throughout the years from childhood to adolescences, with the developing problem of non-suicidal self-injuries relating to it. Non-suicidal self-injuries, or NSSI, is actions such as burning, cutting, etc., has been shown to be a developing occurrence throughout teen. Although these inflictions are not suicidal and with sometimes no intention to commit suicide, they can still lead up to it without the proper treatment to help. However, the rise of usage with alcohol and drug related experimentation among teens and adolescence is rapidly developing. With reports showing steady growth throughout the US of teens in high school trying them out or using them frequently. Percentages were lower in the younger grades such as 8th opposed to 12, but still alarmingly high. With the rise of alcohol and drug usage, it is suggested that the negative affects of its use have been liked to cause of death such as suicide and bring out unwanted feelings such as depression and anxiety. Being able to understand the different links related to suicide can help stop further incidents.

With the knowledge of the truths behind teen suicide, one must then begin to learn what there can be done to prevent teen suicide. A teen who feels hopeless and helpless to solve problems has an increased risk of suicide, (Murphy, 2005). To help prevent these feelings of depression and all others that come with being a teen, learning about these side disorders that can lead to suicide is imperative. Recognizing these signs can help lead to knowing the right treatment to use in each case. There are many forms of treatments such as medications and interventions. Getting the correct help for teens will ease the process and pain. Psychiatrists should oversee the teen in which will be receiving medicine correctly proscribed to him or her, depending on their specific situation. With taking medications such as antidepressants, it is advised to see a practitioner in order to confirm whether the medication is making the teen progress or digress. As well as cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to help suicidal teens. With many suicidal teens, and their tendency to have depression or anxiety, it is easy for them to have outlooks that cause them to see everything as a disaster. Talking to a specialist can help sort out these feelings and lead them to better understanding of their surroundings. Even psychotherapy, in which they will simply be free to just talk about their feelings in an open environment. This and many more solutions can be gained for teens with suicidal thoughts if the right help can be found for them.

Understanding teen suicide is vital information to know in today’s world, with all the disregards and misunderstandings of this very serious topic, it can be easily overlooked. With the rates climbing and alcohol and drug abuse becoming more common throughout teens, it is important to know what to do in case a situation ever arises. Today’s world has already begun to become more stressful for teens and it is imperative that we remember that with each child who may be dealing with something that most will never even know about.


  1. Horowitz, K. (2009). Dispelling the myths surrounding teen suicide. Brown University Child &
  2. Adolescent Behavior Letter, 25(11), 1–7. Retrieved from
  3. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=afh&AN=44751112&site=ehost- live
  4. Kim, K. L., & Dickstein, D. P. (2013). Relationship between teen suicide and non-suicidal self-
  5. injury. Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, 29(5), 1–6. Retrieved from
  6. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=afh&AN=86965270&site=ehost-live
  7. Murphy, K. (2005). What can you do to prevent teen suicide? Nursing, 35(12), 43–45. Retrieved
  8. from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=afh&AN=19134958&site=ehost-live
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Understanding and Preventing Teen Suicide Essay. (2021, Apr 10). Retrieved December 8, 2022 , from

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