Northwest NEWS

May 21, 2001

Editorial

Teen suicides just don't know any other way

Many people don't realize how serious teen suicide is. Half a million teens (mostly female) attempt suicide in one year. About 5,000 (mostly males) actually commit suicide. Statistics say that there are probably more suicides. They believe this because some suicides get marked as accidents.
   Many teens who commit suicide don't realize how much pain they put their families and friends through. That's why teens shouldn't commit suicide. The main reason teens commit suicide is to end their pain, not their life. They just don't know any other way. Here are some ways to help:
   Believe them. Always listen to them. Get help. Remove weapons of choice. Teach other warning signs. Help them solve problems and deal with pain. Take them seriously. Always express your love, concern, and support. Don't counsel them yourself. Don't give them advice. Don't delay in dealing with the situation. Don't tell them they're fooling. Don't diagnose them, bring them to a professional doctor.
   Shouldn't we be trying to lower the suicide rates instead of letting them increase? All we have to do is look for warning signs and then try to help the suicidal teens. Here are ten of the most common warning signs:
   Previous suicide attempts. Suicide threats. Dramatic drop in school performance. Dramatic change in eating or sleeping habits. Sudden loss of interest in activities and possessions. Extreme restlessness or irritability. Feeling or hopelessness. Feelings of worthlessness and self hatred. Deep prolonged depression. Drug or alcohol abuse.
   I believe spending a little more time with your teen and being more sensitive to your fellow peers will definitely lower the suicidal rates. Hopefully you, along with everyone else, will help us to achieve this goal.
   Sheena Inthamala