Unfortunately high school suicide statistics in the United States continue to be some of the highest numbers compared with that of other developed nations. In fact, high school suicide statistics also reveal suicide to be one of the leading causes of death among American teens.
Because these high school suicide statistics continue to rank so high, it is imperative that something be done to stop these numbers from increasing and to get this trend moving downward. The numbers are so high among high school suicide statistics that teens committing suicide is the number three leading cause of death of those in the 15 to 24 age range. In comparison, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death for those over the age of 10. There are several reasons why many in the mental health industry feel teens or high school-age individuals are more likely to commit suicide.
- Drug/alcohol abuse
- Difficulties in romantic relationships
- Divorced parents
- Household stresses (ie. unemployment, poverty, etc.)
- Social rejection
- Peer pressure
- Anger or guilt
- Physical disabilities
- Troubles in school and lack of academic success
- Emotional disorders like depression and anxiety
- Sexual abuse, rape
All of the above reasons and many more could be causes to lead a person toward wanting to commit suicide. On top of these struggles, teens are facing a hormonal rollercoaster of emotions. Dealing with these emotional changes as well as outside influences and negative forces could lead a teen to think they have no other way to cope with the pressures life is putting on them. They find they are in too much physical or emotional pain to be able to handle living. Most of these teens also suffer from low self-esteem and do not see a value in their life. Because of this warped mentality, suicidal high schoolers will choose ending their life as an option because they don’t feel loved or feel those they love will be better off without them alive. While this is not the case, teens are unable to think logically when they are in such a dark mental state. Because these high school suicide statistics are still too high, it is important for parents, teachers and fellow teens to be able to recognize the signs that a teen is feeling suicidal and to do something to stop it before it is too late.
According to these high school suicide statistics, those from a more poor economic back ground are more likely to be at risk for suicidal tendencies. More male teens are also at a higher risk of committing suicide compared to their female counterparts. Those in the European American ethnic group make up 84 percent of all youth suicides, according to recent high school suicide statistics.
Some of these suicidal teens might exhibit symptoms of withdrawal, anxiety, depression, agitation, fatigue, weight gain or weight loss, acting out, rebellion, drinking, doing drugs, etc. Many teens who are suicidal might also begin inflicting wounds upon themselves through cutting or burning themselves or might struggle with an eating disorder. All of these signs are important to watch out for and to pay close attention to because many depressed and suicidal high school-age teens are good at hiding their emotions and refusing to talk to a trusted adult about their problems or issues.
Because depression is the leading cause of suicide, getting these troubled teens help for their depression is the first step. Many teens need a combination of therapy and antidepressant medications to be able to cope with their depression and come back from that dark place in their lives. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, it is important to communicate these feelings with a family member, loved one or other trusted adult to get help immediately. Depression and suicide is unfortunately very common, so don’t be afraid of not being able to find someone who understands what you are going through. There are many trained professionals that can help. If you have a friend or loved one who is exhibiting some of these suicidal thoughts, it is important to get them help. Even if you are worried they might feel you are betraying them by telling their parents or another family member. You could be the difference in saving their life. Getting help early for depression is one of the best ways to treat the mental illness and have the highest level of success in treatment.
Sources: cdc.gov, yspp.org