From every direction lately, I hear about teen suicide. First, I read about two high school girls, both popular soccer players, who killed themselves just days apart. One may have killed herself because she felt guilty for not preventing the other from taking her life.
Today, I read about Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge, a 22-year-old lineman and wrestler who was found dead in a dumpster blocks away from his apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Karageorge’s mother, Susan Karageorge, had previously told a TV station that her son suffered from concussions, and that he had sent her a text shortly before he went missing in which he apologized for being an “embarrassment” as a result of the medical condition.
“I wish you could’ve talked to me if you were struggling,”Johnni Dijulius, one of Karageorge’s teammates on the wrestling team told NBC News. “I love you to death and I hope that you found peace and you’re happy.”
As I read more and more about teen suicide, I’m scared. What’s going on with our teens and young adults?
The rate of teen suicide has been rising during the past few years, according to a survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The study also found 1 in 12 high school students reported having attempted suicide.
Are we raising teens that feel lonely, disconnected and misunderstood? What should we be doing differently?
Recently, during a fight in my son’s school cafeteria, the teens all reached for their phones to video it. Not one, called for help. Are we raising teens who try to capture the moment digitally rather than step in physically to prevent hurt feelings, broken bones or worse — suicide? Have you had a conversation with your teen lately about coming to you if he or she feels suicidal or believes a friend might be?
Teens, like everyone else, need to feel like someone gets them. They want to be understood. Obviously, we’re not doing enough to help them feel that way.
Clinical psychologist Barbara Greenberg rightfully asks: “Why are so many teens giving up so quickly?” I have to wonder the same…..
Is social media to blame? Are violent video games the problem? Could peer pressure have reached a new level? Are we relying too much on medication rather than conversation?
Why do you think teen suicide is on the uptick and what do you think parents can do about it?