Raising Teens

A site for parents of teens striving for sanity

Too much stress causing Teen Suicides?

It’s a new school year and I can’t believe almost 3 months to the day of the last teen suicide at my daughter’s high school, (May 21, 2013), another girl committed suicide on August 28th, 2013.

I am stunned at what seems to be an epidemic!

I asked my daughter how and why and her response was, “Mom, kids now a days have a lot of stress and they are depressed and they don’t know how to handle it since they can’t talk to their parents about it.”

She tells me most of the suicides are usually girls and that they have family problems at home. What I don’t understand is WHY? WHat type of stress is so big and horrible that the only answer is death? I argued with my daughter because I said, “What stress does your generation have that all previous ones did not?”  Then she replied, “Mom, you don’t get it, social media wasn’t around when you were in school. There is so much more teen pressure and stress. Kids can’t handle it and they get depressed and instead of getting help, telling their parents and going to a doctor for medication for it, they kill themselves.”

Are you kidding? So, if a teen can’t talk with his or her parents about something, this is their only way out?? I mean really?? Talk to a priest, a rabbi,  school counselor, anybody, a friend. Why can’t these teens talk to their parents? How did their parents not see something was wrong? I am worried now.

What is the face of suicide? Is it my daughter? Is it her friend? I mean it’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s horrible.

Parents are scared. Now we have to worry if any little thing that upsets our children will push them over the edge? How did  we get here and how do we make it stop? How dark must it be for these kids that their ONLY solution is death?

We still don’t have details on how or why the young girl killed herself but my heart goes out to  her parents,  family and friends. Life will never be the same and they will never know what was so bad that their daughter, sister, cousin, friend took her life for it.

I would love for someone to respond to this and give me some insight on how to prevent this  teen suicide from getting out of hand? Am I scared? Heck yes. I am  very involved in my daughter’s life, but now this just makes me realize I need to keep being involved and keep an open line of communication.  But most importantly I need to establish trust. My daughter needs to be able to trust me with anything  — even if I don’t approve. I need to be her safe house. I may not like, or approve what she tells me, but I will listen and be there always.

So hug your kids a bit longer tonight because I am sure the parents of the two young girls who took their precious lives would give anything to hug their teen daughters one last time and never let go.

 

4 Comments

  1. Basically, the pressure from school, parents, social media, and things like that becomes too much for the kid and s/he feels inadequate and like a burden and a disappointment. Feeling such as those can cause depression, and depression can lead to suicide. I speak from experience.

  2. I’m 20 years old and i attend a community college. In high school, there is so much stress to get perfect grades, excellent SAT scores, and to have outstanding extracurricular activities such as volunteering in order to be accepted into a good college. Family, friends, and extrinsic or intrinsic motivation place insane amounts of stress (whether or not they know it) on students to achieve these qualities because we are taught that without them, we will not be accepted anywhere and will not succeed in life. As soon as one of the three qualities is not achieved, such as a C in a math class along with all A’s or below average SAT scores, the amount of stress triples. I was a victim of this situation and i considered killing myself numerous times throughout highschool so that i wouldn’t have to deal with any of it. For example, dealing with your parents disappointment, seeing your friends get accepted to wonderful colleges, and imagining your future beyond college is overwhelming. It is difficult to put into words how it feels to be overwhelmed like this and it is easy to say, “but i dont understand how they only see death as an only option” because it is almost impossible to explain to someone why. Death is the easy way out. You no longer have to worry about disappointing people, where you’ll be accepted, if your test scores are high enough, and the hundreds of other stressors that cause unnecessary anxiety. I dont even know if you will read this because the posting date is 2013. But if you do, try to understand that you will NEVER understand what others are going through and that to some people, death does feel like the only option. Suicidal thoughts or depression are extremely common in adolescents and i think that if people want to do something to help, they shouldn’t just send their children to therapists. Why? Because i for one, dont have the money or time to go to a therapist. My 3 chapter tests and midterm are all due on monday (its Saturday) and i work 8.5 hours tomorrow. I can’t help it that i am bad at math and i am being tutored as often as i can. I dont have time to go to a therapist when i should be studying or doing homework. Tutoring in itself is extremely expensive and to spend money on tutoring as well as therapy is not only stressful to the student but to the parents. Not to mention therapy is bullshit. So if people want to help this issue, the best way is to lower the standards. School should be based on the education being learned more than memorization per test because “you have to get all A’s”. What ever happened to C being average? I was taught that a C is terrible and is basically failing and that a B is inadequate but not terrible. Society makes it so that A’s are the only way. This, this is what needs to change. Then maybe teens wouldn’t feel the need to hang themselves before they are even of legal drinking age.

  3. I’m with you that parents are scared. My 13-year-old son has threatened multiple times to take his own life because he has no control over his own life. Am I doing the wrong thing by limiting his video game time, imposing a curfew, not allowing friends in the house while the parents are away, and requiring a daily shower? I thought I was doing things “right” but am scared that my son will end his life because I imposed what I had thought were normal and reasonable limits. All the research I’ve read has stated that children/teens secretly desire limits and boundaries because of the safety that comes with rules. Guess my kid didn’t read that research. What’s a mom to do?

    • mominthesprings

      October 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Ellen-

      First advice, DO NOT LISTEN OR TAKE ADVICE FROM RESEARCH!! LISTEN REALLY LISTEN to your son. What he needs maybe more that boundaries. I would recommend having him talk to a therapist
      because if you cant help him then get him to someone who can. Someone who can help him understand what you have been trying to tell him all along. Your his mom, do what YOU feel is right. Noone know your son better than you. YOu may not have all the answers or know how to get through to him, but trust me you will in time and if talking or listening to him doesn’t help maybe a therapist will. I wish I had all the answers but there isn’t a book on how to raise a teenager. Its basically learn as you go. Don’t give up and don’t let him push you away not matter what. I wish you peace and good luck. Keep me posted! and by the way.. your a GOOD MOM!

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