Level: International Baccalaureate
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Written Speech on Teen Suicide
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Imagine you're standing atop a high bridge, you take a deep breath, say one last silent goodbye to your friends and family, and you leap to your death. By doing this, you're making a permanent solution to a temporary problem. You may be solving your own personal problem, but imagine the pain, suffering, and anguish that your friends, family, and peers go through. The people around you are wondering what was going through your mind and why you did it. Maybe you even told some of your friends that you were going to do it, and they didn't believe you, thinking it were a joke. You may have told your friends about your plans, but apparently your parents had no clue as to why you would choose to take your life, but this is the case with most teenage suicides. A lot of the time the parents don't have any clue that there was anything wrong in their children's lives, and also the teen's friends might have had some kind of clue, but they didn't do anything about it. Overall, they are left grieving their dead child or friend who took their own life away without any explanation. Sadly, teen suicide occurs nearly 5,000 times each year. Even more amazing is that 400,000 to 2 million teens attempt to commit suicide each year. Psychologists and therapists, teachers and school couslers, leaders of youth groups, and researchers who study society and young people have come up with a list of reasons as to why the teen decided to kill themselves. The list of culprits is long: too much divorce, too little religion, too much television, and too little communication between parents and children have been blamed. Absent parents, too much sexual freedom, widespread use of drugs and alcohol, too many guns, not enough love, and a world that seems hostile has also been blamed for pushing young people to their deaths. ...read more.
If a teenager begins to lose interest in friends, hobbies, sports, or school, he or she may be losing interest in life. Long periods of sitting and staring into space or sleeping during the day can be signs of serious depression. Getting rid of personal items. When people give away the things that mean the most to them, they may be putting their lives in final order, getting ready for the end. Prolonged sadness or crying. Extreme moodiness and depression can be signs of a meaningless and empty life. With these moods come tears, silent sobbing, or a continually sad look. Moody teens rarely smile and never laugh. Life no longer seems worth living, and their faces show it. Increased drug or alcohol use. A person who is about to commit suicide may start to use drugs and alcohol more regularly thinking " What does it matter if I get drunk every night? Soon I won't be here at all." Increased use of drugs and alcohol can be a major warning sign of severe depression and possible suicide. Change in eating and sleeping habits. Some suicidal teens, without realizing it, try to starve themselves. Burdened by severe depression, they seem to care nothing for food. Others eat all the time. Either way, it's a sign of trouble. Another indication of trouble is a change in sleeping habits. Some depressed people sleep most of the day, while others have trouble sleeping. Hurting oneself. Teenagers who are at the point of suicide may first try it on a small scale. In one "accident" after another, they may cut, burn, or injure themselves. These are not really accidents. This is self-destructive behavior, which, in effect, is an effort to punish oneself. Physical problems. Some suicidal teenagers can develop physical problems that are not caused by any illness. Such problems, like vomiting everyday