Papers: Suicide and Age Commit Suicide

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Jeremy King

Professor Eileen Fisher

English 300

March 29, 2013

Suicide in Young Adults

For decades, suicide has been labeled as a serious mental illness, in result can cause an individual to take his or her own life. What exactly is suicide? What is mental illness? Suicide is the process of purposely ending one's own life. The way societies view suicide can vary widely according to religion and culture. For example, many Western cultures, as well as Judaism, Islam, and Christianity view killing oneself as a negative. One myth about suicide that may be the result of this view is considering suicide to always be the result of a mental illness. Some societies also treat a suicide attempt as if it were a crime. However, suicides are sometimes seen as understandable or even honorable in certain circumstances, such as in protest to persecution, as part of battle or resistance, or as a way of preserving the honor of a dishonored person. As far as young people in my age bracket (18-22), nearly 1,000 people alone in the state of California commit suicide every two years, with anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 thousand suicide attempts annually. About 500 young people reportedly kill themselves each year in California. The true number of suicides is likely higher because some deaths that were thought to be an accident, like a single-car accident, overdose, or shooting, are not recognized as being a suicide. Suicide is the
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eighth leading cause of death in males and the 16th leading cause of death in females. The higher frequency of completed suicides in males versus females is consistent across the life span. In California, boys 10-14 years of age commit suicide twice as often as their female peers. Teenage boys 15-19 years of age complete suicide five times as often as girls their age, and men 20-24 years of age commit suicide 10 times as often as women their age. Gay, lesbian, and other sexual minority youth are more at risk for thinking about and attempting suicide than heterosexual teens. Mental illness is any disease or condition that influences the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, and/or relates to others and to his or her surroundings. Although the symptoms of mental illness can range from mild to severe and are different depending on the type of mental illness, a person with an untreated mental illness often is unable to go on with life's daily routines and demands. There are many suicide methods, epidemiology of suicide, prevention, euthanasia, etc. In Janice Mirikitani's poem "Suicide Note", she describes the feelings and agony of a young Asian-American female college student who commits suicide by jumping out of her dorm window. The last words, thoughts and feelings were recorded in the suicide note she leaves behind. The note was written in the form of a poem, and allows the reader to see what leads an individual to take his/her own life. The poem describes the line of thinking of a despaired college girl, who relentlessly feels that she is not good enough. The poem is presented by the author in the form of a suicide note written by the poor girl to her parents. This was a heartbreaking incident that should never have happened in the first place. The suicidal young lady has a highly perfectionist streak in her, which drives her to be highly critical of herself. She also seems to
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have set unreasonably high standards for herself. "The reoccurring line in this poem, “not good enough not pretty enough, not smart enough”, is to emphasize this aspect of her psyche. (J. Mirikitani) “The poem also mentions how the girl failed to get high grades in exams. This also suggests that her parents were more concerned about the grades she receives and not the truly unconditional in their love for their daughter. In the LA times, there was an article on Hollywood actress Demi Moore using Twitter to stop a young California woman committing suicide. Twitter by the way…