My question is about teen suicide. What can lead up to it?my question is about teen suicide what can lead up to it

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linalarocca eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with post #9's response about teen suicide. I remember being a very sensitive teen, and how much the people around me had an influence on my self image. I could imagine how much a person I respected could influence my decision to take my own life at such a tender age. A teenager is like a sponge; they absorb everything around themselves. If a teenager experiences the loss of an important or influential person to suicide, they may also believe that suicide is the answer to turmoil and grief.

I am wondering how much of an influence classic literature may have on teenagers today. Literature that is included in the high school curriculum often depicts suicide as an answer to conflict and distress. For instance, Romeo and Juliet is a perfect example of this assertion.

scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One other factor in teen suicide that I read about recently in Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point is that if a respected/idolized teen (or someone else whom teens respect) commits suicide, teens are more prone to follow suit or struggle with suicidal thoughts. In his book, Gladwell points to a example from Micronesia where a popular teen hanged himself after not living up to his dad's expectations that the boy quickly find a missing tool.  Soon afterward, other young males began hanging themselves over seemingly inconsequential matters such as arguments with girlfriends.  In their suicide notes, some of them mentioned the name of the first boy who committed suicide.

An American example is Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many things can lead a teen to believe that suicide is an option for them. Some of these things may be the loss of someone very to them or being socially unacceptable at school. The problem that teens do not understand is that everything passes. People learn to deal with horrible situations over time. It is important to remember that there is a lot of help available to teens who are in crisis. There are school counselors, telephone hot-lines, parents and friends.

Another thing to remember is that the teenage brain is not fully developed yet. The part of the brain that controls impulses and rational decision making is still very immature.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you feel as if this is a personal option or know someone who does, PLEASE talk to someone.

I think bullgator and dstuva have touched on a common thread. Sometimes teenagers don’t see the big picture. They look at dying as an escape from situations that seem unbearable. They look at it as a means of getting back at people--such as parents. The common thread is that these teenagers have intense emotional and psychological issues but they don’t have the ability to see through these dark moments to the lighter moments that might be in their future.

Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One contributing factor that makes teens more susceptible to suicide than adults is that they do not yet, or their brains do not yet, register the permanance of death.  This is more often the case with early teens, than with older teens. 

This leads to teens, for instance, picturing themselves looking down in revenge at mourners during their own funerals.  They do not yet understand that they won't be looking anywhere or at anyone once they die. 

If they understood the permanence of death, they might be less likely to go ahead with suicide. 

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my experience as a counselor and teacher, students almost always express feelings of complete hopelessness and that there was nothing anyone could do to improve the situation.  Feeling hopeless and helpless to change it spurred them on to end it all.  Nothing is ever that bad.  If you know anyone who is feeling this way, or showing signs of considering away personal items, saying goodbyes to people close to them, withdrawing from people or activities they used to enjoy...get them some help!

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stress is a fact of life in adults as well as teens. Though most people would agree that teen problems are miniscule compared with those encountered by adults, I'm sure that they seem very real to young and old alike. Maturity and life experience can only come with age, and many teens seem unwillingly to realize that their problems can often resolve themselves. Some teens believe that eliminating their problems can only come with suicide--an assumption often made by adults as well.

mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Failed suicide attempts lead up to suicide.  Most suicides are unsuccessful.  Sylvia Plath tried to kill herself twice as a young person: once at ten and once as a teenager.  She tried once more as an adult before she was successful.

Mental illness leads up to suicide.  Most suicides, I believe, occur during the college years because the brain goes through some changes that cause instability and illness.  This too was the case with Sylvia Plath.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cultural and family pressures can also be a cause.  The suicide rate among teens in Japan is very high, as the pressure to succeed academically there is unbelievable.  That is also a culture that values success in business and failure is sometimes seen as deeply personal.  In American culture, we tend to work too much, take too little time off, and often stress and eat ourselves into depression.

dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gosh, many things can lead up to this. The teenage years are difficult times. These kids need to feel accepted by their peers and family.Isolationism plays a large role I think, being a "loner", having feelings of rejection from boyfriends or girlfriends. Drug use by teens also clouds their thinking and probably predisposes them to self destructive ideation.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Amy-lepore makes great points, if you know of someone doing the things she mentioned do not hesitate to get them help. As far as what leads teens to suicide is a long list of things and is probably dependent upon the individual teen.

jess1999 | Student

I think there are a lot of factors that can lead up to teen suicide . Some factors might be just huge amount of stress . It could be stress from school or even friends . One could feel really pressure into getting perfect grades and then later going on into a prestigious college . Another factor could just be that they feel lonely . This is what I believe are some factors that could lead up to teen suicides . 

jenae13 | Student
My question is about teen suicide. What can lead up to it?

my question is about teen suicide

what can lead up to it

There are numerouf factors that can lead up to a child wanting to take his or her own life. Many children who comntemplate suicide are usually: (either one or more of the following)

1. Bullied at school.

2. Victims of sexual and/or physical abuse

3. neglected

4. Suffer from a phyical and/or mental illness

5. Are mourning the loss of a loved one.

6. Experimenting/Addicted to drugs/alcohol.

7. Suffer from depression

8. Suffer from chaotic homelife/absent parent/abandonment.

9. Feeling pressure to do well (for example, the pressure to obtain straight A's in school or to excel at sports).

These are just some of the reasons, there are many. I think #9 is especially common these days. I have seen several stories recently about scolar athletes who have committed suicide because they could not handle the pressure. Both of these children were in high school and alreadhy had committed to scholarships to college.


thumbelina | Student

I think peer pressure is one very significant cause of teen suicide. There are pressures to excel in class and beat the best to forge ahead. Competition to get into the most competitive field, for example, computer engineering, medicine etc, sometimes triggers off such desperation in children that failure to get into it increases their frustration to such an extent, that they prefer to die than be vanquished. This is normally the case with over ambitious teens who have , perhaps, not been counseled by responsible parents. Children, who do not have cordial relations with their parents, and have no one to turn to in moments of crisis, generally, fall victim to their own frustration and failure.

nabila25 | Student

In my belief that suicide has alot of causes:

first,lack of faith because person who hasn't faith hasn't life,

second, pressure of the family itself because it has a great part of this matter

finally social problems for instance poverty,drugs,unemployement............

mrs-everson2 | Student

I am a teen I am newly 16 years old. My family has been through alot. Suicide runs in my family. I have tried, I almost suceeded, but I was discovered lying on my batjroom floor. Guess I should have locked the door. It was a mix of being told I should die, that I'm worthless. Not living up to my parents expectations, feeling like that was best for everyone. And simply wanting to never see anyone again, and never deal with being nothing. Being less than nothing and not mattering to anyone.

dovev | Student

Family pressure, sexual abuse, peer pressure, emotional stress as in losing a loved one or education.

nusratfarah | Student

Teens in their adolescence period need extra care and attention. But often, we, the adults ignore the fact. This age is very much vulnerable. They become over-sentimental quickly; small issues hurt their emotions. Being emotional, they suppress their sentiments, anguish, pathos, and later, these burst out. Since they remain very sensitive, they can become depressed easily, and eventually, frustration grasps them now and then. Suicide is caused because of different reasons. For example-

  • Out of frustration, teens commit suicide.
  • Sometimes, they try to draw others' attention towards them, and when they fail, they choose this heinous path.
  • Sometimes, they try to escape the reality by killing themselves since teens face an unexpected and sudden change as they step toward adolescence from childhood.

The teens, usually, are sensitive, and this sensitivity should be handled with proper care rather than ignorance.

epollock | Student

Anything that is shocking or traumatic to an individual can lead to suicide. Are there any clear sings, probably not, otherwise it would be caught more often and prevented. It is quite a paradox to stop. One can best enjoy life and help their friends and family so that they can minimize the impact.