“It’s just a phase.” What parents don’t realize is how much pain a person has to be in for them to think that their only option is to take their own life. Suicide is not a joke. What are we doing wrong as a society to make it so that over 5,000 youth lives are lost each year to suicide?
The thing that a lot of teens aren’t realizing is that suicide is permanent. You can’t come back once everything is better. Once you tie the rope, step off the edge, swallow the pill, pull the trigger, whatever you choose – there’s no going back. You’re gone. Forever.
Suicide is a growing issue in youth that is often pushed aside or overlooked by adults. I personally have had multiple adults tell me that it’s just a phase, or that my feelings and opinions aren’t real because of my age. I took a poll of everyone in class 8B to see how many people had had adults tell them that what they were feeling wasn’t legitimate because of their age. Out of the 23 people that were in the class that day, 13 of them said that this happened to them regularly. This means that over half of the class has been told that because they are teenagers, that they can’t possibly feel a certain way, or that it’s “just a phase.”
Warning signs are pushed aside and ignored because we’re ‘too young to have feelings like that’ The Jason foundation said that : “4 out of 5 teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.” Adults have simply neglected to admit that these are real problems, therefore leading to teens not getting the help that they need.
An 8th grader at Bullis Charter School who would prefer to stay anonymous said:
“I knew I needed help but I didn’t know how to ask. It made it worse when my parents didn’t say anything about the cuts and burns on my arms. It was like they didn’t notice or care. My step mom had told me multiple times before that I needed to ‘toughen up’. “
If someone has the courage to speak up and ask for help, we should encourage and support them. Not tell them that they’re too young to be able to feel that way.
Pushing away problems and pretending they don’t exist only makes it worse. Teens today are too focused on hiding cuts and self harm from their parents because they are scared of the negative response that they will get rather than the help that they need. Teens should be focused on being teens, not the best way to kill themselves.