Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holidays, Teenagers And Pain

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, " ... suicide is the third leading cause of death, behind accidents and homicide, of people aged 15 to 24. Even more disturbing is the fact that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14." You can read the report by clicking here.

Another wonderful website full of great information on the causes, warning signs, prevention and statistics of the teen suicide situation in the United States is Teen Suicide Statistics. You can get there by clicking here.

According to the CDC report, as much as seventy-five percent of young people who attempt and/or successfully commit suicide are suffering from depression.

Regarding gender differences, states, "Teen suicide statistics show differences in the ways boys and girls handle suicide. While girls think about attempted suicide about twice as much as boys, boys are actually four times more likely than girls to actually die by killing themselves."

I was in a high school that had a rash of suicides and suicide attempts, so one of the issues the principal wanted me to address was teenage suicide.

When I got home, there was an email from a student that day, who wrote in part, " ... I'm in the eighth grade and I thought that I was on earth for the wrong reasons so yes I was going to try and kill myself tonight. Your speech helped me and I just wanted to let you know that you saved at least one life today if not many more."

I understand their pain because I was there for a time after my accident. Fortunately, I was in no position to act on my feelings. I was bed-ridden with a pressure sore, and in the middle of three surgeries over a six-month period. I saw no future in my current condition and thought the best way out was to just end my life. All these years later, I am so thankful I was not able to act on my emotions at the time.

When young people today make it through their own tough times, they tell me they feel the same way.

In this holiday season of giving thanks, emotional highs and lows, and appreciating everything we have, be aware of the people around you who may be having trouble. Please take a little time, reach out and offer a friendly hand or words of encouragement. You never know how they may be accepted by the recipient.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season filled with much love, joyful times and fellowship with family and friends.

I look forward to your comments.



1 comment:

Ruona said...

Fatcat, You and I have talked about this issue over the years. I especially remember you telling me about that 8th grader.

Have a nice Holiday buddy!