Teen suicide is a major cause of concern in the United States. Latest figures published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that the number of teenagers taking their own lives in the country has been rising between 2007 and 2015. In a study titled “QuickStats: Suicide rates for teens aged 15-19 years, by sex — United States, 1975–2015,” evaluation of data pertaining to deaths by suicide among adolescents of both genders has revealed shocking statistics.
Researchers found that the suicide rates for girls aged 15-19 years went up by two times during the 2007-2015 period. Comparatively, the suicide rate for adolescent boys belonging to the same age group increased by 30 percent. Teen girl suicide reached its highest point in 2015 in the last 40 years, the CDC report found. “In 1975, in the United States, there were 1,289 suicides among males and 305 suicides among females aged 15 to 19 years. In 2015, there were 1,537 suicides among males and 524 among females aged 15 to 19 years,” authors of the study said.
The CDC findings serve as a warning against potential factors that compel teenagers to take their own lives. The numbers also stress the need for federal agencies, medical professionals and health care advocates to come together and initiate talking about topics like emotional health problems and their governing factors.
Parents and guardians need to make their teens understand that suicide is definitely not the option to get rid of haunting emotional problems. Discussion helps the affected to come face-to-face with their problems which they feel hesitant to share. Besides, health care advocates must encourage people to seek necessary medical care while explaining the adverse effects of untreated mental problems.
Why are teenagers prone to committing suicide?
While the figures mirror an alarming trend of teenagers killing themselves, they do not explain factors behind it. Experts say young people are susceptible to high levels of stress and confusion that can play havoc with their mental health. Other factors like family issues, excessive use of social media, exposure to traumatic incidents and dependence on opioids or indulgence in illicit substances may result in high prevalence of emotional disorders that can increase the risk of suicidal ideation.
Studies have indicated how episodes of depression and other mental illnesses like schizophrenia, anxiety or bipolar disorder are rising among American teenagers. Trauma suffered during childhood, if not treated, may result in symptoms of grievous psychological problems like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), an estimated 21.4 percent of American adolescents aged 13-18 years live with a serious mental health problem at some point during their lives.
Elucidating on the universality of psychiatric disorders among American teenagers, Dan Reidenberg, executive director of the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, told HuffPost, “People often think that teens can’t get depressed or anxious, but they can. While the teen brain is still developing, teens do struggle with genuine mental illnesses and they need to be properly evaluated and treated. We need to change perceptions to help teens learn it is okay to ask for and get help.”
Road to recovery
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among Americans. An analysis of mortality rate figures in the U.S. indicates an estimated 121 suicides each day. However, suicides can be prevented if people with mental conditions get timely medical intervention.
Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego’s teenage residential treatment center recommends various behavioral therapies and medications to ensure complete recovery to their patients. Our teen rehab center at San Diego conducts detailed patient assessment, in addition to studying relevant genetic, social and environmental factors that may help explain the sudden onset of emotional problems in teenage patients. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representatives for more information about our mental health rehab center for teens.