Free Essay On Teen Suicide
During the time prior to “Romeo and Juliet”, teen suicide may have been unheard of. But in Shakespeare’s novel, he depicted the ultimate form of teenage rebellion, teenage suicide. Juliet is just thirteen as stated in Act I, Scene III of the play. Romeo on the other hand is probably slightly older than Juliet, which means in his teen years too. The tragic story of Romeo and Juliet is a story of how teenagers can be so impulsive, even taking their own lives because of their forbidden love affair.
The incidence of teen suicide has increased over the years. In the United States, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds and it is the sixth leading cause of death for 5-14 year olds (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Pscyhiatry (AACAP). This is quite alarming not only for parents but for other institutions like schools and the government.
There are several reasons why teens commit suicide. In the case of Romeo and Juliet, they thought that ending their lives was the solution to a broken heart. There are factors that increases the risk of teen suicide, and it is essential that these factors be lessened. Some of these are a history of previous suicide attempts, family history of suicide, history of depression or other mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse, stressful life event such as a death of a loved one, easy access to lethal methods and exposure to the suicidal behavior of others. An added risk factor today is the presence of social networking sites which are sometimes source of bullying among teens. There are already several incidences of teenagers committing suicide because they have been bullied through these social networking sites. The media is also a contributory factor because of their portrayal of suicide in movies or television shoes or their sensationalizing of true to life suicide stories.
Adolescents contemplating suicide usually shows signs of their intention to do so. It is important to know these signs to prevent the act. Some of the signs are change in eating and sleeping habits, withdrawal from families, friends and regular activities, use of drugs and alcohol, change in personality, poor performance in school, loss of interest in fun activities and mood swings (AACAP).
Parents, schools and other organizations can help lessen the potential of risk factors for teenage suicide. According to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), it is essential that there is an open communication within the family. The other suggested resiliency factors of NASP include increasing peer support and close social networks, intensifying and community connectedness, strengthening of cultural or religious beliefs that discourage suicide and promote healthy living, educating the youth with adaptive coping and problem-solving skills, including conflict-resolution, focusing on general life satisfaction, good self-esteem, sense of purpose, and providing for an easy access to effective medical and mental health resources.
Teen suicide can be prevented. It has to be a concerted effort between the teenager himself, his parents and family members, friends, school authorities and church organizations. Today’s society does not want any more Romeos and Juliets.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Pscyhiatry. "Teen suicide." October 2013. aacap.org. 22 April 2015 <http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_families_Pages/Teen_Suicide_10.aspx>.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Suicide prevention." 10 March 2015. cdc.gov. 22 April 2015 <http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/youth_suicide.html>.
National Association of School Psychologists. "Preventing youth suicide - tips for parents and educators." n.d. naspoline.org. 22 April 2015 <http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/suicideprevention.aspx>.
Shakespeare, William. "Romeo and Juliet." n.d. shakespeare.mit.edu. 22 April 2015 <http://shakespeare.mit.edu/romeo_juliet/full.html>.