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Suicide Awareness

On average, there are over 123 suicides per day, and 25 percent of those people have made other suicide attempts.

For the last year and a half, I have had a lot of my close friends give up hope. Many of them tell me that their lives aren’t going to get better. Every single one of them fears that they would be judged by everyone around them if they just simply asked for help. 

“On average, there are over 123 suicides per day, and 25 percent of those people have made other suicide attempts.” 

This world is pushing suicide rates to go up. Suicide is not a pretty event to have happen around you. I know what it feels like to lose someone to suicide and from my own experience have dealt with suicidal thoughts. Suicide shouldn’t have to be the only option for people to finally get someone to notice that they are hurting, but by that time it is too late. There are so many leading causes to suicide, and at some point in every person will have a suicidal thought or have dealt with suicide.

One of the main leading causes of suicide is they have a mental illness. 

“Over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death.” 

When I say mental illness, a lot of you are probably thinking of someone in a mental hospital or someone who is crazy. That is not true, all that is, is just a mental stereotype that’s put on mental illnesses along with the stigma. One of the most common mental illness that leads to suicide is untreated depression. People who lose a loved one or even lost a job can become depressed. When people become depressed a lot of the time they pull away from people, which then leads to them not feeling like they matter enough in this world to talk about how they truly feel inside. When clinically treated there is only a 15 percent chance that they will commit, unlike someone who is untreated is up to 45 percent. Untreated depression is a real and major issue. 

Another mental illness that leads to many suicides believe it or not is eating disorders. There are three main eating disorders: anorexia nervosa (fear of gaining weight or becoming fat), bulimia nervosa (the act of binge eating then purging or vomiting), and binge eating disorders (eating until uncomfortably full in one sitting.) People do this because they don’t feel comfortable in their own bodies. Our society has gotten so bad to the point people are hurting themselves to make them look pretty or attractive so they fit in. 

“A study in 2010 found that people with anorexia are 56 times more likely to commit suicide than non-sufferers.” 

People shouldn’t have to hurt themselves in order for our society to accept them. We should all just accept them for who they truly are. Another is self-harm. The thing many people don’t know is that 85 percent of people who self-harm don’t want to die. Self-harm is the act of hurting yourself, from simply hitting your head against the wall or all the way to cutting your own skin, on purpose. 

“The relationship between suicide and self-injury is complicated. While people with non-suicidal self-injury do not intend to complete suicide, they may cause more harm than intended, which could result in medical complications or death. In severe or prolonged cases of self-injury, a person may become desperate about their lack of control over the behavior and its addictive nature, which may lead them to true suicide attempts.” 

Self-harmers hurt themselves for many different reasons, not all of the reasons are the same. But I can tell you this the most common reasons is that they don’t feel comfortable in the situation they are in or are getting bullied or even abused.

That leads to my next cause that leads to suicide, which is bullying. When people get bullied they soon begin to think they are worthless and a waste of time. That they aren’t good enough for the people around them. Many people think that and it’s not true. Because of that thinking, they fall into depression. There have been many cases of school kids being bullied or told to kill themselves because they don’t fit in or they are different. If we just allowed people to be different and accepted them for who they are, bully-victim suicide rates wouldn’t be as high. 

“Bully-victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University.” 

The bullying is what starts people to fall into mental illnesses and not feel like they are worthy enough to live. Try to make people feel accepted.

The last cause I’m going to talk about is abuse. There are four main ways of abuse: sexual, verbal, mental and physical. 

“Multiple studies have found that domestic violence survivors have higher-than-average rates of suicidal thoughts, with as many as 23 percent of survivors having attempted suicide compared to 3 percent among populations with no prior domestic violence exposure."

Many people may not notice that there is abuse happening around them or they are even the ones being abused. The only thing I can say about that is: don’t be the abuser you can ruin someone’s life by doing that. They feel like the one way to escape that pain is to just end their life. This shouldn’t have to be this way.

When someone commits suicide, it affects a whole community. There is always a part of someone who gets crushed knowing how this person passed away. That they couldn’t have helped them through whatever they were going through. When there is someone who is determined and dead set on taking their own life it has been proven that you may try to convince them out of doing it but most of the times it will fail. I have had many experiences with that myself. Hearing their family say the words that your friend or family or even just someone in the community committed suicide, your heart just sinks. Your mind tells you that you could have helped them. You could have saved them even though everyone around you is saying that you did what you could. 

Losing someone to suicide is a devastating tragedy, but please don’t blame yourself. Most of the time when someone commits, people don’t know that the person is suffering like they were until it is too late. There are many causes to suicide the ones that I told you are only a small few. Suicide is a heartbreaking, devastating event to occur is someone's life. The one thing that will help make someone reconsider committing is just a little light in someone's day. When you leave this room today I want to challenge you to do at the least twenty kind things for others and not just your friends. Suicide is something that doesn’t have to happen in this world if we are here for each other and stop judging the people around us. We can stop suicide rates from increasing. The number for the Nation Suicide Lifeline is 1-80-273-8255. Thank you.

~Natalie Christensen