The End To Suicide

I was told that I would experience at least one phone call in my life that would change everything. Mine was a blindside. I woke up to the news that a close family member had attempted suicide.
The idea of suicide had become glazed over to me. I had heard about it so much that I was almost indifferent. I regret that suicide had to stare me right in the face to have me realize the devastating reality behind it. It is important that people are properly informed about issues like depression and suicide.

Teens commonly use the phrases “I’m depressed,” or “I’m going to kill myself,” very lightly, and do not give such mental health disorders the respect they deserve. Depression without treatment is the number one cause of suicide. It should not be joked about or tossed around in conversations as if it were not a serious matter.

When suicide is ridiculed and joked about, it makes it seem like it is not a prominent problem in today’s society. It might be sugar coated this way because people do not like to face the problem. If one cannot see it, it is not happening. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong.

In a survey of 215 students, 38 percent responded they have been or are currently struggling with depression, while 63 percent of students said they knew someone who considered or attempted suicide. No matter how much it might be ignored, suicide happens and needs to be addressed.

People become so accustomed to walking down the hallways and ignoring the faces they see. Why should they worry about other people? Life has bigger problems. Magazines say fashion and appearance is the key to happiness. Coaches tell athletes that if they are not up to standards they will not be in the starting varsity position. Teachers say focus should be on school, because if there is not enough, graduation is not an option, nor is getting a job, or being successful; that is, unless one is a perfect student. High school makes the little problems seem like life or death.

At the end of the day, what really matters? No human being can put value on another, but I would have to say that every student, every teacher and every stranger seen on the streets are worth more than the simple problems in life. If people were more informed on how to care for people dealing with depression and possibly considering suicide, many tragic situations could be avoided. For one, the person in question could start taking steps away from suicide. Imagine someone close to you killing themselves because they couldn’t bear their pain anymore. It is hard to think about because things like that do not have to happen.

It is hard to understand what victims of depression are dealing with. In a lot of cases, depressed teenagers hide that they are depressed, making it harder for family or peers to help.  Besides medications, one of the easiest ways to help is to just let them know they are wanted and cared about. A simple conversation could change someone’s life. It sounds very cliché, but it creates a chain reaction. If one is concerned about a friend, they should tell a trusted adult. Depression is not easily cured, although it can progressively get better. The important thing to focus on is the next step to recovery. The school nurse or psychiatrist can help by advising a victim of depression on what do to next.

We are all in this together. Others may have more severe problems, but every high school teen struggles. It is important to look out for each other. In the end, all the little problems will be okay and people will wonder why they worried so much. Everyone just needs help getting through tough times. Every day matters. If there is a noticeable change in a peer or they are expressing trouble, do not be afraid to offer help. Do not let them suffer alone. Depression may be unavoidable for some, but suicide can be prevented.

I was very lucky. Although the circumstances were unfortunate, I got a wakeup call. They say one may not know what they have until it is gone. I am blessed that I got the chance to see what I should be thankful for, and I had a second chance to appreciate it. Relationships with people should never be taken for granted.  Life is precious and every person deserves to know that living is worth all the pain.