The Pain of Suicide

Isabelle Silva, Senior Reporter

It’s like looking into a black hole or looking into an abyss. That’s how some describe the feeling when they don’t believe they shou1d continue to live. The world we’re living in has not only teens feeling lonely and/or hopeless, but it has come to children as young as 9- or 10-years old feeling that they need to resort to suicide. 

Elyejah Hauff, a nine-year-old boy going to school in Oregon City killed himself in early December this past year. His family has shared that they think the reason for this tragedy was due to bullying and harassment in school. Hauff was only in fourth grade. 

  Every 28 seconds, someone attempts suicide.  In Oregon, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for young adults between the ages of 15 and 24. Some of the issues identified as connected to suicide are; dysfunctional relationships, depression, loneliness, body self-harm, grief, bullying, abuse, substance abuse, and gender identity. 

 In 2016, there were 850,000 suicides among teenagers in the U.S., in 2019, teen suicides went up to one and a half million, which is an extraordinary increase from the numbers in 2016. 

In an article written by Joseph C. Blader, Ph.D.; it discusses how there has been an increase in suicidal thoughts and suicide in the ages of teens and young adults. Suicidal ideations have gone up an extraordinary amount these past years. 

In 2019 Putnam High School had showcased a play named “Ghosted” that focused on the topic of mental illness. Georgia-Lili Howe an exchange student from Australia who was present at one of the showcases thought the assembly was “eye-opening”, stating, “I thought it was good to have a source in which students my age can be educated and informed in a light-hearted and grasping way. Out of all of the possible ways this topic could have been addressed this by far was the most.” 

Howe discussed how she thinks ‘90%’ of our generation have a mental illness. She continued to share her personal definition of mental illness stating, “Mental illness is defined differently for everyone. It’s any sort of illness, that’s physiological and often unseen.” 

           I transitioned into what she thinks would help our generation and the world with mental illness. “I think if all generations were open about the topic and non-judgmental it would be a lot less daunting to talk about it openly. “As well as what one of the main contributing issues is, “Social media is the number one influence giving us an unhealthy image of the ‘perfect life.’”

         Since 1984 Dr. Steve has practiced as a licensed Psychologist specializing in marriage, family, stress, depression, trauma and life-adjustment issues. His outlook on Suicide and mental illness is that there’s, “a huge amount of anxiety. Just because of the pressures that hit teenagers and trying to be the best that they can plus all the change that’s happening in culture things are changing so quickly that all of this creates anxiety and anxiety can easily flip over into depression or discouragement because they look at the future and they just say the word is so messed up. Is it just going to get worse in the future?” 

  His personal definition of Mental illness and Mental health is that “Mental health is when you’re feeling positive about yourself, positive about what’s  going on around you, and positive about the future. Mental illness is either when you feel out of control of your emotions or out of control of your thoughts or out of control of your behavior those three things, it’s emotions, thinking, and behavior. If you feel like that they are controlling you and you can’t bring them under personal control.” “Studies show that when you’re feeling discouraged or negative, you are more likely to go to social media. And the longer you spend on social media, it becomes like a kind of circle. When we’re bored or depressed. Were drawn to it to feel better. But when we’re on it we end up comparing ourselves with so many other people that it ends up having a negative impact …” How would you describe the growth rise in mental illness and suicide with in the last 10 years? “I think a lot of it just has to do with the additional pressure to perform. Secondly, it would be a high amount of change our culture is changing so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with it. Thirdly, it’s that people are anxious because we got all media about politics and climate change and discrimination and media and the news spread so much negativity that we just worry about a lot of things that before we didn’t even think about.

In conclusion, the increase in suicide can be connected to the growth in world issues and world stress. The world issues just continue to grow because of how much the world is expecting such as the rank of weight, the rank of beauty, and rank of social popularity in schools. While also balancing school homework, assignment, and jobs outside of school. We need to make a change. 

If you are having suicidal ideations please reach out to the Suicide Hotline. 1-800-273-8255