In the time that it takes people to read this post, another person in the United States will have committed suicide. In 2013 every 12.8 minutes someone in the United States died from suicide; 22 of those deaths each day were US Veterans; 14 to 15 of those deaths are young adults ranging from ages 15 to 24. These statistics are the reason that suicide is one of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States; for young adults it is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. More than half of all the people than take their own lives suffer from depression; an illness that is treatable with medication. While over ninety percent of all suicide victims suffer from mental illness, most often undiagnosed, there are still other factors such as bullying, victim of sexual, physical or emotional abuse, drug or alcohol abuse or other a combination of other issues.
While most of those that commit suicide have mental illness the usual cause is a culmination of issues rather than just one solid reason. Nearly 43% of all kids have experienced cyberbullying at least once; twenty-five percent of those children have experienced repeated bullying. With nearly 80% of all teens having access to the internet and social media through cell phones, tablets, etc. cyber-bullying is one of the easiest and most common ways to bully other teens. Often damaging a teen’s self-esteem cyberbullying can lead to depression and even suicide.
Victims of abuse, whether it’s sexual, physical or emotional can often blame themselves for the events that happened to them. With society’s idea of blaming the victim, especially in sexual abuse or rape cases, the results can be catastrophic. Nearly 13% of all rape victims attempt suicide, the amount that contemplate it is over double that.
With society blaming the victim of abuse, mental illness, or bullying more often than not the willingness of people to seek professional help for the issues that arise from these events lessens. The abused, bullied or mentally ill begin to see themselves as deserving of the way that they are treated. Rather than seek help because of the taboos against it they deal with it the best way that they know how; often by ending their own lives.
We need to stop blaming the victim and start taking responsibility for the cause. Until we treat abuse, bullying, mental illness and the other score of factors that contribute to suicide among Americans seriously, the rates are going to increase. Nothing will get better until we dispel the stigma around seeking counseling or psychiatric help for issues that we have no control over.
It is not the victim’s fault.
If you need help, please seek it.
And if you feel like this:
Read the response. Read it each time you feel like you’re better off dead.
I know how you feel. I’ve been there before. I’ve hurt so incredibly bad that I just wanted to end it all.
Then I think of everyone that I would hurt being selfish and taking the easy way out. My pain would end, but theirs would last long after even their own death. It would echo like a gunshot through the generations of my friends and family; leaving a question of “What if I had…would he still have ended his own life.”
It’s not worth it. Work through the pain and find help. You’re worth that, and you owe it to yourself to try.
You will be missed.
National Hopeline Network 1-800-784-2433
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
The Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline 1-877-565-8860