Over the past few decades, the number of annual suicides and attempted suicides among teens has been increasing in heartbreaking numbers. Many teens are finding it difficult to enjoy life. This could largely be a side effect of puberty; it could be clinical depression in one of more of its many forms, or it could be both.
When you"re a teen, it is a very difficult age. You are drifting away from your nest, so to speak, but at the same time, you"re craving the attention you had as a child. A lot of parents don't know how to deal with this confusion and turmoil, and give up. This can and has lead to the depression of teens to the point where they feel there is no way out. In grade nine I had a close friend who felt this way.
My friend Don* had become increasingly depressed and sheltered himself from the outside world. Everyone noticed the change in him but only four or five friends knew exactly what was going on (thinking back, they really should have told someone). The situation went from bad to worse and came to a climax when his mother, Kim*, found him hanging in the basement. Luckily, she managed to cut him down within seconds of what would have been his last breath. Somehow, Kim hasn't managed to notice any difference in his behavior over the past few months. Don later mentioned that she had been too busy with her social agenda to be bothered with him. If she had paid a little more attention to him, she would have caught on and I am confident that Don's situation would not have played out the way it did.
After Don went into Rehab, his story created a sort of domino effect on our group of friends. Every one of us fell into a deep depression and for some of us, it escalated to Don's level. Three of us were hospitalized for suicide threats and pumped full of Zoloft to try to ease the anxiety. After the night that Kim found Don, all of our parents became aware of the situation. They picked up on our feelings and when they saw the first warning signs of a suicidal person in us, they took us straight to the Teen Crisis Clinic at Sick Kids, preventing potential tragedies.