We go out all day to wild parties until complete exhaustion makes us return home at night. Binge drinking, mischievous behavior, and experimenting with drugs constitute part of some teens" lives. Many adults do not think about a teen like this being depressed or having thoughts of suicide. They know nothing of the real stresses adults face. Many believe the problems teenagers have are trivial to those of grown adults. This is not always true.
He was sixteen at the time. He came from a strict Spanish family and was a sophomore at my school. He was an occasional troublemaker but presented no threat to anyone. He got below par to average grades, seemed to try hard to please his peers, and was generally a fun loving kid. His parents would come down on him because he did not live up to the standards his two older brothers set for him. They were both at the top of their class and very athletic. He, on the other hand, turned to drugs and started selling them at school. When his parents found out, they punished him severely. One night, he and his father got into a huge argument and his father struck him. Later on that night, he took his father's work pants and snuck out of his house to a nearby cemetery. With his father's pants, he tied one end around his neck and hanged himself from a tree.
The next day everyone heard the news at school over the loudspeaker. I was shocked. How could a kid with so much life ahead of him have so much anger that he would kill himself at sixteen? According to the University of Nevada, in the last decade, teenage suicides have jumped 300 percent for adolescent males and 230 percent for adolescent females (www.extension.unr.edu). As I was surprised by the death of my classmate, many people are often stunned when a member of an apparently happy and stable family commits suicide. While teens of all backgrounds commit suicide, I would like to focus on those whose lives appear to be enviable and what may be done to save the lives of those teens.