Argumentative Essay on Suicide
He stood at the ledge, heart beat rapid, adrenaline pumping.
As he peered over the edge, wind hammered against his ears, whipping his hair and shirt. He felt smothered. He cautiously stepped back and began biting his already gnawed nails. Life twinkled in his eyes for the first time in months. Many thoughts flashed though his mind; his friends, family, his dream of studying history.
He doubted whether he should jump. He began shaking, tears streaming down his face. He wrapped his arms around himself as a sob escaped his lips. Was he seriously considering this? This risk, this…
this… he could hardly form words. In the end, he took those world rending steps off the edge.
He hit the ground, near limp, sobbing. He died on impact. The only words his mother could muster were, “I just want my baby boy back.” Could you imagine that boy? Could you see yourself, or someone you love, standing at that ledge? Scary, isn’t it? Suicide is an epidemic we haven’t been able to cure for the hundreds of years it’s existed. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in 2015, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, surpassing homicide and HIV/AIDS.Each year, about 44 thousand Americans die by suicide, for every one suicide there are 25 attempts, and around 121 people die by suicide a day, which is around one every 40 seconds.
Including that, on average, men are almost four times as likely to die by suicide than women, though women are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and attempt without success two times as often. The most common way for people to commit is by firearm, which makes up 50 per cent. Some other facts about suicide, from DoSomething, are that, in the U.S, suicide rates are highest during spring, each suicide immediately affects six other people, and the about 2/3 of people who complete suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths. According to Mental Health America, people with substance abuse disorders, such as alcoholism, are six times more likely to complete suicide than those without these disorders.
In an article written by save, children or teenagers in the LGBTQ community are more likely to attempt suicide than straight people. Medically serious attempts are also four times more likely to happen. The article also states that African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian Americans in the community attempt suicide at severely high rates compared to other groups. Along with that, LGBTQ youths who have been rejected by their families are eight times as likely to attempt suicide. Also, 41 per cent of trans adults have attempted and of that, 61 per cent have been physically and/or sexually assaulted. Each time an LGBTQ person, adult or child, is a victim of physical or verbal harassment or abuse, thee become almost three times as likely to harm themselves or commit.
Students can’t escape this suicidal grip, either. According to cdc, In 2013, 17 per cent of students between ninth and twelfth grade have seriously considered suicide. Another 13 per cent have actually planned how they would do it and 8 per cent have attempted, with 3 per cent ending with serious injury. Thankfully, there are several indicators that a person shows when they’re considering suicide. According to Mental Health America, the signs are as follows: Verbal suicide threats “You’d be better off without me,” Expressions of helplessness or hopelessness Previous suicide attempts Daring or untypical risk-taking behavior Personality changes Depression Lack of interest in things they previously were interested in Even though these signs are usually very noticeable, most people just ignore them, so if the person actually commits, it’s almost always a surprise. “I wasn’t expecting it,” “They always seemed so happy,” etc.
Like for me, I show almost all of these symptoms, and yet my parents were shocked when I told them I literally almost tried to overdose over the summer. Anyway, seeing and knowing these symptoms can actually help you help someone else overcome their suicidal thoughts or actions. According to suicide, there’s several ways to help someone, and they are: Always taking suicidal threats seriously Getting help immediately/calling a suicide hotline DO NOT try and handle the situation alone!! Listen attentively to what the person says Comfort them with encouraging words Let the person know you’re concerned Don’t leave them alone Don’t be judgmental Be careful about the statements and comments you make Listen and be kind!!! Let the person express their emotions in their own way Word of warning: do not try and be their counselor. Unless you are qualified, which the likelihood of that is next to none, you should not try to do more than comfort them. A psychologist or a trained counselor is their best bet to recovering.
After they get the help they need, check on them regularly. Surprisingly, there actually is a different in a healthy brain and a depressed or “sick” brain. (Sick meaning mentally ill). Picture. There’s a high chance that none of you knew about this information, and that’s reasonable.
No one really talks about it more than saying, “suicide is bad,” which is, in its own way, bad. Suicide isn’t really covered in the media, unless it’s a real-life story in the news, or in movies and on TV. I’ve heard of characters committing suicide in several shows, though the reasons and ways of prevention are hardly discussed. One example is “13 Reasons Why”. This show and book have been routinely praised for being accurate portrayals of suicide when they really aren’t.
The show focuses on a narrow narrative that implies bullying will lead to suicide, when in actuality, no one single thing leads to someone deciding to take their own life. It also offers little to no insight into the psychology of suicide and uses suicide as a revenge tactic against Hannah Baker’s bullies, in the form of the tapes she leaves behind, blaming them for her suicide when the only person to blame is Hannah herself. Including that, it doesn’t show how suicide can be prevented. It says that it’s inevitable for those suffering from suicidal thoughts and there’s no way to change it, not that it was really written for suicide prevention, anyway. Its message is that others can be cruel and can push people to kill themselves. It also glamourizes suicide.
The show also never really mentions mental illness or depression, the leading causes in suicidal thoughts and actions. When Doctor John Ackerman was asked about the show, he says, “It’s unrealistic for someone, especially someone a teenager in the midst of an emotional crisis, to construct an elaborate series of tapes all the while maintaining a sarcastic, witty, and glib tone towards people she blames for the decision to end her life.” Some good portrayals of suicide in media include “Ordinary People”, “The Bridge”, and “Girl, Interrupted”. Another is called, “The Virgin Suicides.” Directed by Sofia Coppula and based off the book with the same name, it details the beginning of a young girl, Celica’s, spiral into depression, her suicide, and what happens after. In the film, she shows many symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts.
There are quite a lot of organizations dedicated to suicide prevention, including the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, and the one I’m using, the Semicolon Project. This movement was started by a woman named Amy Bleuel in 2013, ten years after her father committed suicide. They use the semicolon as their symbol. Semicolon’s are commonly used as a pause in a sentence, so Bleuel used it to emphasize pauses, not endings. The projects motto is, “Your story is not over.” Many people, including my father, have gotten semicolon tattoos in support of this cause and to show others they care.
So, what exactly is my message? All I’ve done for the past however long eternity of time is spout facts at you. My message is that you should never give up, cliche as it sounds. And believe me, I understand that desire to just end the pain, I’ve tried. But, when you stop, step back, and see the bigger picture, it’s literally one of the worst choices you can make. After all, life is a roller coaster, although some have deeper drops than others. But that’s the joy of it, in a way.
In the end, you’ll wish you could buy another ticket onto that ride and relive it again. And that’s what matters.