Karla Martinez/COACHELLA UNINCORPORATED
It is hard to believe that so many young people, with so much life ahead, are willing to give up the most precious gift ever given — their own life. But it’s true.
According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of ten and twenty-four in the United States.
This really hit home when I recently noticed a friend acting strange by posting depressing things on Facebook. It was obvious he needed someone to talk to so I decided to message him, hoping he would reply. When he did, we talked for what seemed like a lifetime, but I wasn’t sure if he would tell me what was wrong with him. When he did, I gave him all the uplifting advice I could. I learned he was stressed out because he was confused about the type of person he was becoming. Growing up can be very complicated.
I remember specifically something he told me: “We don’t ask for help when we feel depressed because no one takes it serious.”
He was right; but how bad do things need to get before we seek the attention we deserve? Just like any disease, depression strikes hard. We’re too young to go through such things.
According to Teen Suicide Statistics, depression in teenagers can be caused by encountering a drastic change, such as changing schools, losing friends, death of a loved one or divorce.
In my experience, I can easily drown in depression if I don’t reach out for help. When I was separated from my siblings, I felt nothing had meaning and it was hard to understand why.
I tend to think about situations that haven’t even happened. I allowed the stressful world to slowly eat away at me. Having fun and living life was no longer exciting, and I was overcome by darkness.
During those moments, I turned to my dad. He was all I had at that moment. My father checked up on me constantly to make sure I wasn’t feeling down or lying in bed all day. On his days off from work, he spent the day with me and talked to me about how life was full of difficulties but that I had to work my way through them.
When teenagers are depressed, we feel no one understands. I believe it is one of the reasons most don’t speak up. We also think things are going to get better, but it doesn’t always. As my dad told me, we need to learn to work through these difficulties and believe something is better on the other side.
When I get down, I keep myself busy. I have gotten involved with extracurricular activites and community organizations — anything that keeps me from staying home and feeling down.
As a teenager, I tend to bottle up my emotions. I’m in a phase where I think I can handle any problem presented before me, but the reality is that I need someone to be there for me during tough times.
Just like my dad was there for me, I’m glad I was there for my friend because I know the feeling of being alone. One thing I learned is that you are better off asking for help than trying to overcome depression on your own.
My generation is the future. I feel if we let our voices be heard, we will take a step forward to being cured.
Please share this compilation of suicide and crisis hotlines to anyone that may need it.