Teen Suicide Rates In U.S. Rising
Suicide rates among US teens significantly rose after a 15 year decline, urging healthcare professionals to look into reasons of the increase. There are separate factors that can lead to the rise of teen suicide, but in most cases it is a bunch of several reasons, which needs to be clarified and treated as soon as possible.
Researchers from the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio found that the years 2004 and 2005 had the highest teenage suicide rates, with 326 additional cases in 2004 and 292 additional cases in 2005. The estimates were made according to data of 1669 and 2003 teens and were expecting less cases for 2004. In 2005 teenage suicide cases showed a 5% decline compared to 2004, but the rates were still too high. Overall, the year 2004 reported 18% increased cases, which urges the need to do more for teen mental health and depression treatment.
Researchers now urge the need of more studies in regard to teen depression and suicide, but they already suggest several reason that can lead to the increase of teen suicide.
In 2003 FDA issued a warning concerning selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which were the main antidepressants prescribed to teens. A year later FDA requested the drugs to have a 'black-box' warning on the package, which means that the drug may increase suicidal thoughts. The warning cautioned parents and pediatricians, who started avoiding giving the antidepressants to children and teens. While it has been clinically proven that the drugs are safe for a short term use, it was still being avoided and most teens with depression were left untreated. This is the major cause suspected in teen suicide rate increase.
There is also the factor of suicide rates among US troops, who return from Iraq and Afghanistan, which can greatly affect mental health, especially among youth. Economical issues also lead to difficulties in teen life: it is now hard to find a job for everyone, including teens, and lack of money leaves lots of teens without proper education.
Another major problem for teens is the lack of communication, which leads not only to suicidal behavior, but also to inadequate behavior, such as smoking, using drugs and alcohol. More and more families now live apart, they don't spend time together, they don't frequently talk to each other. Parents don't spend time with their children and don't take part in their decision making process.