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Why do kids kill themselves?

Why do kids feel they have to take their lives, and that they can’t turn to anyone? What would make someone take their own life? What kind of person can make someone feel so insignificant that they’ll take their own life?

J, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation: Straight, Religion : Catholic, City : Lara, State : CA, Country : United States, 9918

I’m a 14-year-old high school freshman and have been depressed for about 2 1/2 years. I have had suicidal thoughts for about two of them. I have attempted suicide once, but my parents came home and I was forced to stop. My plan was, and still is, to overdose on aspirin. Frankly, it is hard to explain the feelings associated with depression, especially in teenagers. Often, as in my case, you lose touch with reality. My friends tell me I have become ‘too sensitive.’ I alternate between crying and yelling, mainly because I do not know how else to express the pain I am carrying around inside of me. I feel like a hopeless recluse who can’t do anything right. I think of suicide at least one time every hour of every day. Unfortunately, recognizing there is something wrong with me and knowing I need professional help is not enough to actually get it. It feels like I am at the bottom of a very dark pit, and everyone else is living above me. The more I scream for help, the farther away they get. I’ve broken off from the world. I’m always tired, and I sleep as much as possible on weekends, just to escape the horror that has become my life. I’ve lost any pretense of a social life. I am slowly wasting away, becoming a body without a soul. I am rapidly becoming more desperate, and my thoughts of suicide become more frequent and elaborate. The way I see it, the world would be better off without people like me contaminating the gene pool. Yet, I am still afraid to ask for help. Afraid that my peers will see me as even more strange than they already think I am, afraid that I might be hospitalized and be forced to quit school for a few months, which would ruin my chances to go to a good college, if I haven’t done that already. Perhaps, most of all, I am afraid that someone might actually listen.

Katie, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation: Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 14, City : San Diego, State : CA, Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : Less than High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class

(Note: Authorities were contacted in San Diego as a result of this post, and Katie and her family were connected with resources to help her.)


I know how Katie feels, although I don’t know what causes her pain. I read the book (I Can’t Believe You Asked That! by Phillip J. Milano) and am so happy to find she has found the help she needs. I’ve been there — in junior high school I was very depressed and tried to take my own life via Tylenol. Fortunately it didn’t work and I only ended up with a little nausea and a day off of school. My reason was that at the time, I hung out with many whites, and although I enjoyed alternative and grunge music and loved the lifestyle, I was upset that 1.) I was overweight, 2. ) I felt no man would ever love me cause white men and black women are uncommon combos, and black men and I would have nothing in common. I was able to find other friends to uplift me, and although some of that life was just a phase, the overweight part still burdens me today. I am taking care of that and would never think of taking my life for something so silly now, but you must understand that at the age I was, looking into the future was unrealistic — I could not see that far into the future and couldn’t figure how I’d be of any use to the human race. It takes more patience and less judgment to deal with such cases, and remember that teens in those positions need people in their lives who are willing to listen to their problems and not just suggest what they ‘should’ do, but do it with them and help them find something they like about life enough to want to live more and see/experience it. It is most often a phase that needs the right path to get out of it.

Cellie-mil19156, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation: Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Baptist, Age : 21, City : Brooklyn, State : NY, Country : United States

Katie, here are three numbers you can call. All in San Diego. Please do so. I’ve been there, I know how hard and scary it is. Please be brave and ask for the help you need and deserve. Crisis Center: (619) 232-2753 Juvenile Crisis Program (619) 543-9850 National Youth Crisis Hotline (800) 442-HOPE (4673). If they can’t help you, ask for a referral to someone who can. And keep asking.

Clio, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation: Lesbian, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 23, City : Boston, State : MA, Country : United States, Occupation : educator, Education level : 4 Years of College

Dear Katie, I was heartbroken when I read your posting. Why are you in distress? There is so much to life, of course life has its bad sides, but it also has its wonderful aspects, too. I do not know your pains and what you have gone through, but I do know that you are NOT in the worst position. You should not let you pains overwhelm you, please try and get control of your life. There is so much to this beautiful and sacred world, it really has a lot to offer. Please try and seek help, go to a compassionate school counselor who will relate to your pain and help you. Life is really sacred and should never be thrown away. You have so much to offer. If you think you have a rotten life, can you imagine how the hungry kids in Africa or Romania feel? Indulge yourself with positive things: flowers, candy, genuine laughter, good adventurous novels and good company. PLEASE SEEK HELP. TAKE CARE AND SMILE.

Ify, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Age : 22, City : Miami, State : FL, Country : United States, Occupation : student, Education level : 4 Years of College

To Ify: Talk about devaluing someone’s feelings! Should Katie feel better knowing she is only depressed and not starving or suffering some other fate? To her, her pain is just as real, just as devastating as anyone else’s, and to say, ‘Tut tut, come now, there are kids out there starving to death’ sure does dismiss what it is she is feeling. It sounds like your heart is in the right place, Ify, but what anyone who feels despair to such depths needs is someone to REALLY LISTEN and REALLY CARE in a way that they can understand and feel (in my opinion). Not being able to climb out of a big, dark hole is a pretty major life event, especially if you’ve ever been there. Comparing their pain to someone else’s does them no good and makes them feel insignificant (again, in my opinion). All the advice given Katie further up is good and valid information. And Katie, thanks for being so brutally honest. Take a chance and reach out … it might make a difference in your life.

Jammy D., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation: Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 39, City : Burke, State : VA, Country : United States, Occupation : Financial Services, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class

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