Why are so many girls dying by suicide?

statistics

updated 11/2017

Suicide is the leading cause of death for girls 15-19* worldwide and suicide rates for females 10-14 have tripled since 1999, the most alarming increase.

We have to ask ourselves why.

Some say social media. Others site early puberty. While those factors might be part of it, I think that it’s a combination of things.

Teens, by nature, want to fit in. At this age, their peers are the most important relationships. They don’t want to be rejected or ostracized.

I think technology is a major reason

With computers, smartphones, social media and texting combined, teens have a hard time limiting themselves to get a break. Night owl teens will give up sleep in exchange for covert, nighttime messaging and socializing.

What’s worse is that word spreads easily and quickly. So if, for example, a teen is the subject of an embarrassing picture, it can be shared through text and posted online in front of hundreds and even thousands very quickly.

Humiliation is then difficult to escape, compounding any prank, single act of bullying or vengeance. Victims are overwhelmed and surrounded by the kind of intense social disgrace young girls don’t yet know how to cope with. They don’t know that this time in their life is but a blip on the radar screen and years from now, they won’t even remember it.

What’s important is right now.

If that same victim gets ousted from a sport and then suffers some other setback, the situation is ripe for potential suicide.

We all know young girls can be pretty mean and not understand the consequences of such actions. So technology gives predators of all kinds access to girls at a tender age of transition.

Around 2012, more teens in large national surveys started to say they felt hopeless and useless—classic symptoms of depression. In a large, government-funded study designed to screen for mental health issues, the number of teens with clinical-level depression rose substantially between 2011 and 2015. Most troubling, the child and teen suicide rate increased sharply.

 

The biggest issue studies found, is that this age group is spending less face time with friends. That lack of connection is having disastrous results. Technology and mobile phones is one reason kids are spending more time with their phones than they are with their friends. And when they do, they are often glued to their phones instead of the person in front of them.

Kids need limits on technology which can be hard for super busy parents to follow through with. These digital devices give kids too much too soon. And not enough human connection.

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Related article:

Crazy radical mobile phone rant

—-Source: *Suicide is now the leading cause of death among teenage girls 

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

2 thoughts on “Why are so many girls dying by suicide?”

  1. I think you can add to that the lack of identifiable context in social media. Simple comments can be misconstrued. If a person has a legitimate reason why they cannot answer a message it can be perceived as rejection.

  2. I agree that technology and the anonymity of the Internet. People hide behind it and because they aren’t seeing the persons face have no remorse or twinge of guilt. Also the strong desire to “belong” so a herd mentality almost takes precedence. I love that you are raising awareness and using your voice.

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