The number of deaths increased in the overall. However, girls seemed to be the ones who were suffering the most.
Once again, a group of US researchers released a study Wednesday warning us about some tragic news. As they informed, the number of American kids and teens committing suicide keeps increasing across the states, and the reasons are many. After comparing the data from 2008 to 2015, the experts realized that the deaths had doubled – which is very concerning, considering that the number has progressively increased since the middle of the 80s.
According to the paper published in the Journal of Pediatrics, the main causes are depression and anxiety. But what is making these young adults to feel they need to take their lives away, now even more than ever?
Some of the analysis that the doctors made pointed to something that not only kids, but also adults, didn’t have back before the 90s: the internet. According to them, the pressure they feel when they see themselves in front of social media makes them overthink about their own lives. The children care about the perceptions that the people who are on the other side of the computer have about them.
Lead researchers Dr. Gregory Plemmons, who’s an associate professor of pediatrics in the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital, at Vanderbilt University, said that the rates of “anxiety and depression” in youth and young adults keep “increasing,” and that social media is “playing a role.”
The experts visited children’s hospital across the US to study the trends among the patients, aged from 5 to 17, who had tried to commit suicide – or just had suicidal thoughts -, and were staying in the emergency rooms.
After looking in 31 of these facilities, the researchers gathered information of nearly 116,000 individuals. As they noted, the majority of the cases – about two-thirds – were girls. However, the number of also boys increased after being compared to the previous years.
The experts also noted that those individuals aged 15 to 17 tried to take their lives away the most. They were followed by others aged 12 to 14.
Kids suffering in early ages
The theory of pressure among kids gained strength when the researchers saw that the rates for suicidal thoughts tend to occur in the fall and the spring – which means that school may also play another important role.
“I had been struggling with my mental health and, specifically, suicidal thoughts since the eighth grade,” told Emet Oden, who is now 18, to NBC News. “I didn’t want to talk to my friends about it, because they never knew how to handle it. I just didn’t want to bother them.”
As noted before, the author of the study said he was not impressed after seeing the results of this study. He commented that more American kids and teens are committing suicide each year due to anxiety and depression. However, he still expressed his concerns because suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents in the US.
“Certainly major changes in sleep and appetite can be red flag,” Plemmons said. “We know that increasing screen time on electronic devices is a marker for depression, as well, so talking to teens about their use of media is important,” he said.
Source: Journal of Pediatrics