While there are no definitive answers for why adolescents attempt and complete suicide, there is general agreement that youth who take their own lives feel hopeless about their situation and believe it will never change. Suicide seems to be a response to seemingly intolerable pain. It appears a complex set of factors interact with the youth's biological, emotional, intellectual and social stages of development. Some factors which contribute to suicide are listed below:
Depression due to chemical imbalance; physical illness; physical disability; learning disability; chemical changes during puberty; or, physical dependency on drugs or alcohol.
Sadness; stress; impulsive behavior; a sense of powerlessness; loss, grief; loneliness; low self- esteem; anger or rage; guilt; hopelessness; a sense of being overwhelmed; anxiety; confusion about sexual identity/orientation; emotional dependency on chemical substances.
Inability to communicate feelings; perfectionism; pressure to achieve or perform; self- criticism; unrealistic view of death; revenge; exaggeration of faults.
Isolation; withdrawal; friendlessness; lack of social skills; unpopularity; feelings of not belonging; embarrassment before peers; labeled as "crazy," "stupid," or "different;" in trouble at home; school or with the law; a runaway.
(Suicidal Process information taken from an article entitled, "Educated Suicide Prevention," by Iris M. Bolton, published in School Safety, Spring 1986.)
(If you are in Maine and are in a crisis now, please call the confidential statewide crisis hotline at 1-888-568-1112. If you are outside the state of Maine, Please call your local crisis response service or 911. If you are in the need of Acadia Services, please call 973-6100 or 1-800-640-1211 and ask for the Access Center.)