Nevada Loses Too Many Teens to Suicide

Almost everyone at some time in his or her life will experience periods of anxiety, sadness, despair and depression. These are normal reactions to the pain of loss, rejection, or disappointment. Those with serious mental illnesses often experience much more extreme reactions. These reactions can leave them feeling hopeless. When all hope is lost, some feel that suicide is the only solution, but in reality that is not the case.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, scientific evidence has shown that almost all people who take their own lives have a diagnosable mental or substance abuse disorder, and the majority have more than one disorder. That is why it is very important that we understand the symptoms of the disorders and the behaviors that often accompany thoughts of suicide. With more knowledge, we can often prevent the devastation of losing a loved one.

Some common symptoms of these disorders include:

  • Extreme personality changes
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Significant loss or gain in appetite
  • Difficulty falling asleep or wanting to sleep all day
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Feelings of loneliness or abandonment
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Neglect of personal appearance or hygiene
  • Sadness, irritability, or indifference
  • Feelings of shame, guilt, humiliation or rejection
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Extreme anxiety or panic
  • Drug or alcohol use or abuse
  • Aggressive, destructive, or defiant behavior
  • Poor school performance
  • Hallucinations or unusual beliefs
  • Experiencing a recent loss

Tragically, many of these signs go unrecognized. While suffering from one of these symptoms certainly does not necessarily mean that one is suicidal, it’s always best to communicate openly with a loved one who has one or more of these behaviors, especially if it is unusual for that person. In some cases, when someone is suicidal they will not give any warning signs and just commit suicide. Others will give more obvious signs of being suicidal. Four out of five teens that attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that suicide is the second leading cause of death for Nevada youth.

Nevada has one of the 10 highest youth suicide rates in the nation. For 15 to 24-year-old Nevadans, suicide is the second leading cause of death. Suicide is also the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 14. We need to work harder to make these numbers go down, not only in Nevada but also across the nation.

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