Teen Suicide - What's the Big Issue? Essay

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Teen Suicide - What's the Big Issue? Teen Suicide - What's the Big Issue? "Almost twice as many teenagers die from suicide as all natural causes combined including cancer, heart disease, AIDS, and birth defects," (DePaulo 142). Every year, teen suicide rates in the United States rise dramatically. Death happens every day to people of all ages; one of the most devastating and tragic causes of death is suicide. This casualty is especially dreadful when committed by a teen or young adult. These rates have escalated to a point where the government has taken notice. "In a society in which suicide is taboo a person may be less likely to take such a drastic step than in a 'modern' society, in which it is seen as an 'understandable' response to a terrible situation," (DePaulo 147). Suicide has existed since the time of the ancient Egyptians, where suicide violated none of the moral or legal codes of the time, and the people saw it as simply a way to escape unbearable suffering. The first time humanity looked down upon suicide occurred in 305AD, when Saint Augustine publicly denounced it as a sin (Crouch). Due to her claim, suicide became an act immersed in shame and disgrace, and there were very few reports of suicide (DePaulo). During the middle ages, authorities refused proper burials for the victims of suicide, and their bodies would be dragged through the streets. All the possessions the victim and their family owned were confiscated. Those who failed in a suicide attempts were arrested, publicly shamed, and often sentenced to death (Crouch). This social fear and disdain for suicide lasted until the 17th and 18th centuries, when suicide began appearing in many of Shakespeare's works. Many of the playwright's most famous works contained deaths occurring at the character's own hand. Shakespeare penetrated society's stigma of suicide, demonstrating that the

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