No Strings Attached: The Teen Suicide Reality

An article on teen suicide. (Note: This article contains content that may seem disturbing to some readers. Please understand that this is in no way intended to upset anyone.)

He was just like us. He was one of us.

Eighteen years old and a Rutgers student. A gay, Rutgers student. That shouldn’t have anything to do with it, but it did. He was filmed by his roommate without his knowledge, kissing another man. Another video came out, this time more graphic. But the most graphic thing of all was seeing Tyler Clementi’s body after he jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in 2010.

She was just like one of us. She was pretty and smart, and liked by many. And just like us, she walked into school every day with hopes that the day would be great.

But fifteen year old Phoebe Prince’s days ended just like that, thanks to the bullying of six fellow classmates. After moving to Massachusetts from Ireland in 2010, Prince attended South Hadley High School. Within the same year, Phoebe took her life and was found hanging from a staircase by her sister.

               He was just like us. Brandon Bitner was just fourteen. And he found that stepping in front of a tractor trailer was his way out. A happy kid who loved violin and had amazing friends. But a tractor trailer seemed to understand better.

               She was just like us. She was bullied through on the internet by one of her friend’s moms. She hung herself in her closet and was found by her parents. Thirteen year old Megan Meier hanged herself just three weeks before her fourteenth birthday.

               Everyone hears stories about teen suicide related to bullying and stress, feeling like an outcast, and even just being depressed and having no way out. Most people don’t understand that suicide isn’t directly linked to any one thing. There’s no medication to prevent suicide. There’s no law that prevents the causes of suicide. There’s no manual for being a teenager without problems.

               Some kids just choose to deal with them in a more permanent way, and more life changing way. Not just life changing for the child, but for everyone: for the nation.

               I’ve heard time and time again about teenagers killing themselves and people unrelated to the situation sobbing and mourning, having vigils in towns 300 miles away, participating in suicide walks. I’ve seen the effect things like this have on a student’s state of mind. Suddenly everyone knows everything about suicide and everyone has a personal story to tell. Everyone is everyone else’s best friend and they’re ‘the victim’ in every bullying situation. It’s one thing to care about the topic; it’s another thing to be a bandwagon preacher.

I’m not saying that people who support the cause of suicide prevention after something bad happens are terrible, because they’re not. But I’ve also heard the disgusting flipside to this. I’ve seen the “Rest in Peace” tributes and the nasty things that people say.


“She was a slut. She brought this on herself.”

This is one of the worst if not THE worst comment I’ve ever seen in relation to suicide. NO ONE, no matter how they act, how the dress, or how they present themselves, deserves to die. You as an onlooker do not know a single thing about this person, because if you did, you as a civil and respecting human being would not be saying this.


“Thousands of people commit suicide every day, why is he being recognized just because he’s a fag?”

If millions of people know of this one person’s death, there is most likely a deeper meaning behind it. Maybe the cause of their suicide was because of their sexual orientation, maybe it was not. Regardless, every suicide, no matter the reason, is a serious matter. The lack of respect behind a comment like this is probably from the same kind of ignorant person or people who cause the person to think suicide was the only way out in the first place.


“Another Tumblr hipster committed suicide, how non-unique of them.”

I’ve seen this stereotype too many times, so many that it’s become a common occurrence when talking about teen suicide. I personally don’t understand how the hipster stereotype became associated with suicide, or how Tumblr even happened to be brought into the mix. So people want to be different, so what. Who are you as another human being in society to say who is unique and who isn’t? So what if they don’t conform to society’s cliques. God forbid they want to be their own person. Good for them for not putting up with crap. Too bad society didn’t think much of it; otherwise they’d still be alive.


               I’ve seen enough disrespect towards the topic of society to last me a lifetime. Even if they were a slut, even if they were gay, even if they were just trying to be different, the lack of acceptance from society is the reason that these HUMAN BEINGS, that’s right, humans, just like you and me, took their own lives. Reality check. Maybe a little change in this world isn’t bad if the way some people act is the reason why people chose to end their time on Earth.



If you or a loved one are contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or www.afsp.org for more information on suicide prevention.


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Michelle Garber November 15, 2012 at 08:39 PM
I have often heard people say "That is so selfish" how can they do that to their family? But in talking with someone who has tried to commit suicide, did not succeed and is now in a much better frame of mind - people who do this feel this is the only solution. They think the family will be better off without them, they don't think the family is going to suffer from this loss. If we can help one person just by talking about this taboo subject then let's do just that!! Thanks for the article!
Nikee Reed November 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Thank you so much for your feedback, and you're welcome
Myd Nevins November 15, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Very touching editorial. Sometimes as adults, we forget that overwhelming stress isn't just limited to people of our own age-group until tragedy happens. Thank you for the reminder.
Remember When November 17, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Adding to the onslaught brought on to many teenagers is the addiction to social media which can and does, accelerate the hate, as some of these sad stories exemplified. Unplug, smile, and talk to someone who cares. The sun will some out tomorrow.
Myd Nevins November 17, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Today's social media wasn't around when I was a kid. We still had the dial-up modems. But I would guess that it can also, in its own way, provide a little relief to teenagers against the bullying and the hate by giving them one more path towards talking with people in a similiar situation.


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