We live in a world where mental health is a prevailing struggle, that affects all ages. On average about 3,000 people worldwide commit suicide each day, which is roughly one person every 30 seconds. According to Medical News Today, for each individual who commits suicide at least 20 attempt to do so. Suicide has a global mortality rate of 16 per 100,000 people. They also said that “16.5% of suicides in the USA are alcohol-related. An alcoholic has between 5-20 times the risk of committing suicide compared to the rest of the population. Individuals who misuse drugs are 10-20 times more likely to take their own lives. Approximately 33% of suicides among those younger than 35 years of age have a primary diagnosis of alcohol or other substance misuse. Among adolescent suicides, alcohol or drug misuse are factors in up to 70% of cases.” These numbers are shocking and surprising, due to the fact that alcohol and drugs play such a prominent role in high school, and many kids use these substances as a way of coping with their mental health, which many times can make it worse. Also men commit suicide more often, but women attempt suicide more frequently.

As the stigma for mental health is starting to go away, and people can talk about it more openly and freely, there is still an underlying factor that continues to influence many people. I decided to type a google search of “kill yourself” and see what came up, and I was unpleasantly surprised as what showed up. The first thing was the suicide prevention hotline number, then many jokes about the saying. There have been songs written, games, blog posts about how “the best ways to commit suicide”, GIF’s and memes showing humor in the saying. And now thinking about it, this saying it almost said as a joke in our everyday lives. I can account to numerous times when people have texted me saying “school sucks I want to kill myself”, or “my parents are being assholes, I would rather die than be with them”, etc. There have been many different applications, and games that have allowed this saying to be prevalent in our everyday lives.

I also stumbled upon the Blue Whale Challenge during this search. It is an online challenge that started in Russia, that seeks out teenagers to “play this game” and it asks you to complete 50 tasks, and at the end you finally commit suicide. It leads vulnerable kids who are on the verge on suicide to talk to a persuasive and unsupportive moderator that tells you to stay up late, self harm, watch psychedelic videos, perform dangerous tasks such as standing at the edge of a cliff, and cut of all ties to your friends and family. This concerns me because I know from personal experience, that when someone is depressed, and feeling suicidal, often times these web searchers or games can be the end of someones life. It might just be the final push for them to end their life. People who are depressed and are considering suicide, are more likely to listen to these comments, and go through with their death, than if we put an end to these saying, and change the way we talk about this issue.

And my question to our society is why are we taking three steps forward by finally talking about mental health, and opening it up for people to talk freely about, but then we take 5 steps backwards be being insensitive as a culture by continually making jokes about dying, creating games that lures kids in, and not realizing the harm it is doing to my generation. I wonder what it is going to take to stop this trend, and put a positive out look on mental health, and support the people around us.

Suicide is Real.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 “Kill Yourself” by Caleigh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. Tasmia 8 months ago

    Dear Caleigh:
    I am appalled with the society we live in. Your post “Kill Yourself,” showed me that our generation is suffering from the lack of compassion and kindness, and I am outraged because if we all cared about each other, we wouldn’t be enduring pain and misery. Suicide is never okay, despite whether people treat it as a joke or discuss it as a serious matter. For someone to experience something so gruesome it compels them to take their own life away, isn’t a laughing matter. We all laugh and joke around here and there, complaining about our lives. Sometimes when a point in our life is too difficult or annoying, we want to “kill ourselves”. But how is any of it okay. We need to embrace each other and help those who are feeling down. We all experienced points in our lives – or maybe we will one day – where all hope feels lost. We can’t let that break us. We can’t give up from everything we have worked so hard for. All the great memories, love found, friendships made, families together, and just overall the happiness we once felt or will feel.
    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “Suicide is real.” Three words can have the most impact on a person. Usually, it’s 3 words, 8 letters to someone you are fond of. This sentence stood out to me because of fear. Suicide is seen as a joke and it’s disgusting. What’s worse than a bully, is the bystanders. In this case, life may be the bully to the someone, but fear is always the bystander. We never talk about suicide and we always avoid the subject. We need to stop hiding from the truth because Suicide is real and it’s like a plaque taking over those who have no hope. We don’t understand how people feel, or how they think. We are not telepaths or empaths. No matter how much we believe someone is okay, a part of them could be dying inside. We have to see it from their shoes, about what is real or not real. It’s this hope and drive to live that has gone out their souls, to make them believe that life is just a mask of reality. And that disappearing forever is the answer.
    Another sentence that truly affected my perspective about suicide was: “‘the best ways to commit suicide’” It was atrocious! How can we move forward when all we do is keep pulling back? How can we stop an issue if we keep on encouraging it. I know for one that suicide got to a point where people use it for attention. To do such a thing, is horrid because what about those who can’t protect themselves? The people who are driven to take their life away because they are so ashamed of their own identity. How can we be a solution when all we do is add to the problem?!
    Thanks for writing this post. It truly made me rethink about how I should treat people and see the world in a different perspective. I should appreciate the moments I live because, others out there are gone because of being misunderstood. But aren’t we all misunderstood? I look forward to seeing what you write next because, you’re writing has brought this emotion out of me that I never knew I had. It really changed me and I thank you for it.

  2. Bryan 9 months ago

    wow

  3. lauren 10 months ago

    Caleigh, your post is very well written. I liked how you included personal comments about your own struggles. This is exactly what the world of mental health needs- transparency and the ability to openly discuss these personal issues. I too have been offended by the “kill yourself” memes and jokes that pop up around our society. It is incredibly insensitive. It is mind boggling to me how people do not understand what a big issue suicide is and why they would throw it around like its a big joke. On the topic of the blue whale challenge, I was horrified to hear that people online were encouraging others to do these horrible things to themselves. Its sickening to think that yet another parent, friend, or family member has to struggle with losing their loved one to suicide. Keep writing and sharing your thoughts, its exactly what this world needs!
    You make a great mental health activist, so here’s a link to check out: https://www.nami.org/mentalhealthmonth

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