Reposting this for the holidays. There have been more trans teenagers and adults who committed suicide since I wrote this article. We need to do anything we can to stop this.
“When Marilyn Monroe died in August 1962, with the cause listed as probable suicide, the nation reacted. In the months afterward, there was extensive news coverage, widespread sorrow and a spate of suicides. According to one study, the suicide rate in the United States jumped by 12 percent compared with the same months in the previous year.
Mental illness is not a communicable disease, but there’s a strong body of evidence that suicide is still contagious. Publicity surrounding a suicide has been repeatedly and definitively linked to a subsequent increase in suicide, especially among young people. Analysis suggests that at least 5 percent of youth suicides are influenced by contagion.”
Read more: The Science Behind Suicide Contagion, The New York Times, August 2014.
I am posting this link because last Sunday a transgender teenager committed suicide after posting a suicide note on Tumblr.
This came about a month and a half after another widely discussed case of a transgender teenager who committed suicide after posting a suicide note on Tumblr.
Two days ago another transgender teen posted on Instagram that they were going to commit suicide. They made multiple references to the first two teenagers – they wondered what selfie people would use to talk about them and would they get a hash tag? It is not clear what happened to the third teenager, although they posted a suicide note that was later taken down.
I believe some of my readers are parents of teens. Hug them, love them, compliment them. Talk to them about this issue.
Sources of Help and Information:
Trans Lifeline for trans people:
- US number: 1-877-565-8860
- Canadian number: 1-877-330-6366
- and their website.
The Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ youth (US) – 1-866-488-7386 and their website.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US): 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and their website.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention – their website has an interactive map with phone numbers and locations of crisis centers.
From Maria Shriver’s blog, Powered by Inspiration.
Two Years After My Suicide Attempt, I’m Still Living and Sharing
“Waking up two years ago gave me opportunities, some of which seem obvious but some of which I’m still discovering. I have the opportunity to continue the life I began and do the things I want to do. I have the opportunity to offer help to people who would have helped me if only I had shared what was going on.”
Read more here.
Finally, some helpful tips from the website Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide:
Suicide Warning Signs
- Talking about wanting to die
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Talking about feeling hopeless or
having no purpose
- Talking about feeling trapped or
in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. Warning signs are associated with suicide but may not be what causes a suicide.
What to Do
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:
- Do not leave the person alone
- Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
- Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional