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Psychology in the News Essay

Adolescent has always been considered a period of experimentation and risk taking. It is a time when teenagers become extremely aware of themselves and their bodies, leading to problems with regard to body image, self-esteem and negative emotions in general. One disturbing trend in the American society is adolescent suicide. In June 2009, news item published in the San Jose Mercury news website (www. mercurynews. com) tackled the harsh reality of this grave problem surrounding the tumultuous years of the adolescent Americans.

Fisher started with an account of teen suicide (Fisher 2009). After two consecutive student suicides at Gunn High School, a community forum was held to give assistance to teens bombarded with problems and in the process, avoid committing suicide (2009). During the forum held at Cubberly Community Center, the Palo Alto community tried to find the answers on how to avoid teen suicide and at the very least, find reasoning on the school’s successive suicides.

Citing figures from the National Institute of Mental Health, Fisher expressed that teen suicide poses a “greater threat” to children than swine flu (Fisher 2009). She also noted the result of a one survey which estimates that 1 in 12 students had taken a shot (no pun intended) at suicide in the past year (2009). While the figures are alarming most especially to the parents, Fisher argued that no significant solutions have been placed. Community forums and counselling are the usual steps laid to alleviate this problem (2009).

While there are warning signs that parents and teachers may detect, such as alcohol and drug abuse and changes in attitudes towards schools and other relationships, Fisher remarked that such signs may sometimes be hard to detect or overlooked upon, thus making it harder to prevent suicide (2009). Fisher ended by voicing out concerns over when the community would start getting serious about teen depression and suicide (2009). The news item is indeed, as the author opined, a ‘wake-up call’ on the gravity of teen depression and suicide. As a future parent, it is a cause for alarm for this author.

If the current situation cannot be changed, if the number of teen depression and suicide continue to soar, it will be harder for future parents and children to get to the bottom of it. Now, the statistics are already startling, what more ten years from now? Everyone should remember that the youth is the future generation but if the future generation is constantly plagued with depression and suicide, how will they lead the nation? It is something that everyone should take seriously. The news item related to psychology on two things: first, it covers a period in the life span development of individuals, that of the adolescent.

It is a time when an individual undergoes physical changes as well as personality and social development. It is a transition phase when the individual is no longer a child but not yet an adult. It covers human development, which falls under developmental psychology, the study of changes in people from birth through old age. . Second, the news item relates adolescence with a common developmental problem, which is suicide. It has been known that suicidal behavior among adolescents is linked to psychological problems such as depression, drug abuse and disruptive behavior.

As such, they are directly related to the field of psychology. As aforementioned, depression is a leading cause of suicidal behavior and depression, as everyone knows, is a common mood disorder. It is important to bring to light the issue of teen depression and suicide, not only to treat it but to prevent it in the first place. As the author of the news item said, it does not take two or more suicidal incidents to take the problem seriously. Work Cited Fisher, Patty. “Teen suicide needs Attention”. San Jose Mercury News. June 2009. 3 August 2009 < http://www. mercurynews. com/ci_12523782? nclick_check=1>


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