Suicide is Getting Younger
The Number of Youths Struggling With Mental Disorders Has Increased
The number of youths struggling with mental disorders such as depression and anxiety has increased by 52% between 2005 and 2017. Around one in six US youths aged from 6 to 17 has a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder such as anxiety, depression or attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder, according to a 2019 report in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
Unfortunately, young people are expected to go through phases and have mood swings. So many times, their depression goes unnoticed and is written off as ‘growing pains’. However, the rate at which young people are taking – or attempting to take – their life is alarming. While experts point to a host of explanations for the alarming rise, scientific proof about the cause isn’t conclusive. Some research shows correlations with social media use, cyberbullying and the internet, but studies citing them as a suicide cause are less decisive.
Although depression does not have a single cause, the common changes in the transition from childhood to adulthood leave young people more vulnerable to this problem. “In this passage, there are questions about changes in the body, hormones, behavior, choices. Adolescents are questioning the mind and building their own identity, so problems such as depression and drug use may arise. The presence of the family is very important,” explained psychologist Diana da Cunha.
Those who are being bombarded by thoughts of putting an end to your life, deep down this is not what you really want to do! You want the solution to your problems and an end to your pain, right? And faith can bring you this solution right now; all you have to do is call on the Lord with all your might.
Look at your problems through the “lens” of trust in Him who invites us to surrender our lives to Him, not to destroy ourselves. In doing so, you prove that you believe in God and that your faith is greater than any suffering that knocks at your door.
Despite growing up in a Christian home, Gabriel faced depression in his teens and only through the support of his parents and faith was he able to overcome the immense sadness he felt. “I didn’t have the courage to tell my parents how I felt. We think they will not understand us. We are ashamed to speak. We say it’s okay, but it’s not.”
Gabriel’s father says: “We noticed that our son started to shut himself up in his own world, staying in his room all day, and being aggressive when we tried to talk.” Gabriel confesses that he even thought about killing himself: “That’s when I realized I needed help. I gradually started to get closer to God and to communicate better with my parents.” Gabriel’s father continues: “There is no use trying to change a child by force; imposition only generates more aggressiveness. It is important to bring your child close as a friend. The young person needs to feel confident to talk, expose his thoughts and ask for help.”
Luciana, Gabriel’s mother, stresses that she didn’t give up on her son even when he didn’t want any contact with her.
For Gabriel, talking about the problem was fundamental so that he could see a way out. “What helped me to recover was to share that pain with someone. When we are depressed, our vision is limited, we only think of the worst. But by talking to someone else, we were able to open our vision.” The young man adds that faith helped him to become stronger. “It is important to maintain a relationship with God because we can speak with Him without shame and vent our pain,” concludes Gabriel.
“I struggled with constant thoughts of suicide because I was no longer enthusiastic about life. I saw shadows and heard voices calling my name, but every time I looked around, no one was there. My depression was so severe that I couldn’t sleep, didn’t eat, and went months with no interest in personal hygiene – without taking a shower. I just didn’t want to live anymore. In addition to spiritual problems, I also had a lot of strife at home with my parents. To the point of being verbally and physically abused. It was in this situation that I arrived at The Universal Church. When I was told that I could change my life, I used my faith and seized the opportunity. I did my part, fasted, and fought for my deliverance. All the negative thoughts and feelings I had were being overcome one by one. As I kept on attending and taking part in the movements of faith, God completely changed my life. He gave me His Spirit and consequently, also inner peace.
Today, I am a new person. There is harmony between my family members and the verbal and physical aggression is over. I don’t hear voices, I don’t see shadows and I don’t feel like dying. I am free from depression and recently married. I am truly happy and I enjoy living.” – Yolanda
“There were a lot of comparisons taking place in my family. This led to me feeling like I wasn’t good enough and then I fell into depression. As a result of this, I started cutting myself and I loved the pain. I would send photos of me cutting myself to my friends. I would also sneak into the kitchen late at night whilst my family was sleeping, take a knife and try to commit suicide. I did this twice. I would start writing suicide notes and hide them around the house for my family to see. I wanted my family to feel the pain I was going through. When I arrived at The Universal Church I heard what the pastor was preaching and I learned how to obey the Word of God, and my life began to change. I no longer have depression or have the desire to cut or kill myself, and my family can see the change in my life. The Spirit of God made a difference in my life. Today I am happy and healed.” – Kassandraread more