Recently on Facebook, I saw a post from my friend about her sadness in reaction to two of her friends committing suicide. The situation was even more devastating because both of them were only in their late 20s.

Suicide has become a prominent issue, especially for young adults in our society. Surprisingly, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one American dies by suicide every 12.95 minutes. With that, over 40,000 Americans die by suicide each year, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 241.Photo of hand with "stop suicide" written on it.

Facing this, the first question on everyone’s mind is why. Why did their friend, child, parent or spouse take their own life? Based on the research, the top 10 reasons for this phenomenon include depression, loss of hope, frustration, fear, psychosis, drug and alcohol problems, past regrets, societal problems, relationship-caused heart break and unemployment.

The reasons listed above aren’t foreign to young adults like us. We are experiencing similar pressures every day like classes, academic work, jobs, relationships, etc. Often, it is even a combination of these pressures.

So how to make ourselves feel more comfortable when pressures are big? There are several suggested ways to release burdens:

  1. Know that there is always more than one option to solve the problem. Be more patient, and you will figure it out sooner or later.
  2. You can always turn to your family and friends for help. Whenever you are unhappy, think about the people you love and who love you. Tell them what you feel. Maybe they cannot solve the problem, but they definitely can make the situation better for you.
  3. Never think you’re the only one facing similar problems. Many people have gone through the same situation before. People have different types of pressures in different stage of their lives. Just give yourself more confidence and trust you can conquer it.
  4. Attend more social events and meet new friends there. Johns Hopkins has lots of attractive events happening on both the Homewood and medical campuses.
  5. Though you may feel tempted, do not use alcohol or drugs to cover your pain. Drinking or using drugs cannot solve our problems but can make a situation even worse.

The pace of everyday life is so fast for most of us that we normally don’t have time to care about ourselves, let alone other people. I firmly believe that if we could pay just a bit more attention to our families, friends and classmates, we can make a huge different for those going through difficult times.

At the end, to everyone reading this article in a difficult point of life: Do not feel like you’re alone, and do not give up. Life can sometimes be bitter and is not always perfect, but it can be sweet if we keep trying and never quit.

If you need someone to share your burden with, please take me as your new friend and feel free to contact me at xliu47@jhmi.edu.

1. Data obtained from CDC’s Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)

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