Why and how this program ended up on television is surprising, but unbelievably it became one of the deterrents regarding suicide for my teen after watching it. I wouldn’t promote it for anything or encourage your teenager to watch it but 1,000 Ways to Die became the show to see several years ago.
It graphically demonstrated stories of real life deaths embellished with Hollywood entertainment to make it more sellable to the public for viewing. Although there is quite a bit of violence due to the nature of the show and some sexual content to it as well, thematically the idea was about how we deal with death almost every day. With germs, accidents, illnesses, catastrophic events, we are still miraculously living, hence the name 1,000 Ways to Die. Beyond that, we are left to ask if it was to curtail and help prevent suicide or was it to glorify the science and sometimes mythology in it?
Not everyone died in the stories. Some lived but shouldn’t have because of the end result and some died who were not looking to kill themselves but because of how the attempt was made, it caused the one not intending to commit suicide to die instead.
Although the show is no longer running new seasons, I wonder how many teenagers who contemplated suicide and decided afterwards from this show, that this was not what they really wanted and how many didn’t care and still made that attempt. We will never know. But if you happen to see your teenager watching a re-run of it on TV, that’s the perfect time to sit down and have a very long discussion about suicide and depression. You might be surprised at the answers. But please don’t go ordering a copy of the series and make your teen watch it. You just don’t know how they will receive that information and what they will do with it.
Even though I don’t agree with having a show like this on TV in the first place, I could see why there was such an attraction to this topic. Statistics for teens in suicide by the CDC (as of 2013) says that Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of teenage deaths. That is approximately 4600 lives lost in each year. It is also mentioned that the top three methods in suicide is firearms (45%), suffocation (40%) and poisoning (8%). What is also noted in the statistics is that boys were at a higher risk due to not being open in communication with their feelings and emotions compared to girls. For young boys the stats were at 81% in deaths while 19% were female.
We are losing ground in helping these teens overcome suicidal tendencies and attempts. So how do we even attempt in fighting back and winning the battle against teen suicide? It would take an entire chapter or more to give that answer. But here are a few things you can do for prevention.
– Educate yourself about teen depression (signs and hints)
– Communicate with your teen on various issues to observe what is most troubling to them
– Share personal stories if you or another family member who has gone through these experiences
– Write: Keep a log of their behavior to check mood swings, time spent alone, their appearance, sleeping patterns, risky behavior
– Keep an open ear and open eye to comments, postings, blog entries, social site cues and topics
– Talk with someone in the professional field if you have concerns
– Pray that God gives you discernment, wisdom and truth to see what is going on with your teen.
Most importantly, always Tell your teen know how much you love them, need them, are proud of them. They need to hear these words on a constant basis. You just never know what things you do or say could stop them from doing the unthinkable and save their life.