JUST recently, there were two cases of teen suicide in the city.
Has taking one’s life become an option for today’s youth? We asked 10 youngsters if suicide has ever crossed their minds. We withheld the names of some to keep their identities private.
‘Almost stabbed myself’
“Yes… My dad left my mom even before I could be born. And then mom left me when I was 11 years old. She married another guy, and they lived together.
“The closest relatives I had, my grandparents and aunt, were in Dubai. The only one left in the Philippines was my uncle, so I stayed with him.
“But he always beat me up, humiliating me in front of everybody. He even undressed me while I was asleep and took pictures.
“I almost stabbed myself, but I thought about God, wondering if he would accept me if I committed suicide. So I prayed; afterwards I dropped the knife and cried in my bed until I fell asleep.” —Girl’s name withheld
‘I was bullied a lot’
“It has crossed my mind. As a kid I was bullied a lot, becoming a human punching bag in my old school. I also didn’t have friends; I was kind of a loner. My parents weren’t there for me when I needed them the most, and I didn’t really have a friend to vent out my sadness or anger.
“I kept it all to myself, but sometimes you can’t because you might just explode. But I am better now; I have many friends in my new school, and life is much better.” —Boy’s name withheld
“No, it has never crossed my mind. I’m too happy to even think of taking my own life. Now that the question has come up, I still wouldn’t do it. If I do take my own life, it would only hurt the people who care for me, most especially my mom.
“Although people think taking your own life is the coward’s way out, pulling the trigger or jumping off a tall building is the toughest decision anyone could ever make—but this ‘option’ should never be an option.” —Carlos Iñigo, 19, Mapua Institute of Technology
‘No point in doing it’
“Not really, since I don’t have reasons to do it. I always think positively. This attitude has taken me further than I expected. In the end, I see no point in doing it because no matter what problems you face, they can always be accomplished with the right attitude and trust in God.” —Raniel Santos, 16, Ateneo de Manila High School
‘Definitely not the answer’
“Yes, it has. It sometimes comes up as a solution to difficult situations, when it seems like there are no other acceptable options. However, it is important to understand that suicide isn’t really going to solve
anything. There are always going to be other means of solving the problem; suicide definitely is not the answer.” —Dancer Girl
‘There was no outlet’
“Yes. This happened during my awkward teen years. I come from an extremely weird and broken family. I had parents (or parental figures), but being young and stupid, I kept everything to myself. There was no outlet. You think life means nothing when one problem is compounded by another.” —Dudung
‘I felt useless’
“What almost drove me to suicide was that I saw a lot of people as being better than I. I felt useless as a person kasi ako usually yung bagsak sa class, laging natutulog, laging nahihirapan. My friends, chill-chill lang sila like they’re not feeling any sort of hardship. And then I wondered, ‘Why couldn’t I be as good as them?’” —Celdran Amor, 19
‘Overcome with emotion’
“It does cross my mind, like, what if I commit suicide right now? What if I die at this moment? What will happen when I’m gone?
“I guess it’s because I am overcome with emotion, but I am pretty sure I’ll never get to that point where I’m actually gonna do it.” —“Master Wang Dong Laoshi Jeremiah,” 17
‘Moments of desperation’
“Upon finding out it wasn’t possible to shift to my preferred college course, I was really devastated. Taking up that course was my biggest dream, but no one in my school was allowed to shift to that course.
“I couldn’t stop crying. It was in those moments of desperation that I wanted to end it all—to end my suffering because the pain was just too much. However, with the help of family and friends, I was able to overcome it.” —Self-proclaimed Biology major, 19
‘Too much to bear’
“At age 15 I got very paranoid because my girlfriend stopped having her period for a few months. Since premarital sex is a taboo topic in the country, I started having suicidal thoughts.
“I spiraled into depression; all I could think of was my girlfriend getting pregnant, my family suffering in shame because they didn’t raise me to become like this.
“It was just too much to bear, a 15-year-old worrying about having a child to support, the adverse effects it would have in my life, the lack of financial resources as well my tarnished reputation and damaged relationships with family and friends.” —“Black Butler Jr.,” 17
‘Suicide is giving up…’
“I’ve never thought about committing suicide because I know that it is not a solution to any problem whatsoever. I am a person who never gives up and I believe that committing suicide is giving up on life.” —Anton Segismundo, 17, Ateneo de Manila High School
‘Denying God’s gift’
“Suicide has never crossed my mind, first because it is not the answer to any problem. Despite all the struggles that life gives us, there will always be something along the way that will help us get rid of problems. God gave us life and committing suicide means denying God’s gift.” —Carlos Miguel de Guzman, 15, San Beda Alabang