In Russia 15 to 20 teenagers commit suicide monthly. Surprisingly enough, a few of them do this secretly. All over Russia there are hundreds of websites that will gladly help you to lay hands on yourself. At first glance they seem to be nothing but somebody’s stupid game: more than a thousand peers of 11 to 25 years old spend hours discussing several ways to suicide themselves. This, however, is not a game: all these people are dead serious. They will not just advise you on how to die in a more sophisticated and pleasant way, they will also gladly help you to pop off.
This is the wrong place for support and psychological help. In the chat there are hundreds of questions about the better way to die. If you click on one of them, for example, you’ll see that out of 58 responses to the question “How to die painlessly” only 3 people wondered why the person actually wants to die. The rest at once offer countless ways of dying. The first responses are the most common ones: to open veins, jump from the skyscraper, or make a hole in the water. But then come really terrifying pieces of advice. Two of them are especially shocking, because they (as the adviser states) have been already successfully tested.
The first one offers to use 15 grammes of a pill that will make your body dead in 10-12 hours. The physical death itself comes, however, only in 1-2 weeks, during which any medical help is senseless. Collateral damage is worse than in any Hollywood horror films: acute toxic hepatitis, acute kidney failure, internal hemorrhage. Before the injury becomes fatal, collateral damage is relatively small: nausea and vomit. The other piece of advice offers internal injection, after which it is difficult to distinguish suicide from natural death. Such pieces of advice were posted in the web chat by a boy of 19. Another letter by a 23-year old man offers direct help: to ride over by a car or to push under the train. No one ever blamed the boy for being wrong.
Here, in fact, nobody will condemn or tell you mad. All the members of the web chat are there for one reason – to die, but the way they act is quite different. Some members of the Suicide club will try to get down to the root of your problem, try to help you out or persuade you to keep on living. Others, on the contrary, will tell you to die as soon as possible and will even offer help. There is a tragic story about a boy that has been a member of the web chat for many months.
There he tried to find support from his peers. He didn’t want to die – it was just that he got stuck with his life and needed somebody to help him out. He hoped that somebody would dissuade him from committing suicide. Alas, nobody did. Instead he was advised to commit suicide. That is what the teenager did. His last entry in the web chat - the question: “What do you think about me?” was the last cry for help, which nobody heard. The boy died, although his peers’ attention could cost the boy life.
The members of the web chat there are also people who had failed suicide attempt. These people are now in the chat for another reason – they try to dissuade their mates from committing suicide. They tell their mates about their unpleasant experience and make everybody understand that they are not going to live better in another world.
What makes young boys and girls want to die? Psychologies think of 4 main reasons:
1. Family case: more than half of all suicides are the results of misunderstanding between parents and children. Adults are often so busy with their own life that they don’t notice that their child is in serious trouble. Psychologies warn: from early childhood a kid needs to be treated like a personality. It is wrong to make a child live according just to the desires and rules of the adults. Parents, you need to show that you are not enemies, but friends, who are always eager to help.
Even if your child made a serious mistake, don’t rush for strict punishment. At first try to understand the reason why your child made this decision. Perhaps, he has serious problems that he hides deep inside. Try to get involved. Even if your child doesn’t appreciate your concern about him, he will at least know he has somebody to turn to for advice.
2. The second major reason is misunderstanding among peers. Unfortunately, even in the 21st century many teenagers are being bullied at school and called names. It is well-known that teenagers can be very cruel and ignorant. Again, it is mainly up to parents to teach their children sympathy and support.
3. Unshared love is the key cause of suicide among girls. Often it seems that life without some guy is dull and meaningless. Girls are initially more sensitive than boys. Sometimes a good help in such situations can be a male friend who can from his point of view persuade the lady that no boy deserves to be died for.
4. With each year more and more teenagers decide to commit suicide under the pressure of various suicide websites. Teenagers tend to depend greatly on their peers’ opinion and decisions. If one teenager decides to commit suicide, even for a joke, it is probable that his impressionable friends might want to do the same. These websites, however, strictly follow the law. In each website all the rules are listed in the way that each one that signs up needs to sign agreement policy. The rules forbid to specify the methods of committing suicide, to persuade others to die and so on. So, it turns out that the websites are quite legal. However, in reality these rules are not followed.
For the last 30 years the rate of teenage suicides has multiplied 30 times. Some scientists predict that by 2020 more than 1, 5 million teenagers will commit suicide annually. Russia takes the second place in the list of countries with greatest suicide rate. In 2007 only almost 3 thousand teenagers from 5 to 20 laid hands on themselves.
There are 10 most popular suicide websites operating in Russia. Each one has about 2 thousand teenagers signed up.
Translated by Lena Ksandinova