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Jul 8, 2015 – Oh My G!, is a series that tackles teenage faith amid the Internet age. … they suggested that unexplained suicides may be the cause of an undiagnosed … Building 409 A. Soriano Avenue, Intramuros Manila 1020 Philippines.
Sep 11, 2014 – mb.com.ph | Philippine News. Friday, August 21, 2015 … Suicide is second leading cause of death among youth – WHO. by Charina Clarisse L.
Sep 9, 2014 – MANILA, Philippines – An alarming report by World Health … It was the 15th leading cause of death for 2012 all over the world; second among …
Jul 15, 2012 – MANILA, Philippines — The suicide rate among Filipinos has gone up in the … 1984 to 2005, especially among the Filipino youth, said Dr. Dinah Nadera, … including the Philippines, suicide is the leading cause of death in the …
Feb 22, 2015 – Suicide is dominating the country so badly that it has bumped up to the third leading cause of death in youth aged ten to twenty-four.
Jul 6, 2011 – While suicide rates are low in the Philippines, increases in incidence and … Codes used for the classification of cause of death as suicide, accidental …. Adolescence is a period of life changes and most teenagers struggle …
Sep 26, 2011 – MANILA, Philippines – Love may be the first thing that a person considers … Dionisio noted that teens are at a much higher risk for suicide since …
WebMD looks at teen suicide, including risk factors and how to prevent it. … In fact, suicide is the third leading cause of death among people between ages 15 …
Aug 15, 2014 – Most Shocking Suicides in the Philippines – You’ll Be Amazed Whose … This mental-emotional connection is often a potential cause for driving …
Aug 28, 2014 – Home of GMA News Online listing top breaking Philippine and … Suicide is the third leading cause of death among those aged 15 to … With the youth, 430 people aged 10 to 24 die every day through interpersonal violence.”
The headlines are saddening, if not alarming.
Let’s just talk about the Philippines. Some headlines say self-inflicted death is the second highest cause of death among youth in the Philippines. Other headlines say it the third highest cause. Whatever it is, it’s sad and alarming.
Why? Why, bakit, is always the first question that pops into the mind. Very often even high profile personalities who commit suicide have a lingering question mark over their graves. Alexander Robert, the youngest son of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago took his own life at 21. Was it because he was allegedly denied admission to UP, or because of insulting insinuations about his mother’s sanity, or something else?
My own father, in another country, at age 50, father of ten, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the heart. Why? That was my first question decades ago, and my lingering question today. With a house full of grade school and teen age kids, one paycheck just did not go far enough. Was financial stress the cause of the depression? Was there a deeper mental health issue? We will never know.
There simply is not a scientifically valid overall study and statistics we can point to in this country. People who have attempted studies always refer to “under-reporting.” Along with that, some reasons for under-reporting are cited. Stigma is one reason. I guess that’s universal. Until 1983 people who died of suicide were denied a “church burial” before Canon Law was changed that year. But the stigma of accused and presumed sin and sinful despair lingers to this day. Just like the stigma that hounds persons living with HIV so cruelly today, so the stigma of dying by one’s own hand causes not only under-reporting but untold psychological trauma to everybody affected.
In the face of the immensity and sad prevalence of this social phenomenon, for this publication, let’s look beneath the surface to come to some basic understanding of the factors that commonly lead to suicide among LGBT people from teen age to old age. But we won’t forget that teenagers are the most vulnerable. All too often we read about them in the dailies and tabloids. Surely, again, there is under-reporting of causes of these mysterious deaths.
I remember around four years ago there were some teenage deaths in a mall, and ABS-CBN made a big story of it. They concluded with much psychiatric input that “LOVE” is the number one cause of suicide.
That means several things. It could mean disappointment in love. It could mean despair of finding the romantic love one of pining for. It could mean feeling lack of love (acceptance) in the family or social circle.
Why do we say teens are most vulnerable? Well, can we just say that they are new at this whole love thing? That it seems natural that they find it so exciting that they fall head over heels in emotional depths that they are not experienced or trained to handle?
But what if they fall head or heels for a boy of the same sex or a girl of the same sex? Their feelings are just as intense as those of a boy who falls for a girl, or a girl who falls for a boy. But what if? What if they find scorn for that love? Scorn at home? Scorn at school? Scorn at church (public preaching scorn). Ridicule, maybe even bullying or rejection? They not only feel stigmatized for their love, but they feel lack of love and condemnation of their love.
Eric Manalastas wrote a paper that states :This paper explores links between young men’s sexual orientation and suicide risk in the Philippines, to replicate findings in the global lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) psychology literature. I analyzed data from the men’s subsample of the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey 3, a national population-based study of 8,042 Filipino men ages 15 to 24. Significant disparities in suicide risk along sexual orientation were found among male youth, with Filipino gay and bisexual men reporting higher levels of suicide ideation, but not suicide attempt. The odds for suicide ideation was more than two times greater among young same-sex attracted Filipino men compared to heterosexuals (OR = 2.09; 95% CI 1.50-2.93). These effects were partly accounted for by depression, recent suicide attempt of a friend, and experiences of threat and victimization. Similar to findings in the global LGBT psychology literature, this analysis – the first to do so in the Philippine context – indicates that sexual orientation appears to be significantly associated with suicide risk, with young Filipino gay and bisexual Filipino men at disproportionately higher risk for suicide ideation than heterosexual peers.
The stage is being set for suicide if they have not been taught coping techniques. The only coping technique most people instinctively apply is secrecy, closet secrecy, and double lives. But then all “hell” breaks loose when the curtains of that closet are cruelly pulled away and the ugly truth comes out.
Older persons can usually pull themselves out of this fear, disgrace, and “humiliation to the death.” Boy Abunda would never let anybody’s judgment against him for being gay affect his style or happiness. A taxi driver the other day told me the names of some of the most prominent men in the country who are “bading,” he said. I said, “Really?” He missed the boat on some he mentioned, and left out some we all know who have maturity and personalities that do not depend on the acceptance of others.
The point is: there are many who have not grown up yet, either in age or strength of character, and their way out too often tends to be ending it all. “Goodbye cruel world.”
Let’s talk about what can be done, what must be done?
I will end this section with a story I had read in the newspaper just before I was I invited to the World Council of Churches last year to tell about our work here to support persons living with HIV in the stigma they face.
“Just recently it was reported that in Columbia a 16 year old boy was outed by the principal of his Catholic High School after they saw on his cell phone a photo of him kissing his boyfriend. They ridiculed and harassed him till they found his suicide note:
“Goodbye cruel world
I’m leaving you today
Goodbye all you people
There’s nothing you can say
To make me
Change my mind
And that’s what stigma does. Some leave family; some leave church; some just leave this world.
To be continued…