Adolescent Suicides on the Increase

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ROME, MAY 21, 2003 (Zenit.org).- About 5,000 people commit suicide every day, the congress "Suicide: Option, Madness, or Mystery?" reported on May 20.



The congress, held at the "Camillianum" International Institute of Pastoral and Health Theology, highlighted an increase in the suicide rate of adolescents in countries with a high standard of living such as Germany, Denmark, Finland, Austria, and Switzerland.

Father Arnaldo Pangrazzi, the institute's deputy director, in an address summarized by Vatican Radio, says: "precisely the life of young people accustomed to well-being is exposed to this risk because of their inability to suffer pain."

"This fragility explains the difficulty to face disappointments, conflicts, interior and spiritual emptiness, lack of ideals and life plans," he added.

Father Pangrazzi noted that in "rich countries people who attempt to commit suicide feel the contrast between external beauty and peace and their interior world lacerated by profound conflicts," Vatican Radio summarized.

The experts said that spring is the season when most suicides occur.

In face of a generalized awakening of nature and of social activities, the uneasiness of those people experiencing profound existential crises becomes more acute and they find difficulty in giving meaning to their lives.

In this context, death caused by the quest for exaggerated emotions, such as high-speed driving, could be considered as a form of suicide, that is, a lack of love for one's life, arising from inner emptiness.