Teen Tragically Took His Life to Teach Family a Lesson

Yana Bostongirl

***This is based on a true story, one known to the author. Names have been changed to protect individual identities. Retold with permission***

Middle schoolerPhoto byThought CatalogonUnsplash

To say adolescence is a tumultuous period of time is an understatement. Not only do adolescents experience hormonal and growth changes but also mood swings. During this time their decision-making abilities are not strong mainly because the pre-frontal cortex does not develop until they are in their 20s.

As a result, they may make impulsive decisions without thinking things through as Dr. Carl Fleisher who specialized in adolescent and child psychiatry explains: "They're not going to weigh risks and consequences or values in quite the same way that older folks will.”

Corey was one of three of our neighbor's children in the town I grew up in. For the most part, he was a precocious child who loved to play basketball until he started his behavior started to change right around the time he went to middle school.The once talkative kid became sullen and withdrawn. It wasn't sure whether he had some issues such as bullying which may have contributed to the change but whatever it was, it was not just impacting his personality but his grades as well.

It later came out that his parents tried different interventions to get him back on track with his grades. They may have also given him a hard time because there came a time when it all became too much for him.

On the fateful day that Corey's final grades were announced, they were less than stellar. His mom who was the first to view the grades gave him an earful and that was when Corey made the tragic decision to teach his mom a lesson.

He found and ingested rat poison that his father had purchased to deal with a rat infestation problem. By the time his family discovered him and called the paramedics, it was too late.

Per reports, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people age 15 to 24 in the U.S. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says that nearly 20% of high school students report serious thoughts of suicide and 9% have made an attempt to take their lives.

According to Dr. Fleisher, the suicide rate cannot entirely be attributed to depression alone but also due to vulnerable self-esteem.


Do you think if Corey's parents had been more proactive about checking in on their son and letting him know they were available for him, a tragedy could have been avoided?

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Boston, MA

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