11:02 am - 04/30/2015

Studies confirm that the leading cause of death in young Koreans is suicide

It has been revealed that the leading cause of death in young adults in Korea is suicide.

According to “2015 Young Adults Statistics” released by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and Statistics Korea on April 28, the leading cause of death in those between 9 and 24 years of age in 2013 was “intentional self-harm (suicide).”

Suicide took the lives of 7.8 out of 100,000 people, an increase from 7.4 in 2013. The next most prevalent cause of death was unintentional accidents (4.4 people) and malignant neoplasms (i.e. cancer, 3.1 people).

This is an increase in the rate of suicide from 2003, which stood at 7.4 per 100,000, whereas the rate of deaths by unintentional accidents and malignant neoplasms dropped from 9.6 and 4.2, respectively.

Furthermore, 7.9 percent of young adults between the ages of 13 and 24 responded that they had contemplated suicide at least once in their lives.

When asked why, young adults between the ages of 13 to 19 said grades and other academic issues (39.3 percent) and economic difficulties (19.5 percent) was the reason, and those between the ages of 20-24 referred to work-related issues (20.1%) and economic difficulties (20.0 percent).

Meanwhile, young adults chose school as their biggest worries. Last year, those between the ages of 13 to 24 responded that their biggest worries are studies (35.3 percent), and appearance and health (16.9 percent).

The people who young adults most sought help from to deal with these issues with were friends and peers (46.2 percent). Parents were the next most sought out (26 percent), followed by those who sought to resolve their concerns on their own (17.6 percent).

Sources: eDaily, Soompi

Nine to twenty-four?! Oh jeez...
adenar 30th-Apr-2015 03:55 pm (UTC)
young adults between the ages of 13 to 19 said grades and other academic issues (39.3 percent) and economic difficulties (19.5 percent) was the reason

i mean it's shocking that anything is a reason for teenagers to be considering suicide but it's so hard to wrap my head around academic reasons being such a big one. most teens spend a vast amount of their life in school, surely when so many are saying it's causing them to think about suicide is when you start thinking 'maybe we should be seriously looking into this'. idk if i'm being clear, i can't organise my thoughts well. this is so sad.
winegums 30th-Apr-2015 04:22 pm (UTC)
it's not surprising at all to me. These kids (and kids in other countries too) spend half their lives being told that your grades= your worth as a human being, and in a system where your grades p much determine your future college and career choices.

Hell I've been through that system (not Korean tho) and seen kids who were too afraid to complain of being badly treated at school because their grades were lower than their bully's = teacher will always take the word of the kid with the higher grades more seriously.
adenar 30th-Apr-2015 04:35 pm (UTC)
i meant less that it's surprising and more that it's extremely depressing and upsetting, yeah.
sakura_holic 30th-Apr-2015 05:09 pm (UTC)
"teacher will always take the word of the kid with the higher grades more seriously."

I relate to this sentence so much because I live in a country with the similar mindset where grades= your worth and I can't even begin to explain how people with low grades especially those minor learning disabilities would always get labelled as "trouble-makers" and "the naughty ones who don't want to study" and be constantly treated as a nuisance to class by the teacher or looked down as people "who will never do anything in life"

But even though to a certain extent I have experienced this and it was thoroughly shitty, I feel like it's taken up by a notch in Korea (I could be totally wrong) because I wouldn't be afraid to tell on my teachers for their behaviour but like you said kids really seem like they can't open up to anyone and thus the pent up stress eventually reducing their mental health and leading to depression/suicide..

Edited at 2015-04-30 05:10 pm (UTC)
winegums 30th-Apr-2015 06:09 pm (UTC)
parents don't help either, so many of them like to treat their children's report cards as a status symbol, like 'I popped out a sprog who has higher grades than yours so I am better' humblebragging bullshit. Don't even get me started about the bragging about where their children go to which prestigious high school/college (my family did it too, nm that I was having breakdowns almost weekly bc I hated it so much - and again, couldn't complain about bad institutional treatment because my grades were low and I was dismissed as a ~troublemaker~ too despite not doing shit to earn that label).

So the kids end up feeling like they shamed their family by not having high grades/not being perfect, and end up really having nowhere to turn bc of it. There's a reason suicide hotlines are always busiest during exam season, the pressure the kids are under is no joke.

Edited at 2015-04-30 06:11 pm (UTC)
sakura_holic Re: 30th-Apr-2015 07:02 pm (UTC)
The fact that parents are using their own children to make them feel better about themselves is always beyond me..

The bragging bit happens to here but it's more to which college you get into and what career path you have taken rather than which school you went too (because apparently being a doctor or an engineer is the only thing that gets you money and god forbid you even think of pursuing social science or art @-@), people don't usually care about high schools because we have several different educational board systems and people can choose which one they want to go in... but yeah it was somewhat the same but more when it comes to the actual career.

I hope you have it better now tho and enjoy doing whatever you are doing without the pressure because that sound awful..

I had the same thing, wasn't that much of a bright kid and got mediocre grades plus once you get labelled like by the teachers all the other kids around you sooner later start behaving differently like "Oh don't hang out with her, they will only get you trouble and your grades will drop" and this shitty behaviour is again just encouraged by parents again which is even more worse..

I really wonder if anything will be done to make things even a little less stressful around exam times if the pressure is so high like you said but I hardly doubt it and that makes it even more of a tragic thing :(
audiograms 30th-Apr-2015 05:01 pm (UTC)
i wish mental health was treated more seriously globally instead of things being seen as teenage drama
huanyia 30th-Apr-2015 05:40 pm (UTC)
This is really worrying, and sad, because education is regarded with such importance in Korea :/
asth77 30th-Apr-2015 05:42 pm (UTC)
It's not even about finding a work that suits you depending on the field you like and economical stability, no, it's simply studies. I think it says a lot : where is the goal behind those? What's the purpose? That could imply something related to happiness or pleasure. I know little about the subject but from what I read and know... The only thing that matters is to get this so called "prestigious education" : who looks the most clever (speaks english? Learn by heart?)...
if there is no real goal that implies happiness then the expectations given by the adults go up, only in order to involve hardships and deceptions then end up by telling yourself : what's the point? There is nothing that'll satisfy me later on and what's now seems unconquerable.

bomsnose 30th-Apr-2015 06:11 pm (UTC)
i'm from a country that has been on the list of countries with highest suicide rates in the highest 10 for decades now.
i could write a novel on this, really. and i typed in a very long comment, but not going to post this, cause it's too sad.
premonitioner 30th-Apr-2015 06:34 pm (UTC)
literally just did a class on Korean education last week - one of my readings was of a study from like 2006 or something, comparing Korean and American high schoolers. Korean kids spent, on average, 1 hour on leisure, and 7 minutes on exercise. Every other waking moment was dedicated to studying. 40% of the Korean kids were clinically depressed (as opposed to like, 13% of the Americans).

seeing the title of this article, i was like 'well, yeah. of course it is.'

AND Koreans know it has to change, but no parent wants their child to be caught in the middle of a changing system because that child gets screwed over, so it keeps getting protested and pushed back. but hey, you know, a system that's causing people to only have one child because they can't afford to educate more than one, a system that's causing the youth of a rapidly ageing society to kill themselves, a system that teaches children fuck all but how to memorise shit, that's FINE, PUSH IT BACK, as long as it's not your child that commits suicide, right?
sakura_holic 30th-Apr-2015 07:10 pm (UTC)
"AND Koreans know it has to change, but no parent wants their child to be caught in the middle of a changing system because that child gets screwed over"

Wait, I don't understand in what way does bringing changes the educational system screwing up the child? Are they planning on changing the entire system and replace it with a new one with like a new syllabus and new teaching method or something? I am sorry but I just got really confused...

Edited at 2015-04-30 07:11 pm (UTC)
premonitioner 30th-Apr-2015 07:15 pm (UTC)
usually there is an inbetween stage, where a system is phased out, and one phased in, where lots of trial and error happens and often the first few years of the new system goes badly (example UK when the O-level system was replaced with the GCSE system). No one wants their child to be in that period where it's a mess for students, teachers and testers.

And they can't even agree on what the new system should be, so there's THAT hurdle as well, but they have to get people to agree to have the system changed in the first place.

Edited at 2015-04-30 07:16 pm (UTC)
sakura_holic 1st-May-2015 08:32 am (UTC)
Oh I see, that way it could definitely be quite a mess, thank you for explaining :)
laeryn 30th-Apr-2015 07:21 pm (UTC)
In my country we've had several changes. I've gone through: a change while I was in elementary school, another when I was in HS, and then the college system was changed so the new one would be first used the year I started uni... and yes, it does. It's fucked up. Nobody works well at first, nobody (teachers) knows exactly wtf they're doing, there are many things to be fixed. I do think we're affected, so I get where they're coming from. I also think, however, that they might be at the point where that is actually less bad than the direction they're heading, considering info like this :|

ps. sorry for the edit, idk what language I was speaking before omg.

Edited at 2015-04-30 07:23 pm (UTC)
sakura_holic 1st-May-2015 08:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think that's mostly why I got confused because the system already looks really bad if your kids feel compelled to end their lives every time exam time comes around but I guess even if they change the system if the mindset of people who do pressurize these kids doesn't change then the entire thing will still mess up somehow..

Thanks you for explaining tho and thats alright :)
mamamoos 30th-Apr-2015 08:18 pm (UTC)
that number to do with grades is horrifying. it's so preventable. i pray the world and these mindsets change. i really, really worry for children with even harder than usual circumstances in places like sk, as somebody with an autistic brother who had to be taken out of school even in the uk it was that bad of a situation.
teruhiko 3rd-May-2015 10:46 pm (UTC)
how terribly sad. I really hope Korea and other nations tackle the problem of stigma surrounding mental health issues more urgently because it's increasingly alarming to me how much this stuff happens. and it's so preventable and treatable that it really is the most tragic thing
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