Suicide Awareness

Suicide Awareness Suicide Awareness Suicide ranks as a leading cause of death but by knowing and understanding symptoms and causes suicide can be prevented. Suicide is an intentional attempt to kill oneself whether it is successful or unsuccessful. Suicide accounts for about one percent of all deaths in the United States each year (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic). During the last two decades suicide rates among teenagers has increased three hundred percent (Coleman 1). Suicide attempts far outnumber actual suicides (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic). Every ninety minutes a teenager in the United States commits suicide and every nine minutes a teenager attempts suicide.

About one hundred and twenty-five adolescents commit suicide in one week and one thousand will try during that week (Coleman 1). More girls will attempt suicide than boys, but more boys will commit suicide than girls (2). Every year 30,000 Americans will commit suicide (All About Suicide). Because they are likely to suffer from a mental illness, particularly severe depression (Suicide). Depression is one of the most treatable mental disorders, and one of the under diagnosed and under recognized. This is a serious mood disorder that affects a person’s ability to function in everyday activities.

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It affects how that person works, family life, and social life (All About Suicide). Suicidal behaviors occur as a response to a situation that the person views as overwhelming (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic). “Someone who is profoundly depressed, the option of suicide becomes the only option, the only way to control life and end the unremitting pain” (Leone 71). One of the scariest experiences a person suffers from in their lifetime is the experience of depression. More than one out of five Americans can expect to get some form of depression in their lifetime and one out of twenty Americans have a depression disorder every year. Depression is one of the most common and serious mental health problems facing individuals today (All About Suicide).

There are two main threads of suicide. The social or institutional suicide and individual or personal suicide (Farberow 1). “Institutional suicide is self-destruction that society demands of the individual as part of his identification with the group” (1). Personal suicide is an individual act of protest or declaration against internal conflicts with himself or herself or transgressions against society (2). “The motives were preservation of honor and dignity, expiation of pusillanimity or cowardice, avoidance of pain and ignominy by old age and/or disease, preservation of chasity, escape from personal disgrace by falling into the hands of the enemy, unwillingness to bear the hurt of separation or loss of love and others” (Farberow 2). Lack of social support appears to be something that provokes adolescents to feel hopelessness, depressed, and unworthy (Borst 74). During high school one out of every ten students experiences some form of serve depression.

Recent surveys have shown that about sixty percent of all high school students thought about killing themselves or about his or her own death (Leone 71). “More than ninety percent of all suicides are related to an emotional or psychiatric illness” (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic). Certain aspects will increase the chance of that person attempting suicide. The best predictor of suicidal intent is hopelessness. People with a sense of hopelessness perceive suicide as the only alternative. Those diagnosed with mental illnesses makeup about ninety percent of all suicides. Physical illness also increases an individual’s risk of suicide, especially when it is accompanied by depression (Suicide).

“Other risk factors include previous suicide attempts, a history of suicide among family members, and social isolation. People who live alone or lack close friends may not receive emotional support that would otherwise protect them from despair and irrational thinking during difficult periods of life” (Suicide). Suicidal behaviors imply that an individual wishes, intends or actually attempts suicide (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic). Suicidal behavior is viewed as a form of communication, also known as a cry for help (Results for suicide). Scientists agree that suicide is a complex behavior that has psychological, biological, and social causes (Suicide).

Each risk factor biological, psychological, cognitive, and environmental of the suicide trajectory contains elements that transcend all ages. The biological basis of depression is age- irrelevant. It is associated with low levels of several neurotransmitters, serotonin metabolite and dopamine metabolite. These influence suicidal behavior, also depression. Some people become depressed with little or no environmental pressures. Another factor of suicide of all ages is maleness, throughout history and cultures.

Males are more aggressive than females from birth. Also they are more likely to turn this aggression on themselves (Borst 11). The psychological factors such as low self esteem and depression appear in every age group. Individuals that are depressed talk more about their feelings therefore suicide risks are more evident with hopelessness and helplessness (12). The cognitive factors show individuals that think of suicide as the best and only answer to their problems.

These people do not have positive feelings or positive attitudes. If they fail at something once they may feel that in the future they will fail at it again in a different situation (12). The environment factor shows negative family experiences increase suicidal risk. Abuse of all types, death, and divorce are examples of these factors. A negative life including loss, increase probability of suicidal response (13).

There are warning signs such as verbal threats and previous suicidal behavior. Finally, unexpected triggering events can tip the balance between life and death. The differences that are related to age and development levels are factors to examine (14). Impulsivity is the biological risk factor for children. They are more impulsive and violent in their suicidal behavior and this is why they are more likely to commit a spontaneous act (Borst 12). There are two major psychological factors that increase children’s risk of suicide.

The first one is a sense of inferiority. Children need to develop feelings of confidence and positive self- regard. Those children who fail to develop these feelings may experience strong feelings of inferiority and develop poor self-concepts and low self-esteem (14). “The second psychological risk factor specific to childhood is the expandable child syndrome, which involves very low self-esteem in addition to other significant problems” (15). Parents communicate very low regard for the children, hostility toward them, and even hatred of them on a daily bases. This makes the child believe that they are unworthy and expendable and their death will not matter to anyone.

The expendable child syndrome may activate a wish to die. Children often use suicide to stop being a burden on the parent (15). Evidence also shows that most suicidal children are often victims of child abuse or neglect (Coleman 15). Those children who do not suffer from abuse and neglect, their family environments are less healthy than those of other children (Borst 15). Families with suicidal children tend to be inflexible and resistant to change (Coleman 15).

Children may demonstrate depression differently from adults (Borst 16). “Depressed children may manifest increased anxiety, sleep disturbance, aggressive behavior, low …


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