One of the more serious situations, which plague the fragile fabric of our interaction society, is adolescent suicide. A diminishing community involvement in a child's life, and the confidence in relations with peers and adults, adds to the anxiety of growth. As a society we have a propensity of single mindedness towards adolescent behavior patterns attributed to suicide. There are many reasons attributed to this growing trend of coping with their changing world but as we consider the problem, signs of such activity are subtle. As we look at the subtlety and significance of these signs involved with suicide it is difficult for the untrained eye and ear to ascertain. Those who are adept at making the decisions for intervention are parents, teachers, peers, and if visits are frequent, the family physician. A question that is most often asked is what brings a child to the point of committing suicide? One of the factors that heighten the willingness to engage in such an endeavor is stress and lack of clear direction modeled by adults and those in authority or influence in our society. Adolescents raised in prior eras were given a direction for their future with examples that commensurate with the rhetorical patterns of the period albeit not all good there was a tangible certainty of the future. As we look at the models of behavior for children and adolescents in modern times, adults are preoccupied with being forever young engaging in immature and irresponsible behavior such as casual sexual behavior, leniency on teenage pregnancy, promoting promiscuous behavior in media, easy divorce as opposed to problem solving, suggestive clothing, lack respect for the importance of modeling behavior between other adults and their children; and self esteem that youth have engaged in their individual behaviors reflective of adult mannerisms that lack of justice morality, compassion and empathy. Attitudes amongst adolescents differ in the exposure and performance of interpersonal, social and workplace skills.
The contributing factors involved with suicidal tendencies may be the result nebulous expectations and uncertainty of future security, a series of stressful events, or health issues. Depressions as a result of health issues are closely monitored for the protection of the patient simplifying detection. The minority entities of these stimuli are more common in occurrence but underrated as a cause and effect factor in suicidal tendencies. These include the loss of a boyfriend or girlfriend, a parent through divorce, the death of a loved one, a sudden and unexplained move from familiar surroundings of friends and a familiar neighborhood. The public, family or friends, failure at school, and interactions with the law can attribute some psychological causes to humiliation. These events, albeit common, do not always result in suicide but the addition of depression, alcohol, and or drug abuse to the equation of suicidal tendencies renders the situation volatile producing feelings of hopelessness, depression and helplessness. Alcohol is extremely underrated as a precursor of suicide. Eighty percent of individuals who attempt suicide engage in alcohol before their attempts. The effect alcohol has on the body especially in over indulgence, cause regrets and anxiety when the alcohol is no longer available.
Individuals with depression combined with anxiety, a form psychosis or beliefs denied are at higher risk. The advent of the gang situation is a result of this form of psychosis. Adolescents in the inner city have adopted a new form of acceptance from society, which in itself is a form of suicide. Young gang members have been disillusioned about the world in which they live and their disadvantages. More than not the role models enterprise of alcoholism, abuse, single parent families, little or no support for the school attendance, and lack of life skills modeling. There was a time that it was not good for someone in the "hood" to posses any qualities of manners and education only being accused of being white. The parental modeling profiles are never standard in these situations but the "alternative family" or "homies" has had enough of an influence to license an alternative life style for many of the inner city discrimination. While this tends to be a predominately male endeavor the females often are the innocent victims remaining to demeaning behavior, pregnancies, a total lack of self-esteem, often being sexually and physically abused. This backlash is a type of suicidal behavior pattern of inner city adolescents. The music in itself is begging for help while reflecting their newfound values. Those that maintain these delusions of a greener pastures are at a higher risk of suicide than individuals who do not have this stigma attached to their psychological profile. Because of age, experience, and depth in processing, understanding patterns that lead to disharmony in life does not allow them to produce alternative decision making processes. Anticipation, inhibitions, and consequences of suicidal interjections lessen with the use of drugs and alcohol that is a donor to disaster as it slowly engages its victims down a difficult path difficult to reverse.
Treatment, Prevention, and Diagnosis
The adolescent youth usually confide in their friends. The IT boom has made the amount of information a 13 year old is disclosed is disquieting. As we have mentioned before the signs that an overt attempt at suicide is imminent has many windows; parting with favorite possessions, social withdrawal, falling grades, over chasing for acceptance are some of the minority signs. Statements such as "What is my purpose here, I do not count", "I wish I was dead", and "Nobody loves me anymore" are clear signs of expression. To minimalise a suicide attempt by teachers, parents, and other caretakers may send a signal of not caring to the adolescent and will try the act again. This is a direct correlation with the quality of time we spend with our adolescents. There is a great difference between the intent to commit suicide and the actual completion of the act. An example would be an adolescent who takes harmless spills with the intent to commit the act should be considered at risk. There are a number of factors involved in the seriousness of the attempt to commit suicide whether it is planned or spontaneous whether or not there was a cover up attempt to hide the fact that these issues were indeed on the fore front of the individuals mind. The type of methods used and its success rate are other determining factors in the diagnosis. There are three types of suicidal events there is of course the completed sued were a death has occurred, the suicide attempt is where a life was intended upon being taken but was not successful. Suicidal gestures are an attempt to commit suicide that was not intended.
Communicating to our youth about the ease and consequences of falling into a behavior pattern of suicide is a must. A trained peer group is just as capable of stopping a suicide as an intervention center. Educating children to use proper language, not keeping secrets from those that can help and recognizing the signs are an important. Identifying suicidal thinking can lead to interventions. All types of suicide attempts are to be taken seriously no matter how minute the problem may seem.
Approximately two thirds of those who attempt suicide attempt to do it again with success. The signs are as simple as self-inflatable wounds that may appear to be play scratches or taking more than the prescribed amount of pills. Most suicides are in the category of attempted and gesture. Suicides that result in death are about ten percent. Although most suicidal behavior does not result in death, 10% of people who try to kill themselves using a potentially fatal means do die from their actions. Suicidal tendencies result from a combination of factors represented to the victim. One of the major battles is depression, mania, and anxiety. Depression is involved in over fifty percent of those attempted. Medical disorders associated with depression may lead to suicidal tendencies. Some of the known disorders that cause suicide are delusional disorders, auditory hallucinations or that voice in the head that says. "This is the thing we need to do", personality disorders, antisocial behaviors, or those with a violent history.
Methods vary and are usually cultural and socially oriented. The availability of useful tools vary in each situation and is dependent upon factors such as spontaneity. A gunshot wound is more often than not fatal an overdose has a way out and is usually done when a rescue is imminent but the intent may just have been as serious. Completed suicides are generally procured by gunshot in the United States. Males tend to prefer this method or attempt while women tend to be less violent and pursue the direction of over dose or poisoning or drowning.
We often assume that treatment is the final stage in the treatment plan. "I am in treatment", "I am better now". This is the time to guard someone involved in an attempt to take their life They will tell you that they are feeling better than they actually do. This is a time some find that they have a renewal of energy to complete the task or it is a way of releasing anxiety. Nearly sixty percent of all completed suicides are committed with a firearm. Keep them away from adolescents at all time. There should not be an instance where they need one. The gun does not excite the behavior does not feed into the plan. And while having a firearm does not in itself promote suicidal behavior, knowing that one is accessible may help a troubled teen formulate his or her suicidal plans. Our world is an astonishing place on which to live. As adults our mission should be in the passing of wealth and goodness of the planet to our children as opposed to selfishly raping the planet and forget our duty to protect our children's interests in lieu of a percentage.