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Unformatted text preview: Suicide: Myths, Facts and Prevention
James M. Eddy Texas A&M University Suicide Myths People who talk about suicide don't commit suicide Only a specific class of people commit suicide Suicide has simple causes that are easily established Only depressed people commit suicide Only crazy or insane people commit suicide Suicide is inherited Definitions of Suicide DurkheimThose cases of death resulting directly or indirectly from positive or negative acts of the victims themselves; The victim knows the results that will be produced by their action. StengelThe fatal act of selfinjury undertaken with conscious selfdestructive intent, however vague and ambiguous. Definitions of Suicide BaechlerAll behavior which seeks and finds the solution to an existential problem by making an attempt on the life of the subject, suicide here is a means vs. an end. Who is Suicidal? A person who consumes an overdose of barbiturates A person who mixes barbiturates and alcohol A diabetic who carelessly follows the prescribed diet A person suffering from intractable pain shoots him/herself Who is Suicidal? A person who so strongly believes in a cause that he/she goes on a hunger strike A person who commits a capital offense despite knowing the penalty if caught A person who provokes another to attack him/herself A person who chooses a high risk form of recreation such as sky diving, hang gliding, or Grand Prix racing Adaptation of Freeman's Model of Intentionality
Level of Intervention Low High Reversibility Low Intervention Ex. Pills consumed when no one is around Low Reversibility Low Intervention Ex. Jump from isolated building High High Reversibility High Intervention Ex. Pills consumed when it is likely others will be around Level of Reversibility High Low Low Reversibility High Intervention Ex. Jump from a building across the street from the suicide crisis center at noon Demographics of Suicide Males commit suicide more often than females Females have a greater number if incomplete suicides than males Older people commit suicide more often than younger people Younger people have a greater number of incomplete suicides than older people Demographics of Suicide City dwellers commit suicide more often than rural residents Protestants commit suicide more often than Catholics or Jews Wealthy people commit suicide more often than poor people Professionals commit suicide more often than nonprofessionals Alcoholics commit suicide more often than social drinkers Comparative Suicide Rates Males vs. Females: Males are 2x more "Successful" Females attempt 4x more suicides Higher rates are found in: Caucasians, urban communities, middle class, people with no children, people with chronic illness, alcoholics and addicts, elderly The Typical Suicide Higher Correlates: Male Caucasian Single, widower, divorced or separated Adolescent of over 65 Probably living alone Unemployed or retired Depressed Probably previous suicide attempt Lower Correlates: Abuser of alcohol or other drugs Demonstrated difficulty in coping Suffering from illness Threatening suicide Visited his/her physician Behavioral Indicators of Suicide Poor communication Items of value Isolation Insomnia and worry Substance abuse Decline in work performance Prior acts of suicide Verbal attitude Suicide Prevention Procedures Listen Evaluate the seriousness Evaluate the intensity Accept every complaint and feeling Don't be afraid to ask the person directly about suicide thoughts Beware of presumed fast recovery Suicide Prevention Procedures Be supportive but affirmative Take specific action Be willing to take further consultation Never treat the act with disgust Never challenge the potential victim Never leave a person in an acute crisis alone ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2008 for the course HLTH 700 taught by Professor Chaney during the Fall '05 term at Texas A&M.
- Fall '05