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Understanding And Treating Suicidal Adolescents From A Counselor's Perspective

2029 words - 8 pages

Understanding and Treating Suicidal AdolescentsIn our world today, media commonly portrays topics that used to be considered taboo into the faces of people everywhere. One of these topics is suicide. It was common in the past that suicide occurred; however, it was not talked about. That has changed over the last ten years. Suicide began to be spoken about when it was announced worldwide regarding the death of one particular influential person: Kurt Cobain. In the early nineties, Kurt Cobain was popular among young persons for his "new edge" and controversial music. It was his suicide that brought the seriousness of the topic to the world; however, it was this exact occasion that glorified suicide and made it a common way for young persons to deal with their problems. Suicide is something we need to explore through the signs, causes, and treatment approaches that are available.Suicide can be defined as "the act of taking one's life voluntarily and intentionally. The felonious killing of ones self." (Webster's, 1913).The most commonly asked question regarding suicide is "WHY?" Why do people choose to take their lives, rather than seeking an alternative way to deal with their issues? Most experts believe that "suicide is seldom the result of a single cause." (Zeinert, 1999). Suicide is not caused by one factor; it is commonly a combination of factors, which generally includes depression. Other causes include a family history of suicide or violence, sexual or physical abuse, the death of a close friend or family member, ending a relationship, failing academic, loss of employment, problems at work, impending legal action, and/or recent imprisonment or an upcoming release.Presenting behaviors of suicide include fighting, breaking the law, impulsive behaviour, extremes of behaviour, and/or changes in behaviour.Along with presenting behaviors, there are many physical changes that a person will experience when contemplating suicide. These physical changes include a lack of energy, disturbed sleep pattern, loss of appetite, sudden weight gain or loss, an increase in minor illnesses, a change in sexual interest, a sudden change in appearance, and/or a lack of interest in appearance.Finally, the person that is contemplating suicide will have a change in thoughts and emotions. These thoughts and emotions include rejection, deep sadness or guilt, inability to see beyond a narrow focus, daydreaming, anxiety and stress, helplessness, and/or the loss of self-worth.People who engage in wishful thinking commit suicide for very different reasons. Some may be trying to punish someone who has treated them badly." (Zeinert, 1999). These people set up their death so the person they are trying to punish is likely to find them, or they will use something that belongs to that person to kill him or herself. An example of this would be someone else's gun, rope, pills, etc. Revenge is not the only motive for wishful thinking. "Sometimes people who kill themselves have...

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