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JAYPEE INSTITUTE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Sociology Of Youth
Suicidal Tendencies In Youth
SUBMITTED TO: BATCH – A2
Imtiaz Ahmad GROUP MEMBERS:
Rahul kumar (15102067)
Mridul sharma (15102060)
Nalin Ajmera (15102061)
Suicide is the second leading cause of death - following motor vehicle accidents - among
teenagers and young adults. On average, adolescents aged 15 to 19 years have an annual
suicide rate of about 1 in 10,000 people. Among youths 12 to 16 year of age, up to 10% of boys
and 20% of girls have considered suicide. Gay and lesbian adolescents are more likely to
attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Suicide rates are 5 to 7 times higher among First
Nations and Inuit teens.
The teen years are an anxious and unsettling period as boys and girls face the difficulties of
transition into adulthood. It is a period in life that is often confusing, leaving teens feeling
isolated from family or peers.
Unfortunately, some may at one point or another perceive suicide as a permanent answer to
problems that are more often than not just temporary. The self doubts, confusion, and pressures
to succeed or conform can come at a high price for troubled adolescents.
Girls generally attempt suicide more often than boys, but boys are about 4 times more likely to
die from the suicide attempt. This is because the methods that boys choose - often using
firearms or hanging - are more lethal than those chosen by girls, namely drug overdoses or
Causes ,Warning signs and risk factors Many troubling and difficult situations can make a teen consider suicide. The same
emotional states that make adults vulnerable to considering suicide also apply to adolescents.
Those with good support networks (e.g., among family and peers, or extracurricular sport,
social, or religious associations) are likely to have an outlet to help them deal with their
feelings. Others without such networks are more susceptible during their emotional changes,
and may feel that they're all alone in times of trouble.
Apart from the normal pressures of teen life, specific circumstances can contribute to an
adolescent's consideration of suicide. It's especially difficult when adolescents are confronted
with problems that are out of their control, such as:
• a new family formation (e.g., step-parents and step-siblings)
• moving to a different community
• physical or sexual abuse
• emotional neglect
• exposure to domestic violence
• alcoholism in the home
• substance abuse
Many suicides are committed by people who are depressed. Depression is a mental health
disorder. It causes chemical imbalances in the brain, which can lead to despondency, lethargy,
or general apathy towards life. Almost half of 14- and 15-year-olds have reported feeling some
symptoms of depression, which makes coping with the extensive stresses of adolescence all the
more difficult. Symptoms of depression in youth are often overlooked or passed off as being
typical "adolescent turmoil."
Another serious problem that can lead teens to suicide - or aid in their plans to end their lives -
is the easy access many of them have to firearms, drugs, alcohol, and motor vehicles. For the
general population, about 30% of suicides involve firearms. Of all firearm-related deaths that
occur, about 80% are suicides.
Suicidal tendencies don't just appear out of the blue: People usually display a number of
warning signs when things seem so wrong in their lives that they've simply given up hope.
Because adolescence is such a turbulent time, it may be difficult to distinguish the signs that
lead to suicide from the changing, sometimes uncertain but otherwise normal behaviour of
Behaviour changes to watch for are:
• withdrawal from family and peers
• loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities
• difficulty concentrating on schoolwork
• neglect of personal appearance
• obvious changes in personality
• sadness and hopelessness
• changes in eating patterns, such as sudden weight loss or gain
• changes in sleep patterns
• general lethargy or lack of energy
• symptoms of clinical depression
• violent actions, rebellion, or running away
• drug and alcohol use
• symptoms that are often related to emotional state (e.g., headaches, fatigue, stomach
• loss of ability to tolerate praise or rewards
Though many suicidal teens appear depressed or downcast, others hide their problems
underneath a disguise of excess energy. If an adolescent starts displaying uncharacteristic
agitation and hyperactivity, it may also signal the existence of an underlying problem. This
restlessness may take the form of confrontational or aggressive behaviour.
More obvious signs that an adolescent may be suicidal include low self-esteem and
selfdeprecating remarks. Some teens come right out and talk or write about their suicidal
thoughts - this should be taken seriously, and not ignored with the hope that it's a passing phase.
Any previous attempts at suicide are loud and clear cries for help, which demand responses
before it's too late.
How to help It's essential that you take suicidal behaviour or previous attempts seriously - and get
assistance quickly. Aside from professional treatment, a suicidal teen needs to know there are
people who care, and who are available to talk to. Good support means listening to what's
troubling somebody without passing judgment on his or her feelings. A person should be
reassured that there are always solutions to problems or ways other than suicide for coping with
them. Giving an adolescent the chance to open up and talk about his or her feelings will help
relieve some of the distress of those intense emotions, and make that person feel less
alone.Don't hesitate to bring up the subject of suicide, and to ask direct questions.
Somebody who hasn't considered ending their life isn't going to adopt the idea simply because
the possibility has been raised. On the other hand, for individuals who are thinking about
suicide, your concern will only be reassuring. At the same time, people can take the opportunity
to open up about their distress.
Some parents may find that their adolescent child resists their advances and isn't willing to
confide in them. When teens insist their parents just "don't understand," it might be a good idea
to suggest they talk to a more objective or emotionally neutral person. This can include other
family members, religious leaders, a school counsellor, a coach, or a trusted doctor.
Restricting access to firearms and ammunition is also an important preventive measure.
Weapons kept in the home increase the risk that suicide attempts will be successful, by giving
a suicidal adolescent the means to take their own life.
It is very important to seek professional help for the adolescent who may be suicidal.
Guidance counsellors at schools or counsellors at crisis centres can help ensure that a
distressed teen receives the needed assistance.
As the vast majority of adolescents who commit suicide have depressive symptoms, recognition
and evaluation of clinical depression - a treatable medical condition - is essential. Physicians,
including psychiatrists, provide both one-on-one counselling and medical treatment for the
biochemical causes of depression.
Psychological counselling will help a teen develop effective mechanisms for coping with
problems. These will be of value long after adolescence has ended, when a person has to face
many of the stresses routinely encountered during adulthood.
Emergency assistance Telephone counselling and suicide hotline services, available in most cities and regions,
can be found in the telephone book. They offer counselling for a crisis situation, and can
provide the immediate support an adolescent may need to survive a low point.
Another place to go during a crisis or in a suicidal state is the emergency ward of a hospital.
Receiving the aid of trained professionals will help an adolescent deal with the emotional roller
coaster that often leads to suicide. Short-term and long-term care can minimize the risk of
committing suicide and help people find alternative solutions to coping with extreme distress.
Vandrevala Foundation For Mental Health 18602662345