Psychological Self-Help

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One way to find out the circumstances that lead to suicide is to
investigate the backgrounds of adolescents and young people who
attempt suicide. This has been done (Johnson, et al, 2002). The
history of people who have attempted suicide often includes abusive
parenting and poor child-rearing conditions early in life (young
mothers, poor living conditions, belligerent behavior or trouble-making
in school) and difficulty getting along socially later in life. A mindful
society should consider serious interpersonal problems in childhood or
early teens as signals that this young person needs help with
emotional control, communication skills, and should be followed up for
antisocial behavior, psychological problems, and self-harm in the later
teens or twenties. 
A family history of suicide attempts is an ominous sign. The rate of
suicide is twice as high in families with such a history as in families
who have had no suicides (Runeson and Asberg, 2003). Combining
several studies of twins, adopted children, and controls, there is
evidence that suicidal tendencies may be genetically transmitted (Qin,
2003). A study of 21,168 suicides in Denmark also finds that mental
illness and substance abuse in the family are factors associated with a
risk of suicide (Qin, 2003). Overall, Qin interprets the data to mean
that several family genes, as well as environmental factors, may affect
the traits of aggressiveness and impulsiveness which are associated
with suicide. How much influence does the family history and genes
have on the risk of suicide? Experts estimate that 10% to 13% of
suicides would be prevented if suicidal death and psychiatric illness in
the family could have been avoided (by better mental health care). So,
while your family history is a factor, don’t make too much out of it;
having a psychotic relative or a suicidal one does not mean you are
doomed to an awful future. A bad family history simply means that
early in life your family and you should routinely and seriously
evaluate your emotional/psychological condition and get professional
help to stay as psychologically healthy as you possibly can. 
It has also been found that psychiatric patients who have both
serious psychiatric disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder,
and significant personality disorders, such as passive-aggression or
narcissism, made more suicidal attempts than patients with only one
diagnosis. These dual diagnoses are called “comorbid diagnoses” and
are, in general, associated with more depression, more aggression,
more impulsiveness, lower self-esteem, poorer problem-solving skills,
feeling less loved by their families, and having had more parental
suicidal behavior (Hawton, K. et al, 2003). 
Interesting findings about suicide
1. 29,350 Americans died by suicide in 2000. That is 1.7 times as
many as homicides. 
2. Four times (some say 3 times) as many males as females die
from suicide. Females attempt suicide more than males but use less
lethal methods. 
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