What Suicide Leaves Behind

Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing 02/1989; 12(1):103-18. DOI: 10.3109/01460868909038031
Source: PubMed
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    • "Committing suicide in the teenage years can be perceived as the ultimate rejection of family, of significant others, and of society. The family involved will search for premonitory signs and clues to make sense of the tragedy [1]. Self-reproach for inadequate parenting and neglect in foreseeing and preventing the tragedy is the rule [2], and the tragedy is further complicated by the social stigma in society [3]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Studies of family reactions following teenage suicide are hampered by the psychological difficulties of approaching families and recruiting an unbiased sample of study subjects. By using a small but consecutive series of cases, we examined the qualitative aspects of loosing a teenage family member due to suicide. Such an understanding is important for future organisation of proper programs that provide professional support in the grief process. From a large project on teenage unnatural death in northern Sweden 1981-2000 (including 88 suicides), 13 cases from 1995 through 1998 were retrospectively identified and consecutively analysed. Ten families agreed to participate. The open interviews took place 15 to 25 months after the suicide. The information gathered was manually analysed according to a grounded theory model, resulting in allocation of data into one of three domains: post-suicidal reactions, impact on daily living, and families' need for support. Teenager suicide is a devastating trauma for the surviving family and the lack of sustainable explanations for the suicide is a predominant issue in the grief process. The prolonged social and psychological isolation of the families in grief should be challenged. At the time of the interview, the families were still struggling with explaining why the suicide occurred, especially since most suicides had occurred without overt premonitory signs. The bereaved family members were still profoundly affected by the loss, but all had returned to an ostensibly normal life. Post-suicide support was often badly timed and insufficient, especially for younger siblings. Family doctors can organise a long-term, individually formulated support scheme for the bereaved, including laymen who can play a most significant role in the grief process. There is also a need for better understanding of the families who have lost a teenager whom committed suicide and for the development and testing of treatment schemes for the bereaved family.
    BMC Psychiatry 02/2008; 8:26. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-8-26 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper deals with the influence of shame on the way in which Western society, particularly North America, is coping with death and dying. From being a familiar event, death and dying have become a shameful aspect of life. Thus, this paper provides some understanding of this important transformation, and it challenges some of our present attitudes regarding death and dying. These human experiences are not the ultimate manifestation of a failure, either from a personal or a medical perspective, but the only way through which human beings acquire the fullness of life, as Christian faith reveals.
    Pastoral Psychology 08/2002; 51(1):27-40. DOI:10.1023/A:1019774323981
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Rates of suicide and suicide-related behavior (SRB) are high in prison. Those witnessing such behavior may develop psychological morbidity. Most previous studies have been quantitative. Little has been written about the witnesses' qualitative experience. Aims: The aim of the study was to explore, through interview and then thematic analysis, the core concerns of those witnessing another's SRB in prison. Method: We interviewed 70 detained young men about their experience of another's SRB in prison. Results: Three main themes were identified: their experience of another's SRB; their thoughts of why the victim died by/attempted suicide; and the physical, emotional, and cognitive effects of another's SRB on them. Responses to questions about the witnesses' experience of support from others, unmet needs, and peers' responses are also described. Two categories within the theme "thoughts of why the victim died by/attempted suicide" were associated with being in prison, all others could be experienced in the community. Over half of the sample reported negative reactions to witnessing another's SRB. Conclusion: Most themes were unrelated to prison. Though many reported negative reactions to their experience, suggesting a need for support, many denied that need. The implication of this study is that prison discipline and health-care staff need to consider how to provide needed support and care in an acceptable form to young men in prison.
    Crisis The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention 09/2013; 35(1):1-8. DOI:10.1027/0227-5910/a000223 · 1.09 Impact Factor
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