What Suicide Leaves Behind
Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing 02/1989; 12(1):103-18. DOI: 10.3109/01460868909038031
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- "Fazel, Cartwright, Norman-Nott, and Hawton (2008) found 35 studies about risk factors for prisoner suicides but made no reference to the impact on prisoners of the suicidal behavior of their peers; the same was true of the Hawton Author's personal copy (e-offprint) et al. (2014) study of self-harm. This is of concern as studies in community samples have found that such contact may lead to pathological grief (Hawton, 2007; Horowitz et al., 1997; Jacobs & Prigerson, 2000), feelings of anger and shock (Gyulay, 1989; Ness & Pfeffer, 1990), survivor guilt (Bengesser & Sokoloff, 1989; Ness & Pfeffer, 1990), denial (Carter & Brooks, 1990; Ness & Pfeffer, 1990), or psychiatric morbidity. US studies of adolescents bereaved by a friend's suicide in the community have found higher rates of many of the risk factors for suicide, including major depressive disorder, traumatic grief, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and generalized anxiety disorder (The Youth Exposed to Suicide Project research, including Brent et al., 1993a, 1993b; Brent, Moritz, Bridge, Perper, & Canobbio, 1996; Bridge, Goldstein, & Brent, 2003). "
ABSTRACT: Background: Prison suicide rates are high, and suicide-related behaviors (SRBs) higher, but effects of contact with such behaviors in prison have not previously been examined. Aims: To compare the mental state of young men witnessing a peer's suicide-related behavior in prison with that of men without such experience, and to test for factors associated with morbidity. Method: Forty-six male prisoners (age 16-21 years) reporting contact with another's suicide-related behavior in prison were interviewed 6 months after the incident, with validated questionnaires, as were 44 without such contact at least 6 months into their imprisonment. Results: Significantly higher levels of psychiatric morbidity and own suicide-related behaviors were found in the witness group, even after controlling for their higher levels of family mental illness and pre-exposure experience of in-prison bullying. Some personal factors were associated with higher morbidity; incident and institutional factors were not. Conclusions: Findings of heightened vulnerabilities among young men exposed to suicide-related behaviors in prison suggest a need for longitudinal study to clarify temporal relationships and inform strategies to prevent or limit development of morbidity and further harm.
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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 . Self-reproach for inadequate parenting and neglect in foreseeing and preventing the tragedy is the rule , and the tragedy is further complicated by the social stigma in society . "
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.
Article: Shame, Death, and Dying[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
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.
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