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Abnormal Psychology- Suicide
Terms in this set (72)
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world. How many people die from it per year? Attempts?
-It has been estimated that 1 million people who die by it each year
-Many more (600,000 in the U.S.) make suicide attempts
It is difficult to obtain accurate figures on suicide rates, and many investigators believe that estimates are often _______. Why?
-Many "accidents" may be intentional deaths
-Since suicide is frowned upon in our society, relatives and friends often refuse to acknowledge that loved ones have taken their own lives
Is suicide classified as a mental disorder in the DSM-5?
Suicide is not classified as a mental disorder in the DSM-5
What mental disorder is suicide linked to?
Although suicide is frequently linked to depression, around half of all suicides result from other mental disorders or involve no clear mental disorder at all
Edwin Shneidman defines suicide as
an intentioned death - a self-inflicted death in which one makes an intentional, direct, and conscious effort to end one's life
Shneidman characterizes 4 types of suicide seekers. List
1. Death Seekers- clearly intend to end their lives
2. Death initiators - intend to end their lives because they believe that the process of death is already underway
3. Death ignorers - do not believe that their self-inflicted death will mean the end of their existence
4. Death darers - have ambivalent (mixed) feelings about death and show this in the act itself
What is suicide? What category does Shneidman classify them in?
When individuals play indirect, hidden, partial, or unconscious roles in their own deaths.
Shneidman classifies them in a category called "subintentional death"
Suicidal self-injury vs Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI)
In recent years, another behavioral pattern, self-injury or self-mutilation, has been added to this list, but we should distinguish between
non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI)
direct, deliberate destruction of body tissue in the absence of any intent to die
Suicide researchers face a major obstacle:
their subjects are no longer alive
Researchers use two different strategies to try to overcome this obstacle (with partial success)
1. Retrospective analysis - a kind of psychological autopsy
2. Studying people who survive their suicide attempts
Researchers have gathered statistics regarding the social contexts in which suicides take place. Country to country?
Suicide rates vary from country to country, with religious devoutness (not simply affiliation) helping to explain some of the difference
The suicide rates of men and women also differ. How?
-Women have a higher attempt rate (3x men)
-Men have a higher completion rate (4x women)
The suicide rates of men and women also differ. Why?
Different methods have differing lethality Men tend to use more violent methods (shooting, stabbing, or hanging) than women (drug overdose)
________ are used in nearly two-thirds of male suicides in the U.S., compared to 40% of female suicides
Suicide is also related to social environment and marital status. Friends? Married?
-One study found that half of the subjects who had committed suicide were found to have no close friends
-Divorced people have a higher suicide rate than married or cohabiting individuals
In the U.S., suicide also seems to vary according to race. White vs African America? Native Americans vs National Average?
- The suicide rate of white Americans is almost twice as high as that of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans
- A major exception to this pattern is the very high suicide rate of Native Americans, which overall is 1.5 times the national average (this ration seems to be much higher according to Canadian stats...)
Psychological Disorders associated w suicide? List some
-Posttraumatic stress disorder
-Major depressive disorder
-Intermittent explosive disorder...
Psychosocial factors associated w suicide? List some.
Family psychopathology or instability
Suicidal acts may be connected to recent events or current conditions in a person's life. Although these factors may not be the basic motivation, they can ___________ it.
Although such factors may not be the basic motivation for the suicide, they can precipitate it
Common triggers for suicide?
Common triggers include stressful events, mood and thought changes, alcohol and other drug use, mental disorders, and modeling
Researchers have counted ______ stressful events in the lives of suicide attempters than in the lives nonattempters
One stressor that has been consistently linked to suicide is __________ _________
Combat stress happens when there is a change in mental function or behavior during combat as a result of actual battle conditions or the potential for battle conditions. The changes can be positive by allowing an increase in confidence in both self and peers, or it can create symptoms of a combat/operational stress injury.
Both immediate and long-term stresses can be risk factors for suicide. Examples of immediate stress-
Immediate stresses can include the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, or natural disaster
Examples of long-terms stressors? (4- SSAO)
1. Social isolation
individuals without social support are particularly vulnerable
2. Serious illness
especially those which cause great pain or severe disability
3. Abusive environments
from which there is little or no hope of escape
4. Occupational stress. Psychiatrists and psychologists, physicians, nurses, dentists, lawyers, police officers, farmers, and unskilled laborers have particularly high suicide rates
Many suicide attempts are preceded by changes in mood.
The most common change is a rise in _________
Shneidman calls this a _______________
-Increases in feelings of anxiety, tension, frustration, anger, or shame are also common
Shneidman calls this "psychache," a feeling of psychological pain that seems intolerable to the person
These changes in mood may not be enough to warrant a ...
diagnosis of a mental disorder
Suicide attempts may also be preceded by shifts in patterns of thinking
Individuals may become preoccupied, lose perspective, and see suicide as the only effective solution to their difficulties.
Suicide seekers: They often develop a sense of _____________.
hopelessness - a pessimistic belief that their present circumstances, problems, or mood will not change
Some clinicians believe that a feeling of ______________ is the single most likely indicator of suicidal intent
People who attempt suicide fall victim to dichotomous thinking, viewing problems and solutions in rigid either/or terms. What is the "four-letter word" in suicide?
The "four-letter word" in suicide is "only," as in "suicide was the only thing I could do"
Studies indicate that as many as 70% of the people who attempt suicide _______ _______ just before the act.
Autopsies reveal that about one-fourth of these people are legally intoxicated
Research shows the use of other kinds of drugs may have similar ties to suicide, particularly in ... (age)
teens and young adults
Attempting suicide does not necessarily indicate the presence of a psychological disorder. Nevertheless...
the majority of all suicide attempters do display such a disorder
What mood disorders are at greater risk?
Those with mood disorders, PTSD, substance use disorders, and/or schizophrenia are at greatest risk
Most people faced with difficult decisions don't kill themselves. Many try to explain suicide-proneness. Where do the leading theories come from?
-Leading theories come from the psychodynamic, sociocultural, and biological perspectives
-These hypotheses have received limited research support and fail to address the full range of suicidal acts
Theorists believe that suicide results from depression and from anger at others that is .....
redirected toward oneself
Freud proposed that humans have a "Thanatos". What is that? For suicide seekers where is it directed?
Freud proposed that humans have a basic death instinct ("Thanatos") that operates in opposition to the life instinct.
While most people learn to direct their death instinct toward others, suicidal people direct it toward themselves
Durkheim argued that the probability of suicide is determined by how attached a person is to such social groups as the family, religious institutions, and community. In what way are they less at risk of suicide?
The more thoroughly a person belongs, the lower the risk of suicide
Durkheim- Egoistic suicides
Egoistic suicides are committed by people over whom society has little or no control
Durkheim- Altruistic Suicide
Altruistic suicides are committed by people who are so well integrated into their society that they intentionally sacrifice their lives for its well-being
Durkheim- Anomic Suicide
Anomic suicides are those committed by people whose social environment fails to provide stable structures that support and give meaning to life
-A major change in an individual's immediate surroundings can also lead to this type of suicide
Despite the influence of Durkheim's theory, it cannot by itself explain why some people who experience particular societal pressures
commit suicide while the majority do not
Family pedigree and twin studies ____________ the position that biological factors contribute to suicidal behavior.
For examples, there are higher rates of suicide among the parents and close relatives of those who commit suicide than among non-suicidal people
In the past three decades, laboratory research has offered more direct support for a biological model of suicide. What levels are low in people who commit?
Serotonin levels have been found to be low in people who commit suicide
There is a known link between low serotonin and depression. There is evidence, though, of low serotonin activity among suicidal subjects with ....
no history of depression
One possibility is that low serotonin activity may contribute to ________ and ________ behaviors
aggressive and impulsive
The likelihood of committing suicide _______________ with age, although people of all ages may try to kill themselves.
Children & suicide.
Frequent or infrequent?
Increasing or decreasing in past decades?
Boys to girls?
-Suicide is infrequent among children.
-Rates have been increasing over the past several decades
-More than 6% of all deaths among children between the ages of 10 and 14 are caused by suicide
-Boys outnumber girls by as much as 5:1
Suicide attempts by the very young generally are preceded by such behavioral patterns as
running away, accident-proneness, temper tantrums, self-criticism, social withdrawal, dark fantasies, and marked personality changes
Despite common misperceptions, many child suicides appear to be based on a ......
clear understanding of death and on a clear wish to die
Suicide & Adolescents.
After what age do they become more common?
Suicidal actions become much more common after the age of 14 than at any earlier age
About half of teen suicides have been tied to .....
clinical depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of hopelessness
-Anger, impulsiveness, poor problem-solving skills, substance use, and stress also play a role
Some theorists believe that the period of adolescence itself produces a __________ ___________ in which suicidal actions are more likely
Attempts vs deaths?
Far more teens attempt suicide than die by suicide. (200:1)
Teen suicide rates vary by ethnicity in the U.S.
-Young white Americans are more suicide-prone than African Americans or Hispanic Americans at this age
(Suicide rates are growing closer)
-The highest suicide rates of all is displayed by Native Americans
Elderly & Suicide.
Compared to other ages?
In Western society the elderly are more likely to commit suicide than people in any other age group
Elderly & Suicide. Contributing factors?
-Loss of close friends and relatives
-Loss of control over one's life
-Loss of social status
Elderly. Attempts vs deaths?
Elderly persons are typically more determined than younger persons in their decision to die, so their completion rate is much higher
The suicide rate among the elderly is lower in some minority groups in the U.S., especially __ & ___
Native Americans and African Americans
Treatment of suicide falls into two categories:
1. Treatment after suicide has been attempted
2. Suicide prevention
What Treatments Are Used After Suicide Attempts?
-After a suicide attempt, most people need medical care
-Psychotherapy or drug therapy may begin once a person is medically stable
-Unfortunately many suicidal people fail to receive systematic follow-up care
After suicide attempt therapy goals?
What therapies may be particularly helpful?
-Keep the patient alive
-Reduce psychological pain
-Help them achieve a nonsuicidal state of mind and a sense of hope
-Guide them to develop better ways of handling stress
-Cognitive and cognitive-behavioral therapies may be particularly helpful
During the past 50 years, emphasis worldwide has shifted from suicide ______________ to suicide __________
treatment to prevention
Both suicide prevention programs and suicide hot lines provide ______ ___________
For suicide prevention, the general approach includes:
-Establishing a positive relationship
-Understanding and clarifying the problem
-Assessing suicide potential
-Assessing and mobilizing the caller's resources
-Formulating a plan
Although crisis intervention may be sufficient treatment for some suicidal people, __________ _______ is needed for most
Another way to prevent suicide may be to limit the public's access to
common means of suicide Examples: gun control, safer medications, better bridge barriers, and car emissions controls
Do Suicide Prevention Programs Work?
It is difficult to measure the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs
-Prevention programs do seem to reduce the number of suicides among those high-risk people who do call.
What is said to be the ultimate form of suicide prevention?
Many theorists have argued for more effective public education about suicide, as education is the ultimate form of suicide prevention
Is there a right to die? Aspects of the debate
-Suicide is generally considered not only tragic but also "wrong"
-Not all societies agree that others should interfere with suicide
-Challenging ethical and legal questions remain
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