The Consequences of Adolescent Suicide

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The act of suicide is an event that has been woven in to the fabric of our culture since our country’s inception. In order to conceptualize and define the problem of suicide, it is important to examine the various views of taking one’s own life. Suicide, and its tragic aftermath, has been the source of award winning movies such as Ordinary People and Leaving Las Vegas, along with the public debate, regarding assisted euthanasia, spotlighted in the case of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Reports of skyrocketing suicide numbers amongst military personnel and veterans have permeated the national news in recent years. Suicide is even linked to martyrdom with numerous Presidents having bestowed our nation’s highest military honor upon military personnel who have sacrificed their own lives. In fact, the very Christian beliefs that this country was founded on, revolved around Jesus sacrificing his own life to absolve the sins of others. Despite this selfless act of intentional death, Christianity views suicide as a grave sin (Slick, n.d.). Due to the varied characterizations of suicide, we will use the classifications of French sociologist Emile Durkheim. Durkheim published a groundbreaking book Le Suicide in 1897. This case study of suicide broke the act of taking one’s life in to four broad classifications; egoistic, anomic, altruistic, and fatalistic suicide. For the sake of this paper, we will concentrate on the classification of suicide as anomic and egoistic. Many sociologists suggest that the lack of social capital, existence of community networks, civic engagement, civic identity, reciprocity, and trust, is the main cause of suicide. The lack of this social capital leads to disillusionment and disappointment (Kushner & Sterk, 20... ... middle of paper ... ...5(7), 1139–1143. Sahoo, S., & Mohapatra, P. K. (2009). Demoralization Syndrome - A Conceptualization. Orissa Journal of Psychiatry, 18-20. Slick, M. (n.d.). If a Christian commits suicide, is he still forgiven? | Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. Retrieved February 19, 2014, from Speece, M. W. (1995). Children's Concepts of Death. Michigan Family Review, 1(1), 57-69. Van Orden, K. A., Witte, T. K., Gordon, K. H., Bender, T. W., & Joiner, T. E. (2008). Suicidal Desire and the Capability for Suicide: Tests of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicidal Behavior Among Adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(1), 72-83. Wal, J. V. (1989). The Aftermath of Suicide: A Review of Empirical Evidence. Omega-journal of Death and Dying, 20(2), 149-171.

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