Essay: Suicidal Tendencies

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Suicide Tendencies

MIND AND BODY AXIOM

Suicidal Tendencies

Suicide and Its Factors

A review of the World Health Organization's mortality database on suicide from 90 countries in 2005 showed those in the 15-19 age group topped the list (Wasserman et al., 2005). The data came from 90 out of the 130 member states of the WHO. The review found that there were more male than female fatalities in almost all the countries, except in China, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Sri Lanka, which had more female than male fatalities. In the 90 respondent countries, suicide was the fourth leading cause of death among young men and the third for young women. An increase in suicide rates was observed among young males, especially before 1980 and in countries outside Europe (Wasserman et al.).

Precipitating Factors

Precipitating or risk factors emanate from the person himself or herself, relationships, the community, and society-at-large (CDC, 2012). These may or may not be the direct cause of suicide. These risk factors are a family history of suicide or child maltreatment; previous attempt/s; history of mental disorder, especially clinical depression; alcohol or substance abuse; feelings of hopelessness; impulsiveness or aggressiveness; cultural or religious beliefs in the nobleness of suicide as a solution to a problem; local epidemics of suicide; isolation or a sense of separateness; barriers to mental health treatment access; any deep loss; physical illness; easy access to deadly weapons or methods; and refusal to seek help on account of the stigma of mental health, substance abuse or suicidal ideation (CDC).

In a random survey, practicing psychologists identified 8 critical risk factors for suicide among patients or persons suffering from major depression (Matlas-Curry, 2000). The 500 respondent psychologists drew these risk factors from their clinical practice and rated them, using a nine-point Likert-type scale. These factors in their order were the medical seriousness of previous suicide attempts; history of attempts; acute suicidal ideation; severe hopelessness; attractiveness of death; family history of suicide; acute alcoholism; and severe loss or separation (Matlas-Curry)

Cultural Factors

Recent surveys among ethnic and racial minority youth in the U.S. showed that Latinas have the highest suicidal behavior rates as compared with African-Americans and non-Hispanic White adolescent females (Zayas & Pilat, 2008). This cultural phenomenon has been interpreted as a product of some specific aspects of Hispanic or Latino history, tradition, ideology and/or social standards. Other studies, however, contend that the psychological profile and the risk factors in the case of Latina adolescent females may not be too far or different from those of non-Hispanic adolescent females. It must be appreciated that Latina adolescents are at the stressful crossroads of cultural and familial factors, such as familism, acculturation, relatedness and autonomy. These collide against developmental, social, and individual factors, which trigger suicidal behaviors. Interventions for treatment must consider and include family and cultural aspect (Zayas & Pilat).

Physical, Psychological and Social Factors of Health

The 2002-2003 Annual Report of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (2003) listed social determinants, behavioral determinants, and clinical determinants as the social, physical, and psychological factors, which influence health. Social and physical conditions produce varying health, disease and injury patterns in the population. Individual factors, such as risks or response to stress, determine the general effects of environmental factors. The social and physical environments also affect individual factors (SFDPH).

Social determinants to health are economic conditions, racial disparities, transportation and access to food (SFDPH, 2003). Economic conditions, which conduce to poor health, are low income and income inequality. In the case of San Francisco in 2000, 5% of its households earned less than $50,000 a year and almost a third of them earned only less than $35,000. While many earned substantial incomes, many earned less than what they needed for subsistence. More than 40,000 households earned incomes below the minimum wage level for California. The federal poverty level standard of measure is no longer applicable today with the number of families living below subsistence levels. Poverty in San Francisco continues to rise, especially among children under 5 and the youth aged 18-24. Poverty rates among ethnic families are higher among non-couple than married couple families and among female-headed than male-headed families. The 2000 census reported that 65% of households were renters and 37.5% of them spent more than 30% of their income for… [END OF PREVIEW]

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