The affects of Bipolar Disorder and teenage suicide.

Essay by Alexandria1611187College, UndergraduateA+, July 2003

download word file, 3 pages 4.3

Among fifteen to nineteen year olds, suicide is the third leading cause of death. Since the nineteen sixties teenage suicide has doubled in the United States. More than seven thousand teenagers kill themselves yearly. This rise in teenage suicides has happened because of an increase in a psychological disorder called manic-depressive disorder.

A psychological disorder is a condition in which behavior is judged to be atypical, disturbing, and mal-adaptive. Manic-depressive disorder, which is also known as bipolar disorder, is when a person experiences prolonged hopelessness and lethargy until eventually returning to normality. In the manic-depressive episode, there is a period of at least two weeks in which a person has a depressed mood or loses interest or pleasure in activities. Other symptoms can include weight gain, weight loss, sleep changes, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, difficultly concentrating or thinking, and thoughts of death plans. This disorder, in which the person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depression and the state of mania, is one known to be the cause of suicide.

Teenage suicides are associated with manic-depressive disorder. The suicidal teenager feels isolation, despair, hopelessness, and estrangement. They also feel that they cannot handle today and nothing will ever be better tomorrow. The teenagers also feel ambivalence. Simply stated, it means that opposite desires are experienced at the same time. The depressed person wants to live and die at the same time. In a PBS video about teenage suicide, Teenage Suicide- The Ultimate Dropout, one teenage female spoke of the fact that she felt that her parents were only using her as a stepping stone as the reason for her suicidal attempt. She was more or less tired of her parents' constant demands. Her feelings about getting even with her parents resulted in her decision to swallow a...