Understanding and Treating Suicidal Adolescents from a Counselor's Perspective

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Understanding and Treating Suicidal Adolescents

In our world today, media commonly portrays topics that used to be considered taboo into the faces of people everywhere. One of these topics is suicide. It was common in the past that suicide occurred; however, it was not talked about. That has changed over the last ten years. Suicide began to be spoken about when it was announced worldwide regarding the death of one particular influential person: Kurt Cobain. In the early nineties, Kurt Cobain was popular among young persons for his "new edge" and controversial music. It was his suicide that brought the seriousness of the topic to the world; however, it was this exact occasion that glorified suicide and made it a common way for young persons to deal with their problems. Suicide is something we need to explore through the signs, causes, and treatment approaches that are available.

Suicide can be defined as "the act of taking one's life voluntarily and intentionally.

The felonious killing of ones self." (Webster's, 1913).

The most commonly asked question regarding suicide is "WHY?" Why do people choose to take their lives, rather than seeking an alternative way to deal with their issues? Most experts believe that "suicide is seldom the result of a single cause." (Zeinert, 1999). Suicide is not caused by one factor; it is commonly a combination of factors, which generally includes depression. Other causes include a family history of suicide or violence, sexual or physical abuse, the death of a close friend or family member, ending a relationship, failing academic, loss of employment, problems at work, impending legal action, and/or recent imprisonment or an upcoming release.

Presenting behaviors of suicide include fighting, breaking the law, impulsive behaviour, extremes of behaviour, and/or changes in behaviour.

Along with presenting behaviors, there are many...