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Soc M138-suicide prevention

by: Freddie816

Soc M138-suicide prevention Sociology M138

GPA 3.3

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About this Document

Lecture on suicide
Death, suicide and trauma
Class Notes
soc, m138, sociology, soc m138, timmermans, suicide, Death, Trauma, freddie
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Freddie816 on Monday April 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Sociology M138 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Timmermans in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 70 views. For similar materials see Death, suicide and trauma in Sociology at University of California - Los Angeles.


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Date Created: 04/25/16
    4/25/16  Ted Talk: man repeatedly attempts to commit suicide as a teenager, teacher intervenes, stranger  intervenes, community intervenes  Living with a mental illness is like being stuck in a single mental situation   Major depression is a result of psychology, biology and sociology     Suicide prevention:    The purpose of this lecture was to of course answer the question of how can suicide be  prevented. In my view however, what this lecture did was that it demonstrated that suicide can be  explained as a social phenomenon rather than the view proposed by psychology. Suicide itself is  an individual act triggered by our individual emotions but the way we perceive and respond to our  emotions, depends on social interaction within our culture. In other words, our perception of  certain life events, depends on how society has taught us to perceive and respond to those  events. Our culture teaches us how to view, interpret and respond to certain emotions and, I  believe, influences suicide. So if this is true, we would expect to see little to no correlation  between a  psychological  mental illness and suicide, correct? According to today’s lecture, this s  what we see: For instance   Stress.   ● Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain that affects the immune system, triggers  depression, is the onset of manic and schizophrenic episodes etc. But stress does not  cause suicide, if stress caused suicide, we would all be dead because we all go under  stress.  ● Furthermore men and women respond to stress differently: men tend to use drugs and  women become diagnosed with mental illness  I think that this is so because men live in a society where it is not acceptable to express other  emotions other than anger so they revert to drugs in order to cope with stress rather than express  their emotions. Since stress is not being dealt with in a healthy manner among men [due to  societal expectation towards men], we would expect men to commit more suicide than women.  Furthermore, think of the chart that we saw in lecture in which suicide was the highest among  those who attempted suicide before rather than those with a mental illness. If suicide was  psychological and associated with those with a mental illness then we would expect those with  psychological disorders to have a higher rate of suicide right? They don't. Rather, those who  attempted suicide before have higher rates of suicide. A probable explanation would be that  whatever way they perceive their world drives them to act, and as I mentioned, the way that they  act towards their perception of life events depends tremendously on social interaction     Role of life events and mental illness:  ● Mental illness clouds your perception of reality   ● Brings our focus to negative events  ● Increases a sense of helplessness   The role of psychopathology and suicide  ● Protective states against suicide   ○ Pregnancy (before giving birth)  ○ Non­psychiatric conditions      4/25/16  ○ Obsessive Compulsive Disorder   ● Mood disorders:  ○ Depression (associated with a high risk of suicide). Ie­study in Sweden  ○ Mania: rarely associated with suicide   ○ Manic depression (50% association with suicide/50% are more likely to  commit)  ○ Schizophrenia­10% of diagnosed die from suicide   ● Substance abuse  ■ Attempt to Self medicate   ■ Alcoholism produces symptoms of depression  ● Lowers inhibitions, increases risky behavior  ● Reinforces mental illness   ● Professional prevention­most suicidal people communicate intent; this allows for  intervention   ○ Medication:   ■ Lithium: mood stabilizer. People are 9 times less likely to commit suicide  while taking Lithium than those not taking it   ■ Anticonvulsants and SSI’s (2nd generation of Lithium, not very helpful in  treating mood)   ● Compliance rate for meds: 50­60%  ○ Psychiatric hospitalization­great benefit for the suicidal  ○ Electroconvulsive therapy  ○ Psychotherapy: Focus on changing suicidal behavior   ■ Extremely effective in combination with drugs  ○ Family and friends as the gatekeeper for helping the suicidal obtain help    How do we help the suicidal obtain helQPR model  ● Question: Look for red flags such as depression and alcohol use, Listen for verbal cues,  Ask directly about suicide   ● Persuade: Active or empathetic listening, Emphasize that suicide is not the solution   ● Refer: physically take the suicidal person to see a counselor/walk them over  What not to do:  ● Don't be judgemental  ● Don't deny a person’s feelings  ● Dont make the situation about yourself ie­”how can you do this to me?”  ● Don't try to be a hero  ● Dont promise confidentiality  ● Don't leave the suicidal person alone  Restrict access to means : Gun control, fencing of bridges etc    Society is greatly involved in why people commit suicide, I think was the gist of this lecture. But we  are not constrained by society however. We are human and have control over what we do. We  can choose how to respond to certain events. But society plays a huge role in this. Society,  through everyday social interaction, defines how we perceive certain things, emotions and events.      4/25/16  Therefore we respond as an individual to these events but through a social lense per se. In other  words: we respond as individuals to life events depending on the meaning that our culture applies  to those events. Thus our actions are both individual and social acts. This is why I think that those  who have attempted suicide before, have higher rates of suicide than those with a mental illness.  The same goes for men and women. The roles that society has reared us to follow, greatly affects  an individual's perception of life events [which may lead to suicide]. (Think about it, these  individuals that may or may not have a mental illness feel alienated from society (demonstrated by  levels of stress and previous suicidal attempts), when they feel integrated (a sense of belonging  demonstrated through engagement in talk therapy/psychotherapy/counseling), suicide rates go  down)). Thus, society can play a large role in helping those with suicidal behavior.  


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