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The Dynamic of Suicide and Suicide Lethality

The Dynamic of Suicide

There are several suicide dynamics. The first dynamic is the precipitating condition. It entails the overwhelming of the suicidal individuals leaving them helpless and hopeless. The next dynamic of suicide is the search for a solution. Another dynamic is stimulus, which is an unendurable stress level or psychological pain. Lastly, there is a psychological need that entails being thwarted or frustrated.

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The fear of the suicidal person is worse compared to death. The suicidal person feels hopeless and helpless, emotionally, due to the absence of coping mechanisms. The individual at the cognitive state thinks that the only solution is either the use of magic or suicide. The patient then engages in an internal conflict when he or she starts to battle with unbearable stress and survival. Under action, the patients seek to escape the overwhelming pain after which they start communicating their suicide intentions. The patient starts talking about suicide through the issuance of warnings and cues. However, the active suicidal period is limited and the patient can take long hours as a potentially suicidal person. He or she tends to have an ever-present attitude with opposing feelings like hate and love. The suicidal attempts build over time as it takes advantage of the failing attempts to stop it. The build-up duration is large enough for identification of the issue and its intervention (The Counseling Team International, 2015).

There are several psychological theories in the dynamic of suicide. The first one is the interpersonal-psychological theory. It argues that people who die due to suicide have the death desire and ability. The theory has two psychological states characteristics, which are feeling burdened and low socially alienated. The other psychological theory is behaviorism which argues that the acquisition of behavior is due to the individual’s condition. The third one is the cognitive theory which argues about humans’ internal states and how they psychologically affect an individual. The other one is a developmental theory that gives a thinking framework about learning, human growth, and development. The next one is the humanist theory which argues about human beings’ goodness. Another one is the personality theory that focuses on why people behave the way they do. Lastly, there is social psychology theory that explains the social behavior and learning theory that focuses on the peoples’ learning process and how they acquire knowledge (Lange, Kruglanski, & Higgins, 2011).

Suicide and the Moral Dilemma

Suicide is the process of one intentionally taking his or her own life. Despair is the main cause of suicide and is attributed to mental disorders like drug abuse and depression. Stress factors play a role in suicides and may include interpersonal relationships and financial problems. However, the most common suicidal methods include hanging, use of firearms, and poisoning oneself (Liem et al., 2011).

The suicide moral dilemma can be experienced especially in assisted and unassisted suicide. Assisted suicide entails the professional assistance, given to the victim to conduct the activity. The person suffering is, therefore, assisted to die peacefully and indignity while still upholding the autonomy. However, the dilemma is if it is right to help one take his or her life or let it be a natural death (James & Gilliland, 2012).

Characteristics of Suicide Committers

Suicidal individuals have several distinct characteristics and feel helpless and hopeless when it comes to changing the situation. They are in dilemma of whether dying or living would be better. In addition, they are also depressed and have no or limited ability to cope with disappointment and stress (The Counseling Team International, 2015).

Similarities between Homicide and Suicide

Homicide and suicide have several similarities as per the act itself or the person doing the act. Suicide is a type of retroflexed or inverted homicide since one who kills himself must have intended to kill others. A common underlying and unconscious motivation are the major causes of both homicide and suicide that are lethal violence. In addition, the use of firearms and poison is a common aspect used by many victims. However, suicide and homicide are done in residential settings. The person who commits the homicide kills himself or herself after the act (Liem et al., 2011).

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The Triage Assessment Form Use in Addressing Lethality

Crisis workers use the triage assessment form, as a tool to determine the suicide lethality of an individual. The worker should ask questions like, “Are you thinking about killing yourself”, “…about killing someone else?”, “How?”, “When?” and “Where?” (James & Gilliland, 2012). Empathy and collaboration must be applied by crisis workers in such sensitive questions. The questions should be close-ended, that is, seeking no or yes answers. However, probing should follow when getting a positive answer to determine the extent. The acronym ‘SIMPLE STEPS’ can be used for effective and efficient use of Triage Assessment in the lethality case. The acronym represents Suicidal/ Homicidal, Ideation, Method, Pain, Loss, Troubleshooting, Emotions, Parents, and Stressors. The assessment provides acute crisis estimation as per the client’s responses. In addition, it helps the worker know the possible causes of lethality in case the assessment is positive.

References

James, R. & Gilliland, B. (2012). Crisis Intervention Strategies. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Lange, P. A. M. V., Kruglanski, A. W., & Higgins, E. T. (2011). Handbook of Theories of Social Psychology: Volume One. London: SAGE Publications.

Liem, M. et al. (2011). Homicide- Suicide and other Violent Deaths: An International Comparison. Forensic Science International, 207 (3), 70- 76.

The Counseling Team International (2015). Suicide Dynamics. Web.

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