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What are the psychological behaviour of a teenager before committing a suicide?...

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csipunjab | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 21, 2011 at 2:36 AM via web

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What are the psychological behaviour of a teenager before committing a suicide? (Hanging)

19 year male student of civil engineer committed suicide by hanging himself with with roof fan. According to parents every thing was normal. Subject was seen three hours before committing suicide at doorsteps by his neighbour. He was on phone. But no phone call was made.

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samhouston | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted August 21, 2011 at 7:03 AM (Answer #1)

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Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, are directly related to an increased risk of suicide.  The fact that the subject was on the phone but no call was made may be an indication of a psychotic or dissociative disorder.  However, if the parents state that everything was normal, it is unlikely the subject had been previously diagnosed with a mental disorder.  Another leading cause of suicide is substance abuse.  This can easily be ruled out with an autopsy.  Under the assumption that the subject did not suffer from a mental disorder and does not use drugs or alcohol, the suicide was triggered by a stressor.  This individual decided to kill himself and carried it out.  Hanging is an intentional suicide method, as opposed to overdosing or bleeding, which are usually methods used in "cries for help".  An individual who has planned suicide will usually display the following psychological behaviors:

  • loss of appetite
  • change in sleeping patterns - insomnia or hypersomnia
  • withdrawn, sad, or irritable
  • no longer interested in activities that used to be of interest
  • cutting off ties with friends and loved ones
  • seeking closure
  • preoccupation with death
  • saying goodbye (not always verbally)
  • bodily motions seem sluggish and robotic
  • flat affect, no emotions shown in facial expressions
  • unable to focus, preoccupied

The phone may have been an attempt to contact a loved one to say goodbye.  It is also possible he picked up the phone and forgot what he was doing.  A person who is about to commit suicide is likely to imitate normal behaviors, but it is superficial.

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