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Archive » 2012 » 1 » | Archive » Medical field » Fields » Pediatrics » Archive » Medical field » Fields » Psychiatry »

Adolescent Suicides and Suicidal Behaviour

 
Abstract:

This post is also available in: enEnglish slSlovenščina (Slovenian)

Slovenia, unfortunately, ranks top in the European and world suicide rates. In the group of children and adolescents under the age of 18 years, there are 15–20 suicides a year. Suicides are extremely rare in childhood. In the majority of adolescents who committed suicide the decision was impulsive, although one could also find an undiagnosed and/or untreated psychiatric disorder in the background of suicide. In such cases the most common psychiatric disorders were depression, conduct disorder, drug abuse/dependence and personality disorders. Suicidal behaviour, on the other hand, is commonly not a consequence of an isolated mental disorder, acute traumatic experience or subjectively perceived important loss, but rather a result of dysfunctional developmental process where unfavourable factors have been accumulating in various areas. To assess the level of suicide risk, one should be familiar with developmental specifics. Occasional thoughts of suicide in an adolescent do not represent a high suicide risk. In fact, suicidal ideation and thinking are quite common in this age group. If, however, they are accompanied with other psychopathology or psychiatric symptomatology or if for an adolescent the suicide seems to be the only possible way out, the suicide risk significantly increases. In children, on the other hand, any suicidal thinking indicates a high risk for suicide. Hospitalization indications after a suicide attempt in a child or adolescent are: suicidal method other than ingestion of pills or superficial cutting, male sex, previous suicide attempts, the presence of suicidal and/or depressed thoughts or psychotic symptoms and history of drug abuse/dependence. Suicide behaviour prevention should be a priority task for both medical and social services as well as for anyone else who has the possibility and duty to influence the mental health in society and family.

Authors:
Gregorič Kumperščak Hojka

Keywords:
suicide, suicidal behaviour, adolescents, psychiatric disorders, risk factors

Cite as:
Med Razgl. 2012; 51: 81–8.

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