Young People and Suicide/Violence

[quote]football061 wrote:
The town I live in(Cherry Hill) has a HUGE suicide rate. Going through middle school and H.S. everyone was knocking themselves off, I just don’t get it…[/quote]

Two possibilities here mate…

1 - Copycat suicide - Wikipedia

A copycat suicide is defined as a duplication or copycat of another suicide that the person attempting suicide knows about either from local knowledge or due to accounts or depictions of the original suicide on television and in other media. Sometimes this is known as a Werther effect, following the Werther novel of Goethe.

The well-known suicide serves as a model, in the absence of protective factors, for the next suicide. This is referred to as suicide contagion[1]. They occasionally spread through a school system, through a community, or in terms of a celebrity suicide wave, nationally. This is called a suicide cluster[1]. Examples of celebrities whose suicides have inspired suicide clusters include the American musician Kurt Cobain, the Japanese musician Hide and Yukiko Okada.

To prevent this type of suicide, it is customary in some countries for the media to discourage suicide reports except in special cases.

2 - All these people killing themselves - they met you at a party didn’t they?

[quote]detazathoth wrote:
I’m going to get slamed for this, but in the case of suicide, it’s just Darwin at work people. [/quote]

you think? suicide maybe served an evolutionary purpose back in the day? i wonder what the suicide rate of cavemen was?

there was actually i guy i use to see at the gym, not a personal friend really but always shot the shit about training and eating etc…he was a few years younger and i always tried to help him out, anyway about two fridays ago i asked him if he wanted to start training together…first time i had seen the kid 4 years ago he was about 135 and had done alot of hard work to get a decent way over 200 pounds, we were suppose to start training together the next monday. Learnt that saturday that his girlfiend broke up with him and his parents found him hanging in his shed. Such a shame, and really puts life in to perspective i guess

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

I do not think emotion and rationality have anything to do with each other. Everyone has emotion because they have incomplete facets to receive signals form the world as it exists outside their own body. Emotions are due to incomplete signals received from the universe in the form of sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell. Emotions lead to value judgment. They are the lens in which we perceive reality.
[/quote]

I think you may have lost me completely here. Emotions are not the lens through which we perceive reality generally, assuming we’re functioning appropriately. They’re subjective reactions to what we determine to be real. For example, when I have a nightmare about my husband fooling around on me I wake feeling angry. That’s emotion. However, I use my capacity for rational thought to make the determination that I do not have just cause for anger. Reality trumps feeling.

I adjust my feelings to reflect reality on a regular basis. I’m irritated that my friend hasn’t called me about our plans for the weekend, but then I remember that I said I’d call her, and never did. Irritation turns to contrition.

Emotions - feelings - are subjective. Reality is, one hopes, more objective. What my senses perceive - taste, smell - lead me to make objective determinations about the world. Depending upon the judgments I make about what I see or hear or touch, I may have an emotional reaction.

Example: Oh look, there’s a woman in my husband’s office … there’s my husband, walking toward her … they embrace … I determine that there is an overwhelming likelihood that my husband is betraying me with her … the emotions of pain and sorrow result.

Now, given that I’m having strong emotion, I’m faced with the choice of behaving reactively (lash out in my pain, perhaps by shooting my husband and the woman) or behaving in what I would call a more rational manner (go home, pack a suitcase, and go stay with a friend, resisting the urge to act until I’ve had time to calm down). The latter is the wiser (more rational, reasoned) choice.

[quote]This does not mean I think one who acts in such a way is acting correctly (as perhaps in relationship to how I would act under the same circumstance); just that they have made a rational choice to act. What would be the basis for judgment of such individual action?

If you can answer this question then you must necessarily make an assumption that there is such a notion as normative human behavior – organically speaking, we are too complex to be able to answer such questions definitively, in my opinion.[/quote]

The basis for judgment wouldn’t be mine. It would be the judgment of the original actor (the suicide threatener). I would only seek to help them fully explore the decision. To ascertain that they’re making a reasoned choice, rather than acting in response to a strong - but perhaps fleeting - emotion. That’s all.

[quote]tedro wrote:
EmilyQ wrote:
tedro, I believe it shouldn’t for a number of reasons. Chief among them are that it would be an incredibly adversarial, hostile stance for a teacher to take. “I need to protect myself from you animals,” would be the take-away message. The teacher/student relationship is meant to be a positive one.

Actually the stance is more of a “I’m going to put my life on the line and challenge the shooter to protect the other students.” Remember, we already have on site police officers that carry weapons, not for their own protection, but for the protection of the school.
[/quote]

I realize that the teacher wouldn’t intend it to seem hostile, but I still think borderline students will perceive it as such. Many students feel hostility toward the cops at their schools. It may surprise you to hear that not all teens view policemen as allies and well-wishers, but alas, it’s true.

But it doesn’t matter how they feel about the school cops…they aren’t meant to develop close working relationships with the kids. Some do, of course, but it’s not necessary. For teachers, though, it is.

So maybe more cops is the solution.

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:
I think you may have lost me completely here. Emotions are not the lens through which we perceive reality generally, assuming we’re functioning appropriately. They’re subjective reactions to what we determine to be real. For example, when I have a nightmare about my husband fooling around on me I wake feeling angry. That’s emotion. However, I use my capacity for rational thought to make the determination that I do not have just cause for anger. Reality trumps feeling.

[/quote]

All I am saying is that because we perceive the world as individuals our emotions will differ. It is my contention that emotions only exist because we receive signals from the world around us and we have chemical reactions to it.

Biologically speaking, we are all different in this manner. Emotion definitely shapes how we view reality. For example, when I am sad certain music sounds different to me though it may have been the exact same song that I listened to yesterday when I was happy.

I agree with you when you speak about reality but what is reality…do you not have to perceive it first? If we all perceive differently because of our capacity as individuals then does that not mean reality is also very personal and thus not absolute – hence, subjective?

[quote]Renton wrote:
football061 wrote:
The town I live in(Cherry Hill) has a HUGE suicide rate. Going through middle school and H.S. everyone was knocking themselves off, I just don’t get it…

Two possibilities here mate…

1 - Copycat suicide - Wikipedia

A copycat suicide is defined as a duplication or copycat of another suicide that the person attempting suicide knows about either from local knowledge or due to accounts or depictions of the original suicide on television and in other media. Sometimes this is known as a Werther effect, following the Werther novel of Goethe.

The well-known suicide serves as a model, in the absence of protective factors, for the next suicide. This is referred to as suicide contagion[1]. They occasionally spread through a school system, through a community, or in terms of a celebrity suicide wave, nationally. This is called a suicide cluster[1]. Examples of celebrities whose suicides have inspired suicide clusters include the American musician Kurt Cobain, the Japanese musician Hide and Yukiko Okada.

To prevent this type of suicide, it is customary in some countries for the media to discourage suicide reports except in special cases.

2 - All these people killing themselves - they met you at a party didn’t they?[/quote]

Oh, shit!! As fucked up as suicide is that part 2 made me fucking laugh!! LOL!! Actually, I knew almost of them!! I actually beat one up on my bus in like 7th grade for making fun of my mom…

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:
I realize that the teacher wouldn’t intend it to seem hostile, but I still think borderline students will perceive it as such. Many students feel hostility toward the cops at their schools. It may surprise you to hear that not all teens view policemen as allies and well-wishers, but alas, it’s true.

But it doesn’t matter how they feel about the school cops…they aren’t meant to develop close working relationships with the kids. Some do, of course, but it’s not necessary. For teachers, though, it is.

So maybe more cops is the solution.[/quote]

See, I think more cops would be more likely to cause hostile students than teachers with guns. It is conceivable that a teacher could carry a concealed weapon for their entire career without the students ever even finding out.

[quote]Curodd wrote:
detazathoth wrote:
I’m going to get slamed for this, but in the case of suicide, it’s just Darwin at work people.

you think? suicide maybe served an evolutionary purpose back in the day? i wonder what the suicide rate of cavemen was?

there was actually i guy i use to see at the gym, not a personal friend really but always shot the shit about training and eating etc…he was a few years younger and i always tried to help him out, anyway about two fridays ago i asked him if he wanted to start training together…first time i had seen the kid 4 years ago he was about 135 and had done alot of hard work to get a decent way over 200 pounds, we were suppose to start training together the next monday. Learnt that saturday that his girlfiend broke up with him and his parents found him hanging in his shed. Such a shame, and really puts life in to perspective i guess

[/quote]

I meant it as only the strong survive, but that’s my $.02.

[quote]detazathoth wrote:
Curodd wrote:
detazathoth wrote:
I’m going to get slamed for this, but in the case of suicide, it’s just Darwin at work people.

you think? suicide maybe served an evolutionary purpose back in the day? i wonder what the suicide rate of cavemen was?

there was actually i guy i use to see at the gym, not a personal friend really but always shot the shit about training and eating etc…he was a few years younger and i always tried to help him out, anyway about two fridays ago i asked him if he wanted to start training together…first time i had seen the kid 4 years ago he was about 135 and had done alot of hard work to get a decent way over 200 pounds, we were suppose to start training together the next monday. Learnt that saturday that his girlfiend broke up with him and his parents found him hanging in his shed. Such a shame, and really puts life in to perspective i guess

I meant it as only the strong survive, but that’s my $.02.[/quote]

The great part about that is that you don’ feel bad about it…because you CAN’T give a shit, you’re dead.
Some people just don’t want to take it anymore, it’s their decision. I do agree however, it’s ben glorified in recent years. When it shouldn’t of been.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
All I am saying is that because we perceive the world as individuals our emotions will differ. It is my contention that emotions only exist because we receive signals from the world around us and we have chemical reactions to it.

Biologically speaking, we are all different in this manner. Emotion definitely shapes how we view reality. For example, when I am sad certain music sounds different to me though it may have been the exact same song that I listened to yesterday when I was happy.

I agree with you when you speak about reality but what is reality…do you not have to perceive it first? If we all perceive differently because of our capacity as individuals then does that not mean reality is also very personal and thus not absolute – hence, subjective?[/quote]

Yes, absolutely. I agree with all of this. My point is that emotional reaction to perceived reality can vary in its strength, and that too many devastating events (experienced subjectively) can temporarily overwhelm a person’s capacity to evaluate circumstances as rationally as they would in better circumstances.

Your mention that you hear a song differently depending upon mood supports my point, I think. The song hasn’t changed objectively, but its meaning has altered for you. When you’re sad, perhaps you’re more vulnerable to input that supports that emotion. Reality - or reaction to reality - is subjective, yes. But those subjective reactions can vary according to circumstance. Coping mechanisms can become disabled temporarily.

At those times rational decision-making can be difficult. Having someone help with that doesn’t mean that the helper’s preferences or subjective reality are the ones being prioritized. Short of locking someone up, in my opinion free will cannot be compromised with regard to something like suicide. It’s too easy for the determined person to accomplish. Too, no one can be made to feel better (happier or more engaged in life) without their active participation.

So all I’m talking about is having someone step in to help evaluate and decision-make: Is it really that bad? Why? (A list.) Are there any remedies to the things hurting or overwhelming you? What would have to change for you to feel better? Are there steps you can take? Which one would bring the most relief?

Ultimately it’s not me making the person’s decisions or determining their reality. Just lending my objectivity to help them sort through everything, to decide what’s permanent or unchangeable and what’s temporary, and so on.

I’ve come down with a terrible cold. I’m feeling a little fuzzy-headed, so forgive any lapses in coherence.

[quote]tedro wrote:
See, I think more cops would be more likely to cause hostile students than teachers with guns. It is conceivable that a teacher could carry a concealed weapon for their entire career without the students ever even finding out.
[/quote]

You’re right. More cops will be perceived by the students as a sign of increased mistrust. That’s my point. You’re putting teachers in the same role. Results will be the same.

Though of course you’re right, students might never find out.

Speaking of which, will the carrying female teachers, who outnumber males by something like 10-1, keep their guns in their purses or desks? And if so, what are the ramifications of that? Because women’s clothing isn’t optimal for hiding weapons.

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:
You’re right. More cops will be perceived by the students as a sign of increased mistrust. That’s my point. You’re putting teachers in the same role. Results will be the same.
[/quote]
Not at all, teachers are in the building regardless. They are their first and foremost to teach and this would not change. They are also disciplinarians and protecters, I am asking to give them more abilities to protect. Why are cops there? Number one reason is a deterrent. They are not their to develop working relationships with the students and this is why they are more likely to be perceived as a sign of mistrust.

[quote]
Speaking of which, will the carrying female teachers, who outnumber males by something like 10-1, keep their guns in their purses or desks? And if so, what are the ramifications of that? Because women’s clothing isn’t optimal for hiding weapons.[/quote]

That is irrelevant. No responsible concealed carrier will leave a gun in a desk or in a purse that is not secured to their body.

Women’s clothing need not enter the argument either. Nobody would be required to carry, therefore the one’s choosing to carry would also be the ones choosing to conceal.

[quote]Chewie wrote:
It is no surprise Kliplemet falls in that age group.

On a serious note. My Dad had an expression he used to say when someone committed suicide or tried to do so:

“Permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

[/quote]

I remember hearing this quote once from some suicide awareness pep-squad that came to my school long time ago. At first I was like “that is just the type of quote I needed to hear to wrap suicide as a ‘don’t do it’ sort of thing”.

But then… you think about it.

You WANT a permanent solution to temporary problems. Otherwise a temporary problem becomes a permanent problem! I’m not talking about Suicide here, I’m talking about everything in life.

What good is a temporary solution for SOLVING anything?

Speaking on just the teen suicide and violence, I think it is an extreme example of the mindset that one deserves a certain way of life or a luxury. A pet peeve of mine are whining teens that grieve about not having something they feel they are entitled to. People need to work for everything they have. Basic human rights are necessities.

Still, no person deserves to have any luxury, be it fame, fortune, travel, excitement or beauty, unless they have worked specifically to achieve it. If someone else has been fortunate enough to have something without working for it then so be it. Someone else’s good fortune should not mean anyone else is entitled to the same. In general, North American 12-30 year olds need a profound renewal of perspective.

Additionally, it is truly fashionable now to wallow in misfortune. Modern trends are unique in that I do not think that depression and tragedy have ever been as “in” as they are now. I can’t speak from experience, though, as I’m ashamed to admit I’m chronologically a member of this generation.

Tedro, we may need to agree to disagree on this. I do see your point about the deterrence factor, and to some extent even agree that you’re right. But because we’re talking about kids who are already alienated, I think more would be further alienated by the knowledge that teachers are armed than would be deterred.

The relatively good (consequence-aware) kids who’d be easily deterred weren’t a danger in the first place.

I think it’s highly relevant. Because teachers are not trained in law enforcement. Some of them are barely able to manage to do what they are trained in. While you and I would hope that common sense would prevail, the sad truth is that often it doesn’t.

virtualetters, I agree, and I believe that research confirms what you’ve said. The majority of people alive today and living in the west have never really experienced want or strife. Also, we have plenty of leisure time to spend brooding over our miseries. As a result expectations of happiness and privilege are unreasonably high. People in the third world don’t have the mental health issues we do. They have the organic ones (e.g. schizophrenia) but not things like anorexia and situational depression.

I was talking with a friend one day about what it would be like to experience a depression (as in the Great Depression) or a North American war. Both concepts are so alien to us, we really couldn’t even wrap our minds around what something like that would be like. We worry about familiar things. Whether our relationships are really satisfying to us, whether we’re happy with work, should we do more school, get a different haircut, cut down on carbs. We’re self-absorbed because we’ve had the luxury of being so.