Abstract: I believe that when someone commits suicide, there is a direct correlation to those who were closest with the victim to experience extended periods of depression and/or thoughts of suicide themselves. It is a well-known fact that the suicide rate in the United States is increasing. A lot changes are in order for those who either knew or have experienced someone commit suicide. Life is never the same after a family suicide, as it is up to them to take over that person’s role as well as carrying out their previous responsibilities before the tragic event. This can be a lot for someone to handle and as a result of this they may experience levels of depression that become difficult to cope with or even worse, they follow in that person’s footsteps and commit suicide as well.
Introduction: Within this study, I would like to carry out a survey that shows that there is a correlation between a family member committing suicide and the probability that another family member will experience periods of depression or thoughts of their own suicide. My research will be comprised in the form of a survey. The survey will consist of twenty families who have dealt with a suicide in the family, who will be asked a series of questions pertaining to how they dealt with the suicide both physically and emotionally. I am interested in this type of relationship because recently I have had to deal with two family suicides in the past two years.
Several studies have been done that have looked at the effects of suicide on those closely affiliated with a person who has committed suicide. The findings of one study, “Depression and Exposure to Suicide Predict Suicide Attempt”, were in line with what one would think would happen to someone who has experienced a suicide (Nanayakkara, Misch, Chang, & Henry, 2013).
The results of the study compared people who experience similar amounts of depression, and their likelihood to commit suicide. The key difference between subjects was that some were exposed to suicide and others had never been. The levels of depression were divided into three categories. These were; no or mild depression, moderate depression, and severe depression. In each of the three categories, those who had been exposed to suicide exhibited risks levels at least twice as worse as those who had never been exposed to suicide. In the moderate depression level, those who had been exposed to suicide had a risk level of .14 to commit suicide which was more than three times more than those who had not experienced suicide (p.995). These people’s risk levels were determined to be at only .03 (p.995). This study helps back the thought that suicide can be somewhat of a domino effect.
Another study titled “Affective Temperament, History of Suicide Attempt and Family History of Suicide in General Practice Patients”, follows in the footsteps of the previously mentioned study (Rihmer, Gonda, Torzsa, Kalabay, Akiskal, & Eory, 2013). The researchers focused on people with depression and behavior disorders and their attempts of suicide. Nine percent of the subjects were those who had attempted suicide and had a family history of suicide in the past (p.352). This means that approximately one in every ten people who tried to commit suicide in this study were victims of past family suicides. While this may not sound like a big percentage, it is and the results of this study only lead me to believe that family suicides have major negative effects on those close to them.
One final study that works to tie in what the previous two studies have said is called “History of Family Suicide Behaviors and Negative Problem Solving in Multiple Suicide Attempters” (Jeglic, Sharp, Chapman, Brown, & Beck, 2005). After analyzing the results of the study, researchers found that family suicide can work in a circular flow type of matter (p.137). It all starts with someone having a history...
References: Jeglic, E., Sharp, I., Chapman, J., Brown, G., & Beck, A. (2005). History of Family Suicide Behaviors and Negative Problem Solving in Multiple Suicide Attempters. Archives Of Suicide Research, 9(2), 135-146.
Nanayakkara, S., Misch, D., Chang, L., & Henry, D. (2013). DEPRESSION AND EXPOSURE TO SUICIDE PREDICT SUICIDE ATTEMPT. Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269), 30(10), 991-996.
Rihmer, Z., Gonda, X., Torzsa, P., Kalabay, L., Akiskal, H. S., & Eory, A. (2013). Affective temperament, history of suicide attempt and family history of suicide in general practice patients. Journal Of Affective Disorders, 149(1-3), 350-354.
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