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Partido State University

Laboratory High School

Goa, Camarines Sur

THE IMPLICATION OF SUICIDE TO YOUTH

Submitted By:

Quennie N. Quiobe IV-Archimedes

A Research Paper in English IV

Presented to

Dr. Gemmah T. Barcelliano

February 1, 2010
PREFACE

Suicide Statistics for the past years have shown alarming

trends: teenagers are killing themselves at an epidemic rate using

suicide as a way to escape challenges that they are ill prepared to

cope up. On account of this, the researcher intends to find out why

youth suicides have become a global problem. During this time

period there has been an increase of over 250 percent in suicide for

females aged fifteen to twenty and over 300 percent for male at the

same age group.

The study aims to investigate the implication of suicide

among youth using informative data from pamphlets, books,

periodicals and the internet. Written outputs were gathered to

establish the connection between suicide and depression as

discussed in Chapter II. Chapter III aims to educate youth and it’s

guardians about possible signs of suicide and how it can be

detected and prevented.

This paper explains that violence and suicide, as seen in the

public school system, affects teenagers, often leaving emotional

scars and mental health disorders such as post traumatic stress

syndrome. The author points out that prevention of suicide is

important in reducing the number of adolescents who attempt or

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commit suicide. The paper relates that intervention is helping

a teenager, who is in the crisis of committing the act of suicide;

whereas, postvention is addressing the problems and aftereffects of

the trauma of a student having committed suicide.

Much effort has gone into preparation of informative data to

satisfy the curiosity of the researcher. May this paperwork be a

form of self-education campaign to lessen if not totally eradicate

“Suicide”, a tragic word that continue to prey the youth for years.

In making this research, the researcher first get the approval of the

topic then make an outline, the researcher then gathered materials

that can be a source of data and then started compiling the

information in this research paper.

The researcher wish to extend her gratitude to the people, who

contributed in order to make this study a success, for the person

who never fails to give support and love her mother and lastly to

God who gave her strength and motivation to finish this research on

time.

Quennie N. Quiobe IV-Archimedes

Researcher

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface

I. Concepts About Suicide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

A. Definitions of Suicide

B. Theoretical Perspectives of Suicide

C. Viewpoints of Suicide

I. Causes of Suicide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

A. Depression As Suicide Motives

B. Family/ Peer Pressures

C. Anxiety And Mental Illness

I. Dealing With Suicide Attempts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

A. Early Warning Signs of Suicide

B. Detecting Adolescent Suicidal Behaviors

C. Suicide Prevention And Counseling

I. Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

II. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

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I. CONCEPTS ABOUT SUICIDE

Every individual is given one life to live to the fullest. The

greatest disaster took place when a young person turns life to trash

and wasted it for no common cause. In this world “suicide” is the

most dreadful word nobody wants to talk about. Yet it should be the

one given attention drastically. The risk of a depressed person

committing suicide is fifty times greater than for those persons who

aren’t depressed. Forty percent of adolescence suicides are

products of depression. It becomes alarming how this happen

amidst this innovative world.

Suicides in early stages of life are difficult to understand since

adolescence is growing up. Complex factors are at work, others

expectation to work like adults yet at times not being old enough

for certain behaviors. What makes this awkward stage critical is

difficulty of adjustment to negative occurrences like stress,

depression and mental pressures. Suicide becomes an available

solution to problems when stress is experienced. A tendency to

impulse action may turn suicidal fantasies into suicidal behavior.

Many teenagers make suicide pacts and unfortunately many

teenagers die as a result of them.

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DEFINITONS OF SUICIDE

The word suicide was first used in England an 1651 and is

derived from the Latin word “suicidum” which means self and kill.

Early society sometimes forced certain manners to commit suicide

for ritual purposes. Webster’s dictionary defines the word as act or

instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally. It is

considered a simple way of dealing with life’s problems. The

meaning of suicide continues to be problematic, if we accept it as

an act of self destruction. Religious group consider it as a Sin.

THEORITICAL PERSPECTIVES OF SUICIDE

The most significant contribution of suicide on sociologists is the

belief that impact of an action is in accordance with the law or

norms, which means if ever youth became members of cult, he is

easily brainwashed to the extent of even offering his life to comply

with this norms, like becoming a suicide bomber. The Dramaturgical

perspective created obsessive sentimentalism among youth like in

being broken hearted. A young person becomes too weak to cope

up obstacles and frustrations. His mind becomes totally mentally

blocked. The Existentialist is linked on experimentation, if there is

really life after death. A young person is so eager to find out what

lies beyond the physical world.

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The Alienation perspective occurs when an individual feels that

she is not in control of the situation. A young person becomes

powerless in facing a task that encourages him to accomplish like a

programmed miniature object or like a zombie. He now faced lost

identity crises thus, there is no other way to remedy this but to kill

oneself.

VIEWPOINT ABOUT TEEN SUICIDE

The religious view of suicide conflicted with the sixth

commandment on the Christian Doctrine, “Thou shall not kill”,

which stressed out that suicide is against God’s master plan for the

world.

However, it is believed that mental illness or grave fear of

suffering diminishes the responsibility of the one completing suicide

regardless of whatever stages in life the person belongs. With

regards to the legal view of suicide, in some jurisdictions an act or

incomplete act of suicide is considered a crime. More commonly a

surviving party member who assisted in the suicide will face

criminal charges especially if the person involved is a minor. On the

medical point of view, suicide is a mental health concern associated

with psychological factors such as difficulty in facing distress or

despair. Most young people are serious psychiatric cases.

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Most of them commit suicide and failed on the first attempt,

those who later gain history of repetition have significantly higher

probability of eventual completion of suicide

On Cultural view of suicide, this has a connection with traditions

and customs of state like in Japan where suicide is advised for

those who committed disgraceful acts against the state.

II. CAUSES OF JUVENILE SUICIDE

According to The National Institute of Mental Health, research

has shown that the majority of suicide victims had been diagnosed

with some form of depressive illness. Depressive illness is a

biological condition related to chemical imbalances in the brain and

can manifest itself in many ways.

About a third of people with depression don’t know they have it.

And two thirds do not seek treatment. Millions of people have

depression; the lucky ones are those that can handle it. The most

unfortunate are the young people, not everybody is gifted with

strong will.

But what is really depression? Why is it associated with suicide?

Depression actually is a brain disorder that affects thoughts,

moods, feelings, behavior and physical health.

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People used to think it was all in your head. Experts believe

depression maybe caused by imbalances in brain chemicals called

neurotransmitters. Biologic basis such as infection, endocrine

system dieses, hormonal shifts of menstrual cycle, hypoglycemia,

certain medication, exposure to toxic chemicals, unbalance diet,

anemia can trigger depression changes in thinking pattern such as

memory lapses, loss of self-esteem and paranoia can also be an

excuse. Moreover, depression also is the origin of mood

disturbances like prominent and persistent sense of sadness,

dejection and hopelessness.

Teenage people have different approach in coping depression.

They regarded it as a hindrance to their happiness so they thought

of ways to escape it by hook or by crook if not temporarily,

permanently. This is where the idea of suicide enters. That is why

most teenage suicide letters expresses giving up or surrendering to

obstacles. Most of them express quitting the challenges saying they

can no longer handle the depressions. Such actions are expressions

of stupidity but those should not end there. Suicide could also be

the cause of family and peer pressure. Since adolescents are caught

between childhood and adulthood the often intense and conflictual

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task of separating the world of family can be very difficult when

family dynamics interferes with the child’s, move towards self-

sufficiency. Parents of suicidal adolescents have been found to

display overt conflicts including threats of separation and divorce.

Suicidal adolescents report receiving little affection, hold negative

views of their parents describe time spent in their family as

unenjoyable have been found out to have deficient problem solving

skills tend to have an abuse of drugs and alcohol and see

themselves as different from their parents.

Although many of us use the term depressed as a catchall

phrase to describe ourselves when we’re feeling down, upset,

annoyed, frustrated, angry, or exhausted, depression is actually an

illness. This serious psychological disturbance, only recently

recognized as common among teenagers, is one of the earliest

signals of potential suicidal behavior in adolescents. But all too

frequently even severe cases of depression are missed or written

off as “just passing phase.”

While there’s no sure-fire way of recognizing adolescent

depression, authorities agree that a combination of symptoms from

the following list is highly suggestive of this disorder.

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(1) Mood disturbances. Depression is typically marked by a prominent

and persistent sense of sadness, dejection, listlessness, and

hopelessness. Even if these features aren’t present, a teen’s loss of

pleasure or enthusiasm in all of almost all of his or her activities can

be an indication that the teen is depressed.

(2) Changes in biological functions. Appetite disturbances, sudden

changes in weight, frequent tiredness out of proportion to levels of

physical action, and sleep disturbances are frequently seen either

singly or in combination.

(3) Changes in thinking patterns. Inability to concentrate, memory

lapses, loss of self-esteem, guilt, and unusual anxiety are common;

hallucinations (hearing voices, seeing “visions”) and paranoia

(feeling “something out to get me”) are relatively rare.

(4) Changes in behavior. Social isolation, abrupt changes in behavior,

rebellious behavior, and constant fidgeting or other signs of

hyperactivity are common symptoms of adolescent depression. If

your teenager sits through meals without entering the conversation,

suddenly stops using the telephone, or drastically alters his or her

study habits, you might be dealing with depression.

(5) School problems. An abrupt change in school performance, frequent

problems with teachers, or habitual truancy may be warning signs.

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(6) Suicidal talk or behavior. Fascination or pre-occupation with death,

dying, or suicide is a common feature of depression in adolescence

and is not to be taken lightly.

These signs and symptoms are not fallible warnings; in fact they

are often written off as temporary, meaningless events in a

teenager’s life. This happens undoubtedly because it can be difficult

to distinguish these patterns from the everyday vagaries of

adolescence- in other words, the distinction between normal and

abnormal is primarily a matter of degree. Thus, parents must

consider these key factors- duration, intensity, and seriousness- in

assessing the possibility of depression.

Active peer involvement maybe a way to decrease depressed

feelings and emotions.

Yet sometimes peer group contributes to suicidal thoughts

especially if it gives bad influence. Suicidal adolescents tend to

show greater withdrawal from activities in school. School problems

like frequent problems with teachers can trigger suicides. The

teenage student tends to be very emotional and sensitive especially

when being criticized and corrected and she felt embarrassed and

being subjected to humor and mockery. All of these are results of

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immature behaviors of adolescents. Stress and mental disorders

can trigger suicide, especially when anxiety exists.

Experts say anxiety disorder result from imbalance in

neurotransmitters, with an anxiety disorder one may feel

apprehension, nervousness and if serious, a heart attack. Other

mental disorders like hallucinations, for instance seeing inexistent

people or hearing voices can result to suicide. Adolescents suffering

from insanity found it hard to recover. This mental illness maybe

hereditary or may sprung out from unavoidable circumstances like

when in a state of phobia or trauma, like witnessing violence or

murders. It is no longer strange if these people resorted to suicide

as a form of relief or attaining peace of mind.

I. DEALING WITH SUICIDE ATTEMPTS

Once a teenager has made a suicide attempt it is no longer

possible for parents or friends to ignore suicide warnings. When the

threat of suicide has become an actual attempt the teenager has

reached a point where the pain is intolerable and to live life if it

means to contribute suffering is simply not desirable.

Teenagers who made suicide attempts are signals that

therapists call cries for help. Such children have usually failed in

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their efforts in communicating in so called normal ways.

Their warning signals have probably been ignored or missed by

family and friends. This unfortunate fact is shown clearly on verbal

communications. This may not work out because the teens acting

out rebellious behavior which may have alienated the people whom

they are trying to establish connection. By the time they decide on

attempting suicide such teens probably are feeling isolated, alone

and abandoned by families they need for a base of love and

support.

In addition the fairytale myths which the teens believe in the

happiness equals possessions or things that happiness comes from

having no problems at all rather than from learning how to cope

with and overcome problems and that happiness that comes from

conformity to an ideal rather than the ability to develop one’s

individual strength and talents all tend to handicap the pre-suicidal

teenager because it is impossible to live up to a myth.

Parents of teens who have attempted suicide should try to

understand this behavior is not necessarily perverse. Many therapist

believe that suicide is not a flight but a fight a way to lash at the

world and to punish those who believe who hurt you. The suicidal

attempt of an adolescent can be compared to a child holding his

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breath until he turns blue: he doesn’t really want to kill himself but

he certainly wants to get some attention and scare his parents into

noticing him.

A suicide attempt then is not a crazy or an insane act; it is

oddly enough a defensive action and a problem-solving technique.

It can even be therapeutic since the attempt sometimes breaks the

cycle of depression and pushes the teenager into clearer

understanding of what is really going on in his life.

The person who attempts suicide is obviously very upset and

possibly irrational yet at the very moment of the attempt, he/she

believes the act is a rational one. Frequently after a suicide

attempt, the teenager may feel it wasn’t worth it and may say it

was all a mistake. A bit later the teen may be unable to believe he

or she even tried to commit suicide. And sometimes there really is a

silver lining in the cloud for attempt may be the catalyst that helps

the teen to rebuild life based on realistic goals rather than myths

and productive rather than destructive problem solving methods. If

this is to happen the teenager must have support from others.

If the teenager denies he or she needs help, it becomes the

parents’ responsibility to decide whether to hospitalize the teen to

allow for a cooling off period to everyone

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involved. Hospitalization can be a time for the teen to get

through the very worst of self-destructive feelings and impulses and

to start the threads of disintegrating life together with the help of

professional therapists.

Help for the suicidal teenager after the attempts has been

made often includes three essential ingredients, psychotherapy

preferably involving family; anti-depressant medication to ease the

teen through the bleakness of a post suicidal crisis and a plan for

crisis intervention so that another attempt either will not be made

and or will not succeed. Professional therapists can help teenagers

to discover what they have made it difficult to achieve goals. What

happened to trigger depression, therapists can also help teens

discover ways of escaping from these problems by refocusing on

more productive ways of coping based on individual strengths and

talents. Such a process may take months and parents should not

expect a miraculous overnight transformation. It is not easy after

all to externalize problems and look at them objectively. Parent and

teenager alike must come to believe that if a person has the

courage to die as he or she chooses that person should also have

the courage to live as he or she chooses.

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Every teenager needs the family love and support in order to

develop the courage necessary to make the choice of life.

EARLY WARNING OF SUICIDE

The person who commits suicide will tend to talk about the

attempt prior to the act. Repeated talk of killing oneself should not

be taken seriously. Other than the outright statements “I am going

to kill myself.” “You would be better off without me.” “Nobody

needs me anymore.”

Behavioral clues might include giving away valued personal

possessions, getting one’s house in order as if ready for departure,

unexplained frequent crying, changes in daily behaviors such as

beginning to take long walks at night, poor sleeping habits, loss of

appetite, inability to concentrate and sudden change in appearance.

The following factors tend to describe an individual at high risk

committing suicide; lethal weapon readily available, detailed suicide

plan, severe personal loss, such as health problems or bereavement

and alcohol or drug abuse. Certain warning signs may indicate

serious depression and possibility of suicide:

1. Pacing agitated behavior, frequent mood changes and

sleeplessness for several nights.

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2. Actions or threats of assault, physical harm or violence.

3. Delusions or hallucinations

4. Threats or talk of death

5. Withdrawal from activities and relationship

6. Putting affairs in order

7. Sudden brightening of mood after a period of being depressed

8. Unusually risky behavior such as buying or handling a gun or

driving recklessly.

DETECTING ADOLESCENT SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR

Teenage behavior almost by definitions is erratic behavior.

It’s hard to predict when the sweet considerate teenager will be

suddenly transformed into a sullen selfish ogre or worse a

abusive violent or self-destructive one. No specific behavior is

always abnormal on itself. However, when it occurs in the wrong

place at the wrong time among the wrong people or to an

inappropriate degree almost any behavior is likely to seem

abnormal. Suicidal behavior existed when adolescence was left

alone on his struggles. The feeling of cold treatment he got from

people whom he expects to sympathize with him is enough

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reason for him to quit living his life. Rejections and Naggings

could harm the adolescence thoughts.

Teenage suicides increased more than adult suicides after

stories about suicide. Researchers concluded that the best

available explanation is that television stories on suicide trigger

additional suicides perhaps because of imitation. The influence of

mass media gives greater impact to youth. Guilt could also be

one of mental disturbance of any adolescence that is why she

couldn’t act rational.

She is scared to face the consequences of harsh action

such as getting pregnant at 14 years of age. A teenager in this

situation becomes confused and troublesome especially if when

her family doesn’t know anything about her condition and the

father of her child ran away. There is no other recourse but to

kill oneself or to face the consequence of being curse, disinherit

or alienated from the family.

Other form of suicidal behavior is teenager physical abuse

by means of drugs and prohibited medicines. Drugs such as

ecstasy and heroine are used mainly for pleasure yet it can

damage the brain when overdose leading to suicide.

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Some other suicidal behavior emanates from teenager

addiction to internet sexting. Posing nude on the internet could

make a teenager regret all through his life. The consequences of

his actions could ruin self-respect and dignity of teenagers.

Another study by David Philips examined the relation

between 38 nationally televised news or feature stories about

suicide within seven days after this broadcast was significantly

greater than the number expected. The more networks carrying

a story on suicide the greater was the increase in suicides

thereafter.

SUICIDE PREVENTION

“There are about 50 threats for every successful suicide among

students.” Dr. Whitaker said. And while threats are for more common

among college women than among men, men are three to four times

more likely to succeed in killing themselves- an imbalance that is also

true for population at large women are more able to cry out for help

with their emotional needs than men. Dr. Whitaker said “Twice as

many young students seek help from college counselors.” At Indiana

University in Bloomington, resident assistants are warned not to

challenge students who threaten suicide, analyze motives or try to

handle the situation themselves.

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Youth who seem to be serious at risk are often asked to take

health leaves and get psychological help.

Everyone thinks that if only they had done something else it

wouldn’t have happened. It helps to be an open as possible with them

about the circumstances of suicide to let them know how common

attempts are and generally to treat it as some thing that is not

shameful but genuinely tragic. Suicidal crisis can be overcome by

assistance of concerned people by means of the ff.: 1.) Recognize the

clues to suicide look for signs of hopelessness and helplessness, listen

for suicide threats and words of warning. Notice if the person becomes

withdrawn and isolated. 2.) Trust your own judgment. If you believe

someone is in danger f suicide, act o your own beliefs. 3.) Tell others.

Share knowledge with parents, friends and teachers. If you have to

betray a secret to save life, do it. Never worry about breaking

confidence if someone’s suicidal plans are revealed to you. 4.) Stay

with a suicidal person. Don’t leave a suicidal person alone if you think

there is immediate danger. Stay until help arrives or crisis has passed.

5.) Listen. Encourage a suicidal person to talk. Don’t give false

reassurances that “everything will be okay.” Listen and sympathize

with what a person says. 6.) Urge professional help. Offer to make an

appointment for and go with the person for professional help if that is

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what it takes. Call your community hotline or crisis number for

suggestions. 7.) Be supportive. Show the person that you care. Help to

make person feel worthwhile and wanted.

SUICIDE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

The development of antidepressant medication and mood

stabilizing drugs in the last 20 years has revolutionized treatment of

depression. Medication can relieve symptoms in most people with

depression and it’s the firs line of treatment for most types of disorder.

Treatment may also help you cope with ongoing problems. Both

medication and psychotherapy can take four to eight weeks to have an

effect. Psychotherapy when combined with drugs may be helpful for

people who have psychological or social components to their

depression.

Such components could include stress, previous abuse,

bereavement, marital discord or financial worries.

Another way of preventing suicide is intensive counseling, school

resident assistants and counselors are in charge of monitoring an

abnormal behavior of students. There are 50 threats for every

successful suicide among students. Some danger signs to be watched

are weeping for no apparent reason, drawing back from friends or

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suffering social or academic crises. Counselors should think of

diplomatic approach for suicidal people for they are very sensitive. At

first they will refuse help, pretend that they are in nice conditions.

Lately, everyone will wonder for their disappearance. There is no other

ways suicidal people escape except to dwell in isolation. Being isolated

from people makes them form final decision that is to end their lives.

Member of Christian congregations are another source of help.

Weekly biblical discussions gave opportunity to the suicidal to

overcome what darkens their mind. The most powerful aid in dispelling

gloom is what the apostle Paul called “the power beyond what is

normal” which comes from God. The most important course of action

that suicidal person should be involved with is a group compose with

compassionate people who can be role models and would eradicate the

suicidal ill feelings. After all in this world there is nothing wrong on

being theologistic, if life is at stake.

“Life is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice.”

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SUMMARY

Teen suicide has been around for as long as recorded history.

Suicide has historically been viewed in different ways in different

places. The Sociological point of view of suicide is related to one’s

degree of social interrogation. The dramaturgical approach to suicide

uses action to explain behavior while the existentialist perspective may

view the choice of death like the choice of life. If one feels alienated

and powerless, suicide may appear to be a solution.

Depression, one of the major causes of suicide continues to prey

on teenage lives. The person who commits suicide will tend to talk

about it prior to the act. The rational suicide approach suggests that a

person does not have to be mentally ill to take his or her own life.

Some researches have concluded that the media

contribute to suicides of teenagers.

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CONCLUSION

Just what constitutes juvenile suicide is not clear today.

Young persons displaying suicidal behavior with constant risk of taking

and gambling with their lives. If death results from such behavior

however it is classified as natural. Sociologists argue that suicidal

persons construct their meanings of suicide and motivations for

committing it out of collective values upon which the social structure

rests.

Meaning of suicide arises out of what people think, feel or do.

Adolescents are more likely to become suicidal for the fact that they

can easily be brainwashed. Most adolescent nemesis is depression. For

suicidal persons this act becomes an easy solution to problems or

permanent answer to temporary set of problems. Suicide can be a

rational act and one does not have to be insane to take ones life.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Kolodny, Robert C.; Kolodny, Nancy J.; Bratter, Thomas E.; and

Deep, Cheryl A. How to Survive your Adolescents Adolescence,

Canada: Little, Brown & Company, 1984

Leming, Michael R. and Dickensan George E. Understanding

Dying, Death and Bereavement, New York: Holt, Rinehart and

Winston Inc., 1990

Decisions for Health, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Inc., 2005

Questions Young People Ask Answers that Work. Brooklyn,

New York, U.S.A: WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF NEW

YORK, Inc., 1989

http://www.papermasters.com/suicide.html

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=suicide

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide

http://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/7713.html

http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861716781/suicide.html

The Mayo Clinic. “Depression: More than a Bout of the Blues.”

Health and Home, September- October 2001, pp.43-46

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