Navigation Links
Families Need Help to Deal With Aftermath of Suicide Attempts

When a child attempts suicide, these emotions hit families like a Mack truck. Some family members bury their feelings deep inside and refuse to accept the stark reality. //Others spring into action and vow never again to let the child who attempted suicide of their sight. But no matter how a family deals with the aftermath of a suicide, they are forever changed by it.

“The repercussions from a suicide attempt can go on for years,” says Daniel Hoover, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Adolescent Treatment Program at The Menninger Clinic and associate professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine Houston.

Guilt and shame over a suicide attempt prevent many families from getting the help they need to work through the crisis, Dr. Hoover continues. An estimated 30 percent of families of children who attempt suicide seek family therapy, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 1997, and about 77 percent of families referred to treatment after an adolescent attempts suicide drop out according to a 1993 Journal study.

Many families don’t pursue treatment because they deny or minimize their child’s suicide attempt. Teenagers who attempt suicide may also not admit they tried to kill themselves.

“Even when you see a young person in the emergency room right after he or she completed an attempt, very quickly the denial kicks in,” Dr. Hoover says. “She may say, ‘I never meant it,’ or ‘it was an accident,’ or denying she even made an attempt. Families do the same thing because of the intensity of the suicide issue.”

Complicating matters, teenagers may attempt suicide while in treatment for mental illness, such as depression or substance abuse. Families are reluctant to put their trust in the mental health system again--feeling it failed them.

That’s unfortunate, Dr. Hoover says, because fami lies desperately need support and direction after a child attempts suicide. Depression, which leads to suicidal thinking, affects the entire family unit. To move past the tragedy, families must address the issues that the suicide caused, and continues to cause, in their lives. Chief among the issues is the family’s increased sense of responsibility for the child who attempted suicide. Worried about a repeat suicide attempt, family members, and parents in particular, feel that they have to watch their child constantly—in some cases, sleeping at the foot of the child’s bed every night to make sure he or she won’t attempt suicide.

“Parents feel a huge obligation to watch over their child,” Dr. Hoover says, “At first it may seem somewhat comforting to the child, but then the parents become so intrusive in the child’s life he or she thinks, ‘I can’t live like this anymore.”

Helping families reach that middle ground between protecting and smothering their children is a main goal for family therapy at the Menninger Adolescent Treatment Program, which treats adolescents age 12 to 17. Patients in the inpatient treatment program struggle with family, school and social difficulties because of depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric illness or substance abuse. Some patients also have attempted suicide once or multiple times.

Dr. Hoover recommends individual therapy as well as appropriate psychiatric medication for children who attempt suicide, as most are quite depressed and feel hopeless. Their parents and other children in the family may also benefit from individual therapy, especially if they found them after the attempt.

“Often siblings are just as stressed out as the parents because they find the brother after the overdose, or they are the ones in the background while Mom and Dad and the brother are having all of the conflict,” Dr. Hoover says. “So they have been traumatized by it and they need their own help.”

Working with therapists at Menninger, patients in the Adolescent Treatment Program learn to develop agency, or the ability to take action and exert control, over their mental illness and suicidal feelings. They learn skills to cope, ways to self-soothe and to seek out sources of support other than their parents. They also learn to share their thoughts and feelings with their parents, and to communicate with their parents if they are feeling suicidal.

Parents, in turn, learn how to listen and not overreact.

“When parents witness that their child is handling his or her feelings better, and knows when to seek help, it lowers their anxiety so much,” Dr. Hoover says.

Family therapy immediately following a suicide attempt may not be productive, Dr. Hoover says, because emotions are raw, and the suicide attempt is still fresh in the family members’ minds. Once the child who attempted suicide learns how to deal with his or her hopelessness and depression, and the parents begin to deal with their own anxieties and guilty or angry feelings, then they may be ready for family therapy. Family therapy helps family members learn how to communicate better with each other and express their feelings more constructively. br>
Source-Newswise
SRM
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Tendency To Smoke and Get Addicted Could Run In Families!
2. Dysfunctional Families Affect The Mental Health Of The Child
3. Snappy Mobiles Known To Cause Snappish Behavior in Families
4. SIDS On The Rise Among Poor Families
5. BPL Families To Receive Health Insurance: Andhra CM
6. Health Insurance Numbers Declining In American Families
7. Government’s Welfare Plan For Deprived Families Affect Other
8. Only Half of Addicts in American Families Seek Help
9. AAP Urges Families To Create Emergency Disaster Plans
10. Aging Families Continue Struggle in Katrina Aftermath
11. Families of the Dead no Longer Have the Last Say
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a ... and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is ... to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment ... also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn ... X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, ... presented a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary ... part of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is ... associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Research and Markets ... for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... Companion Diagnostics The World Market for Companion ... medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  MedSource announced ... as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  This ... best possible value to their clients by offering ... The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC ... for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 Roche ... received 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) ... severe sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche ... provide a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment ... associated with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: