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 of family suicide.
This can then lead to these type of people of having “negative problem solving orientation” (p. 137). The end result status of this is “suicide attempt status”, which is when someone attempts suicide (p. 137). The study claimed this works in a circle and can sometimes repeat itself until someone finally takes their own life. Hypothesis: Suicide (independent variable) can result in periods of depression or suicide to those who were close to the victim (dependent variable). Methods: In order to see how people deal with suicides directly, I chose to use the survey method to gather my information.
The survey will be a series of questions that touches upon how they cope with family suicide, whether they have experienced levels of depression, and to what levels they have thought of performing suicide, if any. My survey will be comprised of ten females and ten males, all of who have experienced someone who has committed suicide that was close to them in the past. The survey will be open to people of all ages ranging from adolescents to seniors as I feel everyone is capable of feeling the effects of a family suicide.
The method of surveying is most appropriate I believe, because I will be able to classify the results into many sections such as percent who have experienced adverse effects and those who have not. Throughout the survey process, subjects will answer a series of thirteen questions. The questions are as follows: 1. ) What is your gender? 2. ) How old are you? 3. ) How old were you when your family member committed suicide? 4. ) How close were you with the person who committed suicide? 5. ) Have you felt an extended period of depression due to the person committing suicide? 6. ) Have you ever considered suicide?
If so was it related to the other person’s suicide? 7. ) If yes to question 4 or 5, have you ever been to therapy? 8. ) Was this an effective method for you? 9. ) Are there any other methods you use to help cope to with the family suicide? If so what? 10. ) Do you know of another family member who has been depressed or considered suicide? 11. ) If so, what have you done to help that person? 12. ) Has there been more than one suicide in your family history? 13. ) Are you concerned that another family member will commit suicide in the future? While suicide can be a sensitive subject which can result in people olding in their inner feelings about the matter, I feel as if the questions in the survey are fair and straightforward. As a person who has dealt with two family suicides, I feel as if this survey touches upon the more relevant aspects of dealing with a family member who has committed suicide. Also, I think it is important to be able to relate to what is going on in the survey you are issuing as it will allow for that much more of a deeper analysis when it is all said and done. With that said, I feel as if the results of these surveys will be comparable to what one would think when someone experiences a suicide.
I assume that the majority of the sample will say they have at least experienced some sort of depression or hardship both shortly after the suicide, and a good amount of time after the tragedy. With all the different answers that can come from this survey, people who are struggling to cope with their situation can look to these people’s answers as guidance toward dealing with their unique situation. Not everyone deals with loss the same way and with this survey, I hope to identify for people what some different tactics are towards dealing with a family suicide as it is relevant in thousands of people’s lives.
In conclusion, suicide is once again one of the major issues in the world today. Suicide is something that goes deeper than someone just killing themselves. It touches upon everyone who knew and cared for that person. These people remaining now have to learn to live life without someone they may have look to for guidance, and this can be very difficult for certain people to overcome. All in all suicide is something that should be taken seriously, because if it is not then we will continue to see people who are taking their own lives when there is always a better alternative. 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.