Park University Unit 5 The Suicide Epidemic & Lifespan Development Discussion

Unit 5: Discussion-The Suicide Epidemic

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Introduction

We have already reviewed materials on the changing brain development of teens and young adults, and know there is evidence for a delay in many of the brain areas in charge of executive functioning. Does this play a role in the increase in suicides we have seen in young adults attending college? Please read the below article and view the video regarding the issues many college campuses have seen recently:

Students in Crisis: Mental Health and Suicide on College Campuses (Links to an external site.)

Directions

After viewing the above materials, respond to the following:

  • What are your general thoughts on the epidemic? 
  • Why is early adulthood such a crucial time for development?
  • Why might the current generation be different from past generations?
  • What role might developmental psychologists play in attempting to correct this problem?
  • In addition to the suggestions provided by the experts, how might a parent begin preventing this from occurring to their child, and when should prevention begin?

Post 1

What are your general thoughts on the epidemic?

My thoughts on this epidemic is that mental health is not talked enough in higher institutions and that students are just suppose to brush it off. And to me a lot of has to do from transitioning from having your family around all the time and having friends who you known for years around. Then your off at a new school with not knowing a lot of people and your family being miles away so students feel more isolated and lonely. Not only that but on top of that you have this pressure to excel in school and spend a lot of time studying. It is way different then high school classes where say you would get A’s & B’s but now your in college and are receiving C’s & D’s. For me my first year of collage was incredible difficult I felt alone not having family around and not being around friends that I grew up with in high school. Not only that but my grades suffered I felt like no matter how much I studied I could never achieve the grades I wanted.

Why is early adulthood such a crucial time for development?

With early adulthood according to Kraynok, et al., (2017) “people become more independent from families of origin but have not taken many roles that we see as being part of adulthood”. Not only that but we start to rely more on our friends and really figuring out who we are and who we want to be as well as what we want to do with our lives. With Ericksons theory “young adults must develop the ability to establish close, committed relationships with peers and the ability to tolerate the threat of fusion and loss of identity that intense intimacy raises” (Kraynok, M.C., Seifert, K.L., Hoffnung, R.J. & Hoffnung, M., (2017).

Why might the current generation be different from past generations?

There is so many differences in todays generation then there is with past generations because with this generation we are surrounded with technology and social media and have to know how to use it for jobs as well as college classes. Not only that but we are pressured to go to college because we are told without it there is no way for us to really get a career or we will get stuck in a dead end job. According to U. S Department of Education. (2021) “Between 1992 and 2012, the average amount owed by a typical student loan borrower who graduated with a bachelor’s degree more than doubled to a total of nearly $27,000”. What this means is we are spending more in school which is making it harder to go to school and honestly puts a lot of pressure on college students to excel in there classes due to how much they cost. Another difference is this generation is not pressured to quickly marry and have children in our early adulthood where as past generations you would marry at such a young age.

What role might developmental psychologists play in attempting to correct this problem?

Developmental psychologists role would be to conduct studies to find out what methods are going to be the best option for college students. According to Cuijpers, P., Cristea (2015) “It is well-established that individual, group, and guided self-help treatments are effective in the treatment of depression”. So in other words if more mental health treatments were offered and college students were informed that these types of treatments were available to them there could be a significant decrease of depression in college students. Further more Cuijpers, P., Cristea (2015) goes on to say “Such efforts could have important societal effects, as college students represent the future leaders of society and their success is critical for societal human capital development”.

In addition to the suggestions provided by the experts, how might a parent begin preventing this from occurring to their child, and when should prevention begin?

I don’t think there is really any guarantee to prevent it from happening to there child but what I suggest for parents is talking to there child about the options for them when they do feel depressed which include therapy as well as letting them know that you are there to talk to them without judgement. Just knowing that there parent is there for them could make a big difference and just being educated about early indicators that might go un detected.

Reference

Cuijpers, P., Cristea, I. A., Ebert, D. D., Koot, H. M., Auerbach, R. P., Bruffaerts, R., & Kessler, R. C. (2015, December 18). PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION IN COLLEGE STUDENTS: A METAANALYSIS. Depression and anxiety. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26682536/ (Links to an external site.).

Kraynok, M.C., Seifert, K.L., Hoffnung, R.J. & Hoffnung, M., .(2017). Lifespan Development. (3rd Ed.). USA: Academic Media Solutions.

U. S Department of Education. (2021). College Affordability and Completion: Ensuring a Pathway to Opportunity. College Affordability and Completion: Ensuring a Pathway to Opportunity | U.S. Department of Education. https://www.ed.gov/college

Post 2

It is imperative to understand that there is no typical suicide victim, nothing is normal and should be accepted as such. Yes, there may be subtle clues and hints but honestly there is no one detail or thing that you can point to and say, “This child or that child is contemplating suicide.” Suicide is a complicated phenomenon, and there are numerous red s that a child or adolescent may exhibit. Children and adolescents are thinking of suicide are often fascinated with death, dying, and suicide. I’ll never be one to place blame on anyone for any situation, but parents need to be heavily involved with their children bottom line, YOU ARE NOT THEIR FRIEND!!! Teenagers who are considering suicide may give away their belongings, particularly those that they hold dear to them. They may become increasingly withdrawn, apathetic, depressed, angry, and/or resentful. Children and teens who are thinking about death and suicide may show drastic changes in their school performance and appearance. Many teens who attempt or die by suicide have a mental health condition. “As a result, they have trouble coping with the stress of being a teen, such as dealing with rejection, failure, breakups, school difficulties and family turmoil”, (Teen Suicide: What Parents Need to Know, 2021). Perhaps your child once loved to get manicures and wear make-up, or play sports and hang out, but they have been disinterested in these activities lately. It is important for children and teens who are depressed and/or suicidal to have at least one adult in their lives with whom they have a close relationship. There may be many factors over which you have limited control, but there are also steps those parents and educator can take to ensure kids do not slip through the cracks. Talk to them and have a heart-to-heart way before you think your losing control of them or they are slipping, that may require you to put your phone down. As a parent you have a duty to your children, who were not asked to be born, to set them up for success and have a huge impact on them for the rest of their lives long after we are gone, and they are parents of their own children.

Ref:

Teen suicide: What parents need to know. (2021, May 18). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/tween-and-teen-health/in-depth/teen-suicide/art-20044308?reDate=07072021

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