The continuum of coping responses from self-enhancing behavior to depression, alcoholism, suicide or all three is presented. Variations or fluctuations in mood are a dominant feature of human existence, which indicates that person is perceiving his world and responding to it. This may be reflected in the inability to perform social roles, such as at work, in the family, or at school. ept In “Marriages and Families”, Benokraitis defines depression as a mental disorder characterized by pervasive, sadness and other negative emotions and that often also finds expression in physical symptoms such as diarrhea, chest discomfort, nausea, or loss of appetite for which no physical or physiological cause can be found. Depression can affect people in several ways, 1. One may withdraw from family or friends, 2.
May have a personality change, 3. Some may experience a major personality change, 4. Change in sleep pattern, 5. May lead to drug or alcohol abuse, or 6. May lead a person to feel suicidal. Depression does not just affect the person whose is feeling depressed, it also may affect the family, friends or the people in their work place.
Stuart and Sun deen stated,” Despite its prevalence, most people with a depressive illness do not seek treatment because many of them do not know they have a treatable disease.” It is estimated that 15% to 30% of adults experience clinical depressive episodes, most often of moderate severity, but some point in their lives, with the onset of depressive illness peaking in the 40’s and 50’s. A major psychosocial variable of a depressed person is low self-esteem. The person self-conc is an underlying issue, which usually arises from poor role performance, perceived low-level everyday functioning, and the absence of a clear self-identity. On Yahoo. com (health) defines Alcoholism as a chronic illness marked by uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages that interferes with physical or mental health and social, family or occupational responsibilities. In the Archives of Internal Medicine it stated ” that “Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality and substantial direct and indirect economic costs.
It is estimated that alcohol use is responsible for 100, 000 deaths annually and a $100 billion cost.” The use or abuse of substances is often viewed as way to shield the individual from the stressful events of life. It frequently arises during adolescence from insecurities and a poorly developed sense of identity. Sociocultural stressors are generally present when substance abuse occurs. The complexity and tensions of modern life often cause individuals to seek avenues of escape.
Seixas has identified several behaviors that are indicative of progressive alcoholism, one is an increased incidence of suicide in alcoholics. This may also be related to the losses that alcoholics usually experience. In other cases, people who are already depressed may begin to drink as an attempt at coping and then become alcoholics. Since drinking reinforces depressed feelings, suicide may result. An interview was done on Mabel Well ings who is an alcoholic. She is a 36 yr old Afro-American/Filipino female with a nursing degree from Stanford University, divorced and has 3 children which are victims of alcoholic syndrome since birth.
Mabel admits began drinking at the age of 14 and has never ceased this activity even during pregnancy. She claims her drinking clears “ugly thoughts of ugly people from her life”, but yet has been arrested 6 times in the past 4 years for DUI s. This alcoholic behavior has caused an acute depression, which has led her to overdose twice, from alcohol and medication. Mabel is in denial of her drinking problem because she is convinced her drinking is only sociable, even though her physician stated she s addicted and need help.
While Mable is still able to work, cook, clean attend school, give piano lesson, she is not able to visualize how her drinking problem affects her family. She feels she is a young, gifted, educated mother and nurse, and a christian, with the attitude “so what, I will never give up my scotch Another interview was done on Rachelle Mosley who is also a 33 yr old Afro-American, alcoholic and depressed female. She has a high school education, works as a bank teller and a single parent of 4 children. She began drinking at the age of 20 and drank, beer, wine and vodka daily to cure her morning sickness from pregnancy. The drinking escalated after her childrens birth, which caused her to be incarcerated twice for DUI s. Rachelle has been hospitalized 3 times in the past 3 years due to depression and blackouts caused by alcoholism.
After her children leave for the weekend to spend time with their father, Rachelle takes advantage of being alone and increases her drinking to the point that she is completely intoxicated, unable to function and must sleep for hours. Rachelle s drinking has led her into four motor vehicle accidents within the past three to four years. Activities is a major part of Rachelle s life, she is a Boys Scout s team mom, Breast cancer chairman, and A Women s League Council member. Drinking alcohol is embedded in Rachelle s life at the moment and she feels she s unable to quit. She states, “there s nothing wrong and I m in control.” In the interviews both women suffer from alocholism and depression. They both feel their has no impact on their lives but it has led both women to incarcerated, forcing them to spend time away from their children and losing income that would normally support them daily.
Neither one actually believes their drinking directly affects their children and chooses not to seek professional help. Suicide is not a diagnosis or a disorder but a behavior; a mode or manner of death, as opposed to a method or a cause. It is thought to be a volitional act, one that is nearly always preceded by planning. As Bestow stated, “suicide does not just happen. It has a history.” A successful or unsuccessful attempt to intentionally kill oneself is called suicide. Gaffney stated in the Avalanche-Journal that, “suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, and the second leading cause of death for those ages 15 to 19, according to the American Association of Suicidology.” All suicide threats and attempts should be taken seriously for the reason stated by Dr Burgoyne (psychiatrist), “About one-third of people who attempt suicide will then attempt within one year, and about 10% of those who threaten or attempt suicide eventually do succeed.” Factors that may lead to are marital status, unemployed, a chronic or terminal illness and alcohol or drug abusers.
People who are at high risk for suicidal thoughts may have presenting behavior symptoms such as depression, isolation, unstable life style, one to no family members, no coping mechanisms, and daily functions in life has decreased. The Merck Manual (1997) wrote that, “Suicide us often the final act in a course of self-destructive behavior. Self-destructive behavior is significantly more common among people who have had traumatic childhood experiences, particularly those who suffered child abuse or neglect or the distresses of a single-parent home.” A completed suicide has a powerful emotional impact on anyone involved. The person s family, friends or doctor may have feelings of guilt, shame, anger, and remorse at having failed to prevent the suicide…
Eventually most cases they realize that it couldn t be prevented and they are not to blame. Adolescence is a time for new adventures in life. Teenagers may began to use alcohol and other drugs for many different reasons, which may cause depression that may lead to suicidal thoughts. About 5% of children and adolescents in the general population suffer from depression.
Risk factors for suicide in adolescents are alcoholism, drug abuse, gang related, inappropriate coping mechanisms, and etc… Triggering events may be an interpersonal loss, humiliation and or disciplinary crisis. Many parents are not aware of signs and symptoms of distress in their children, and therefore are not aware of the drinking problem, the depression or suicidal thoughts. With support from family and professional treatment, teenagers who suffer these problems may be given a chance to heal and return to a more healthy path of development. In conclusion it is known that a person may be an alcoholic, or depressed, or have suicidal thoughts or may be experiencing issues in all three areas. Depression related to low self-esteem and unexpressed anger is intimately related to self -destructive behavior.
Social factors, such as loneliness, cultural changes, and patterns of a subculture may lead to a self-destructive behavior. Coping mechanisms related to indirect self-destructive behavior include denial, rationalization, and regression. Suicide represents the failure of all coping attempts. Many people try to control their depression with alcohol and in return alcohol causes depression, therefore it may lead to suicidal thoughts. Depression and suicidal thoughts can be treated with professional assistance…
There are several 24 hour psychiatric emergency rooms located in the city of Los Angeles along with over 100 suicide hot-lines available to the community. For the alcoholic person, there are also many detox programs and day programs available either through government funding or private funding. Trying to possess a positive attitude toward self include an acceptance of self and self-awareness.