In It For Health

Where health and psychology intersect

Posts Tagged ‘suicide’

cutting research-sort of…

Posted by Dr. Susan on March 11, 2008

A newly reported study about cutting looks at the relationship between girls who cut, their serotonin levels and their relationships with their mothers. I VERY reluctantly provide this link to the Science Times which, in such unbelievably irresponsible reporting, in it’s headline, makes it seem as if it is primarily a poor mother-daughter relationship that leads a girl to cut. Thankfully, in the body of the article this is cleared up–in fact, the relationship between cutting and serotonin levels is stronger than that between cutting and a conflictual mom-daughter relationships. The combined relationship is the strongest.  Okay this makes sense. What isn’t explained, at least in the Science Times, is whether the girls had high serotonin levels before they began cutting (i.e.–they were predisposed to becoming cutters) or whether the cutting behavior changed their serotonin. Do the researchers know this? Next, I treat cutters–lots of cutters, so I know that their are MANY things that stress a cutter out, not just their relationship with their mothers. Yes, this can be a factor, but these researchers could just have easily studied dads, boyfriends, biology teachers, waking up early for school, finding the perfect outfit to wear…it’s possible that any of these, when combined with a teen biologically predisposed to cutting, could significantly increase the odds of her becoming a cutter or triggering an episode. Last, but not least, being a cutter does NOT make you suicidal. In fact, the vast majority of cutters do so to reduce their anxiety, depresssion or other emotional pain, sometimes to help themselves avoid becoming suicidal. This is part of why it is addictive. Other than this…not such a bad article, uh yeah.

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The Choking Game–more like a lethal drug than a game

Posted by Dr. Susan on February 25, 2008

A new government survey is offering much needed attentionto ‘The Choking Game”, an activity during which children and teens strangle themselves just short of death in order to achieve a ‘high’. Some however deprive themselves of oxygen enough to cause brain damage. Some die. All types of children try the Choking Game, none is immune–not even your child. And although it isn’t as prevalent as alcohol or drug use, it can be lethal the first time tried. The Choking Game is NOT a suicide attempt. Look for warning signs including talk about the game, bloodshot eyes, headaches, marks on the neck, ropes, belts, bungee cords and other unexplained strings around and tied to furniture, doorknobs. For more information go to GASP (Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play).

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