The teenager presents a special set of circumstances when it comes to assessing suicide risk. They are one of the more difficult groups to make an accurate assessment of their current level of suicidality. People kill themselves for a variety of reasons. With the truly suicidal person their primary intent is to kill self but there are others who will end their life where that is not their primary intention. Due to their still immature thinking style and lack of life experience the teenager presents a special case in suicidology in that they are less predictable than the mature adult.
My personal circumstances illustrate how teenagers are a special case when assessing their suicidality. The truly suicidal person is the one who has made the “Don’t exist” suicide decision in early life. I have not made that decision. In my life script, suicide is not an option. In my adulthood there have been times when life circumstances have been very bad. Not often but there have been times. In those times the ‘solution’ of suicide has never even entered my mind. It is simply not part of my life script and hence is not considered by me when times are tough.
As I say in the book in my late teenage years I attempted suicide twice. I could have died in those instances if things had not worked out as they did. Thus we would have had a teenager who died by suicide but who has not made the suicide decision. The mindset of the teenager allows for that to happen whereas with the adult it is much less likely to happen.
In the psychological sense the truly suicidal person is one who has made the suicide decision in childhood. When this happens the person decides that suicide is a viable option or possible solution to problems and this decision then sits dormant in the psyche. If life events should develop where the person finds them self in bad circumstances then the decision becomes activated and the person starts to consider suicide as a solution to their problems. These problems could be financial collapse, marital problems, loss of reputation and so forth.
Whilst not all people suicide because of making such a decision this represents a significant group and they are quite a high risk group. Determining if a person has made such a decision is not a difficult task and I show a variety of ways this can be done in the book. It does not take long nor is it dangerous or particularly painful and it can be done in groups. This could be used to screen significant numbers of people especially those in areas where suicide is more likely such as in combat zones or other very stressful circumstances. High stress is another time when the suicide decision could become activated.
Whilst the truly suicidal person has made a suicide decision in childhood there is another by which the child can develop a suicidal aspect of their personality. In the Child ego state the person makes the decision that at some point suicide will be a viable solution to their problems. This decision once made remains dormant in the Child ego state.
Of course as the youngster grows its Parent ego state also develops. The Parent ego state develops by modeling parents and introjecting them into their Parent ego state. If mother or father are suicidal then the youngster will model on that and it will become part of their Parent ego state. If the parents talk about suicide, the youngster sees them engaging in suicidal behaviour or at times the youngster may be the one who calls the ambulance or resuscitates the parent in some way. When these types of things happen the youngster will introject the suicidality into their own Parent ego state and thus become potentially suicidal at some time later in their life. Just as the early decision remain dormant in the Child ego state the suicidal introject (model) remains dormant in the Parent ego state until circumstances arise in adulthood and these aspects of the personality become operational.