(2) Maturational events. These events are normal processes of growth and
development that evolve over an extended period of time. Frequently, the individual is
required to make many changes (infancy, early childhood, preschool, pre-puberty,
adolescence, young adulthood, late adulthood, old age).
In the absence of support systems and coping skills, a stressful event could
result in a crisis. A successfully resolved crisis usually results in some degree
of personal growth and learning. A person in a crisis situation that he cannot
resolve may find himself in an ever increasing cycle of anxiety and perceived
helplessness. It is in these types of persons we may see what we call
"extreme" crisis behaviors--that is, suicide, homicide, assault, or aggression.
Suicidal tendencies refer to acts against one's self to commit suicide. Many factors
influence a patient's decision to try to end his own life; loneliness seems to be a primary
reason. The patient who does not identify himself with some group (such as a family,
church, or community) is more susceptible to suicidal tendencies.
(1) Completed suicide. This is the taking of one's life with conscious intent.
There are approximately 40,000 completed suicides in the US each year.
According to medical and legal aspects, unless there was a clear intention to
die, the victim did not commit suicide.
(2) Attempted suicide. This is a very serious self-destructive act that could
easily result in death if it were not for "fortuitous circumstances" beyond the person's
A "fortuitous circumstance" in this case means that the suicidal act was not
completed or that the victim was found after completing the act, but before he
COL Doe put a loaded gun to his head, pulled the trigger, and nothing
PVT James severely lacerates her wrists. She is discovered by her
There are approximately one-half million attempted suicides in the US
each year. Eight percent of attempted suicides are successful.