Development and Effectiveness of Mindfullness Based Cognitive Restructuring Program on Psychache and Hopelessness as Signals of Suicidal Ideation among Adolescents

By Bindu, Xavier; Vargas, Marie Ann | Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, June 2014 | Go to article overview

Development and Effectiveness of Mindfullness Based Cognitive Restructuring Program on Psychache and Hopelessness as Signals of Suicidal Ideation among Adolescents


Bindu, Xavier, Vargas, Marie Ann, Indian Journal of Positive Psychology


Adolescence is a transitional period from childhood to adulthood (Landis et al., 2007). In this period adolescents experience very explicit physical, cognitive, psychological and social changes (Weinberger, Eilvevag, & Giedd, 2005) that lead them to experiment and to explore various things like sexual relationships, identity and acceptance seeking, alcohol, tobacco and other substance abuse. According to Karen (2006) emotional and behavioral imbalances like hopelessness, aggression and other unhealthy mental dispositions are caused by the anxiety and stress which related to the loss of attainment, low self confidence and difficulty to find meaning in life. The life circumstances of many Indian adolescents are packed with stressors that can lead to emotional distress and serious mental and behavioral problems. These stressors include parental alcoholism, family disruption, poor school environments and deprived socio economic status.

Adolescents who could not manage the daily stressors of life and who are not properly guided may experience depression, and worst suicidal tendencies. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people between the age of 10 to 24 (CDCP, 2014). Report points shocking information of the increasing adolescent suicide in India, (Rabin, 2002). Studies reveal that in every 10 minutes, someone in this country commits suicide and around 21 students take their lives in India every day. In fact, in 2006, student suicide rate was 5,757 where as in 2011 it increased to 7,696 (Vakil, 2012). Statistical reports reveal that the rate of suicides in India, the number of suicides per 100,000 people in Kerala was 25.3 compared to the national average of 10.9 (National Crime Records Bureau, 2009).

According to the study of Kelland, (2012) suicide rates in India it is 10 times higher in the wealthy southern states than in the poorer sectors in the northern states. In 2007, 8,962 cases of suicide were reported when the Kerala population was nearly 34 million. Maithri, a voluntary agency that works for the protection of life, reported that 100 people attempt suicide every day in Kerala, of whom 25 are successful (The Hindu, 2012). Therefore, there is an urgent need to prevent the alarming situation of Kerala's young people from having irrational thoughts and negative emotions which lead them to commit suicide.

Further studies explained that those who attempted suicide do not really want to die but they are crying for help because of psychological pain (Paulóse, 2011). Research also shows that there are gender differences between adolescents who attempt suicide or complete suicide. The data revealed that female adolescents attempt suicide more or less three times more often than males (Tomori & Martina, 2006). According to the studies, sixty percentages of suicide deaths in Indian women occur between the ages of 15 and 29 years, the corresponding figure for men being 40 percent (The Hindu, 2012). Reports also show that psychological pain, hopelessness and self hates were more in female adult than males (Labelleetal.,2013).

Suicide is never bom out of exaltation or joy. People may say that "I'm so happy I could die" but they never say "I'm so happy I could kill myself'. Suicide stems from deep psychological pain. This psychological pain has different names such as despair, loneliness, Fear, anxiety, guilt, shame and other more or less technical labels such as affective disorders, depression, alcoholism, and mental illness (Shneidman, 1998). Basically psychache is the pain due to extreme feeling of shame, guilt, or humiliation (Shneidman, as cited in Troister & Holden, 2010). Its reality is introspectively unquestionable when it happens. The logical understanding of Sheindman points out that if there is no psychache there would not be any suicide (Leenaars, 2010). A suicidal person's psychological pain is considered as unbearable, intolerable, and unacceptable. Leenaars (2010) also states that suicide risk is increased when a person feels hopelessness. …

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