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Nolan King
Nolan King

Essay Social Media Nation Impiccato Nav

Some individuals at risk for suicide might benefit from medication. Health care providers and patients can work together to find the best medication or medication combination, as well as the right dose. Because many individuals at risk for suicide often have a mental illness or substance use problems, individuals might benefit from medication along with psychosocial intervention.

Essay Social Media nation impiccato nav

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Social media platforms such as chat rooms and discussion forums may also pose a risk for vulnerable groups by influencing decisions to die by suicide.10,24,47 In particular, interactions via chat rooms or discussion forums may foster peer pressure to die by suicide, encourage users to idolize those who have completed suicide, or facilitate suicide pacts.34 Ultimately, these interactions may reduce the doubts or fears of people who are ambivalent about suicide. A trend also appears to be emerging in which people use social media to leave suicide notes.34,48,49 Suicide notes left by individuals via social media are shared with the public instantaneously and may influence the decisions of other vulnerable people who encounter them.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's Web site57 features an innovative social media platform in which suicide survivor stories are presented by animated avatars (a graphical representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character). Site users can create and design the appearance of their avatars, write a description about their personal experiences with suicide, and then record their voices or choose a computer-generated voiceover to narrate their stories. The site also provides contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and links to other suicide prevention organizations. As of November 2011, users had shared more than 880 stories. The use of this form of social media provides an anonymous, personalized, and interactive experience geared toward suicide prevention.

Several significant difficulties emerge, however, when conducting research on this topic. First, conducting research with suicide rates as an outcome variable is difficult because of suicide's low base rate. Moreover, the variability in social media format, use patterns, and other influences on suicidal behavior makes it very difficult to test social media as a variable that predicts suicidal behavior. For example, an increased prevalence of other risk factors, such as alcohol use and availability of firearms among teens, might also explain the rise in suicide rates among this vulnerable group.73 Moreover, the causal role of social media in a person's decision to die by suicide or to acquire the means to do so may not be direct. That is, whether an at-risk person is more likely to die by suicide because he or she can obtain information about it via the Internet cannot be easily demonstrated.

Legal issues must also be considered when contemplating public health approaches to addressing some of the problems of social media and suicide. In particular are the legal complexities associated with the monitoring and filtering of content on the Internet. Although some countries are able to control Internet Web sites created within their borders, international jurisprudence makes it difficult to obtain jurisdiction over sites that originate outside the United States. 74,75 Debate has also arisen as to whether the public sector or the private sector should be responsible for restricting content on the Internet and how much restriction should be allowed.75 In general, the Internet is less regulated than other forms of media. Fiedorowicz and Chigurupati6 pointed out that when radio, television, and newspapers broadcast or publish material of questionable intent or accuracy, they may be scrutinized by regulators or possibly lose ratings as a consequence. The generation and transmission of information via the Internet and social media, however, are decentralized and constantly being changed and updated by end users. Thus, the Internet is an open gateway with few restrictions on content. Ultimately, the control of Internet content involves First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and expression. Restrictions on Internet content may possibly present a slippery-slope problem that can lead to additional restrictions of these rights.

The kind of intense emotions that might make someone act on an impulse, "usually resolve or become manageable in less than 24 or 48 hours," she says. If you can, offer to stay with them during that time period, she adds. Or, if that's hard because of the pandemic, offer to be present virtually via video call. Otherwise, help them find other immediate social support or medical help. They shouldn't be alone at these times of crisis.

In answer to the first question of who desires suicide, the theory asserts that when people hold two specific psychological states in their minds simultaneously, and when they do so for long enough, they develop the desire for death. The two psychological states are perceived burdensomeness and a sense of low belongingness or social alienation. In answer to the second question regarding capability for suicide, self-preservation is a powerful enough instinct that few can overcome it by force of will. The few who can have developed a fearlessness of pain, injury, and death, which, according to the theory, they acquire through a process of repeatedly experiencing painful and otherwise provocative events. These experiences often include previous self-injury, but can also include other experiences, such as repeated accidental injuries; numerous physical fights; and occupations like physician and front-line soldier in which exposure to pain and injury, either directly or vicariously, is common.

For immediate help in the U.S., 24/7: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK. Outside of the U.S., visit the International Resources page for suicide hotlines in your country. To find a therapist near you, see the Psychology Today Therapy Directory.

This essay juxtaposes original translations of contrasting images from the novel En una silla de ruedas [In a Wheelchair] by Costa Rican writer Carmen Lyra and Poemas de la inmovilidad [Poems of Immobility] by Uruguayan writer Luisa Luisi to reveal how representations of intellectuals who are paralyzed might complicate discourses of the artist, social hygiene, and eugenics in early 20th-century Spanish America. Lyra portrays her protagonist's paralysis as a tragedy, but his disability is also the source of social mobility that allows the novel to depict marginalized members of Costa Rican society. Luisi contests modernista aesthetics of perfect forms, countering with a multifaceted exploration of inner space enabled by physical stillness. Through their depictions of hospitals, asylums, and sanitariums, both writers bear witness to bodies the modernizing project would prefer to hide, and imagine alternative forms of progress.

This essay provides the first English translations of selections from En una silla de ruedas and Poemas de la inmovilidad, juxtaposing and contextualizing them to question how representations of intellectuals who are paralyzed might complicate discourses of social hygiene and literary modernismo in early 20th-century Spanish America. 4 Sergio's fictional experiences imagined by Lyra, and Luisi's own experiences informing her lyrical voice, contradict the era's modernizing narrative based on European thought requiring the regulation and confinement of nonconforming bodies. New technologies and infrastructure for mobility (often implemented by foreign companies) and isolated, bucolic public welfare hospitals for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities were hailed as proud symbols of modern progress. 5 Sergio's imported luxury wheelchair is a modern transportation technology that serves as both a space of social isolation and an impetus for social mobility. Luisi's embodied experience allows her to evoke the anguish of isolation in the sanitarium, countering celebrations of such institutions as guardians of modern progress. Although Lyra and Luisi came from differing national and class backgrounds, they were contemporaries who were engaged in feminist and social justice efforts through their work as writers and educators.

The novel is a Künstlerroman, following the education of Sergio the artist, a select being. Sergio's exceptionality is not limited to mobility. Physically, his face is striking ("moreno y pálido, "dark and pale"), especially his large, intense eyes, as well as a brain and heart that are unusually developed because his energy was not spent moving his legs (10). Sergio has an extraordinary capacity for love, not only for his family but for his natural surroundings, and that love is returned to him. This artist's education is unconventional in that it takes place primarily through Sergio's interactions with socially marginalized mentors. His first teacher is his devoted primary caregiver, the dark-skinned servant Canducha, a storyteller who is wise in regional tradition, a devout syncretic Catholic, and creator of delicious tortillas and sweets (13-17, 21). Sergio's younger sister María de la Gracia "made up all the games they played, and always figured out a way for Sergio to be able to play just as if he had good legs." 10 Humble Austrian laborer and amateur violinist Miguel, the alcoholic character, has an immediate spiritual connection with Sergio and enriches his environment with clever handmade fireworks and toys made from unwanted scraps; a perfectly tended garden; songs in his native language; and stories of his faraway homeland and his travels sharpening knives throughout Costa Rica (18, 21, 22, 45). Most importantly, Miguel's talent as a violinist and his ability to imitate the sounds of nature through music inspire Sergio to learn to play the violin (24). Miguel teaches Sergio to play on his old violin made of wood from the Alps, and through his music, the novel tells us, Sergio's heart runs and takes flight (25). As an adult, Sergio feels that music allows him to transcend the physical: "he listens to the music within him and around him, forming sweet melodies and harmonies that carry his soul to regions where the notion of the suffering body is lost." 11 He reflects "on what my life would have been without this man who came from a foreign country across the sea, to show me, with my dead feet, the path to the wonderful world of sound. My existence is not a wasteland, because he taught me to listen." 12 Sergio's mentors provide him with tools and guidance that shape his artistic trajectory, but his innate curiosity and big heart sustain him throughout episode after episode of physical and emotional suffering.


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