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Girl Interrupted And Suicide

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Girl Interrupted and Suicide

By: Kimberly Polly

English 102 Section 1

Professor Diane Emmolo



I. Brief Film Synopsis

II. Suicide statistics

a.) men vs. women

b.) suicide rates for ages

III. Thesis

Personal feelings


IV. Causes

V. Treatments

a.) types

VI. Facts


VII. Conclusion

Kimberly Polly

English 102

Research Paper

Girl Interrupted and Suicide

The 1999 Oscar winning film Girl Interrupted starring Angelina Jolie is based on the true story of Susan Kaysen’s 18 month stay in a mental hospital following a suicide attempt. The movie envelops a multitude of mental disorders so I am choosing to focus on the suicide attempt that brought Ms. Kaysen to the hospital because it is a subject that I have dealt with closely and still demands resolve.

In 2001 suicide took the lives of 30,622 people. Although women attempt suicide three times more often than men, men are four times more likely to die from suicide attempts. Death from suicide is highest in Caucasians and is the third leading cause of death in people ages 15-24 and the sixth leading cause of death for 5-14 year olds. Although there has been a slow decline since the year 1992, suicide rates are still too high and affect children far too young. (National)

Many people scoff at those who attempt suicide, mocking them and claiming that they just want attention. The truth is that most people who attempt suicide do not want to die, but want their pain and suffering to end and do not know any other way to end it. Any attempt at suicide should be taken seriously because without proper treatment, it is likely that another attempt will be made and will possibly be “successful”. It is not always true that you will be able to tell that someone is depressed by their actions because more often than not depressed people hide their emotions. Any mention of suicide attempts or serious depressive wishes of dying should be taken with the utmost seriousness.

The cause for attempted suicide, no matter how different each individual’s reasons may be, is ultimately depression. Depression is caused when the chemicals in the brain are imbalanced and needs to be treated like any other illness. Untreated, depression can cause hopelessness and leave the victim with an inability to understand that there are other options to feel better besides death.

Depression can be caused by many things. Suicide attempts and depression both have been known to be genetic. If there is a history of either in the family there is a higher likeliness of it being passed down. Certain emotional events can trigger depression such as a divorce or the loss of a loved one. High stress situations can trigger depression or it can be brought on from seemingly nothing at all.

Doctors are finding that the most effective treatment for depression is a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressants. The antidepressants are necessary to help a person to “think clearly” while the psychotherapy helps a person “talk out” their problems and reasons why they are depressed. The two psychotherapies that have proven most helpful with depression are Cognitive Therapy; which attempts to change a person’s negative thinking and Interpersonal Therapy; which helps people interact positively and successfully. Not all the medications are right for everyone and not all of the psychotherapy is right for everyone and that is why it is very important for a person to not try to diagnose and/or treat themselves. A few of the different types of depression are seasonal depression, bi-polar disorder (also known as manic-depression) and atypical depression. Each has their own



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