teenager in todays society may be trapped inside a controlling dating relationship.
Pressures on todays adolescent include the necessity to make choices prior
generations either never had to face or at least did not have to deal with until
full adulthood. By the very early teens, young people have to find their way among
conflicting ideas related to their sexual activity, their sexuality, and find
themselves involved in dating relationships at a young age. With the radical breakdown
of intact families and disillisionment with institutions and governments, it is
very hard for a young person to know what or whom to believe in. The tendency
is to turn toward each other, but peer pressure may bring other kinds of conflict
and confusion that may lead to a teen to feel locked inside a controlling dating
everyone at some low point in his or her life will have thoughts of suicide. Fleeting
thoughts of suicide are not uncommon, but the power of these feelings at a given
moment may make the difference between life and death. Teenagers have a less developed
sense of impulse control than adults. They are also prone to dramatic mood changes.
Life can be wonderful one minute and horrible the next. Without emotional experience
and maturation to know how to deal with controlling relationships, they may impulsively
turn to suicide in an attempt to gain control over their life.This means that
early detection of these relationships and other factors that could be influencing
an adolescents daily life are very important.
a young person feels trapped within a controlling dating relationship, it may
seem like the end of the world. This stressful situation may also call up feelings
over former losses: the earlier death of a parent or sibling, loss through parental
divorce. Adolescents can become overwhelmed with a sense of double loss. At the
same time, they may be unaware that the reason the present situation feels so
unbearable may be because other losses have re-entered their emotional sphere.
Like ghosts slipping out of a closet, losses from the past can magnify the present
suffering to unmanageable proportions. The adolescent can begin to feel out of
control and entrapped, terribly lonely, and full of incurable pain. When a teenager
has been in a controlling relationship for a long amount of time, almost any sudden
loss or performance failure, such as blowing an exam or having an
argument with his or her parent, may trigger an impulsive suicidal act, if the
adolescent has already been feeling suicidal.
adolescents hurt. They feel trapped in a situation where they dont see any
way out. They feel hopeless about their lives and helpless to do anything about
changing things. In most cases, the young person has tried to cope in every way
he or she knows with no change in sight. Eventually they turn these despairing
feelings back on themselves, coming to believe that all this is happening to them
because they are failures, at fault, worthless, and unlovable as persons. Their
families and the world would be better off without them. This bitterness may be
accompanied by an angry wish to punish their controlling partner. There is an
overwhelming loneliness in feeling that no one could possibly understand what
they are going through.
if the adolescent has made a previous suicide attempt, the possibility of suicide
as a way to handle pain has already been tried. Many completed suicides are by
people who have made prior attempts to kill themselves. Therefore, a person who
has made a previous attempt, and whose cry for help was largely unnoticed at the
time or whose act was ignored as simply an attention-getter, might
very well make another attempt. Succeeding attempts usually increase in lethality.
that reason, in assessing the lethality of the situation, it is important to find
out whether the person has considered suicide previously, has determined on a
method for suicide, and/or has in his or her possession the immediate means for
death: pills, poison, a rope, a gun, a car, access to heights, knives, or a razor.
from Preventing Teenage Suicide: The Living Alternative Handbook. Joan,
Polly. Human Sciences Press, Inc: New York, NY. 1986.
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.
Reflection Exercise #3
The preceding section contained information about
Adolescents Trapped in Controlling Relationships. Write three case study examples
regarding how you might use the content of this section of the Manual in your
What makes an adolescent trapped in a controlling relationship a
lethal situation? To select and enter your answer go to .