A tragic event that opens many questions about suicide in childhood.
Samantha Kuberski, a 6-year-old girl, was a cheerful person who went to school. In December 2009, she took her own life. Apparently he had no problems, so his suicide surprised health professionals.
When medical examiners examined her body in Yamhill County, south Portland, they declared that it had indeed been a suicide, making Samantha the youngest person to kill herself.
The smallest girl who commits suicide
The events occurred on December 2 in the US state of Oregon. After an argument with her mother, Samantha was punished in her room. While her mother and sisters were in different rooms of their McMinnville home, the girl climbed into a crib that the Kuberski family owned but did not use.
After putting a belt around his neck, he dropped from the top of the crib rail. When Kellie, her mother, entered the room, she saw the unconscious body of little Samantha. Although he tried to revive her, he could do nothing to save her life. She was later transferred to the hospital where her death was officially announced.
Was little Samantha aware of what she was doing?
Samantha’s parents and siblings were questioned by the police, but it was the authorities themselves who later declared that they found no signs that the little girl had been the victim of abuse at any time in her life.
What is striking in this case is the question of whether Samantha was really aware of her tragic death. While the forensic medical team that examined the victim reported that it was a suicide, the police in charge of the investigation insisted that it could be an accident. In addition, they questioned whether such a small girl was aware of the consequences of her actions, and they had similar opinions from some experts, such as the psychiatrist Dr. Kirk Wolfe.
Do children understand the meaning of suicide?
“A lot of kids this age are not aware of what death means,” Wolfe explained to Yamhill Valley News. In addition, he added that: “It is not until the age of 8, 9 or 10 that they begin to understand the meaning of death, and that there is no return once it occurs.”
The relationship between depression and suicide
The lack of hope for the future and the loss of autonomy in the face of life and feelings are two of the most common causes that occur for a person to make the decision to commit suicide. Since depression is capable of incapacitating a person and he / she usually rejects the help that family and friends can give, its diagnosis is often complicated. Depressed people pay too much attention to the negative aspects of life, living in eternal pessimism.
It is the lack of hope and future expectations that causes suicidal ideas to be generated and the act ends up being committed. In fact, there have been many studies with older people on depressive disorder and suicide, but what happens in a child’s mind to kill himself?
In addition to in adult life, suicidal ideas are very common during adolescence, without implying that there is an imminent danger to life. If these ideas are not associated with different factors (understanding risk factors) or planned, suicide may not take place. In adolescence, it is considered that for every adolescent who commits suicide, about three hundred attempt it.
Suicidal acts are not common in individuals under 15 years of age
If there are many adolescents who have suicidal ideas, the same does not happen with children under 10 years of age. In fact, it is almost impossible to find studies that refer to this phenomenon. Regarding this, the psychiatrists Karaman and Durukan (2013) write:
Suicide before the age of 15 is not common. Many of the suicides of children and adolescents occur past that age. According to a 2009 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the suicide rate in children aged 10 to 14 was 1.3 per 100,000, in young people aged 15 to 19 it was 7.75 per 100,000, and in people aged 20 to 24 it was 12.5 per 100,000 ”.
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