Avoiding the suicide in youth

Thoughts about suicide cannot be considered nonsense
or not considered at all. It is false the concept
that “those who talk about suicide have
never tried and never will”

Youth is the stage of discoveries... Experimentation of new feelings and sensations. It is fair, in this transitional period between being a kid and an adult, that a myriad of different thoughts take place in the mind of the youngster, bringing up concepts, taboos and subjects that were taken as correct and immovable. The ground, built by their parents, little by little, starts fading away from their feet, requiring that, now, he builds his own path.  ...>>

In this moment of decision and reflection, the “immature” youngster or the teenager that never had a solid basis where he could be on gets lost and looks to, in radical attempts, solve his anxiety and discomfort with the world.

In this picture, we can have the suicidal behavior, which, can be divided into gestures and attempts. Gestures are related to an injurious behavior, not being, necessarily, intent to death; they can also be called as “behaviors to call attention”. As for the attempt, there is intention to die or be seriously hurt.

It is worth to say that studies on the subject have shown that there are elements and situations that can contribute for such actions and behaviors.


Depression is, certainly, the psychiatric diagnosis most observed in adolescents who make an attempt to suicide. Loss of hope, problems of character, drug consumption, family issues, stressing events, abuses (physical, sexual or psychological) and organic factors can be considered the main causers of this.

According to the Surgeon General, suicide is considered as a problem of public health and has depression as main cause. This disease, according to the World Health Organization, affects at least 8% of the world population, which is, in terms of our country, about 15 million Brazilians in state of depression.

Usually the teen, who thinks about suicide expresses this idea, through a different behavior in his way of life, looking to be alone, isolated from everything and everyone. There is also lack of friends, because the youngster, by his own nature, looks for a group as a way to establish his identity.

Thoughts about suicide cannot be considered nonsense or not considered at all. It is false the concept that “those who talk about suicide have never tried and never will”. Whatever his problems might be, thoughts, like: “I would rather be dead”, “I cannot do anything”, “I cannot stand it anymore”, “I am loser and a burden for others”, and “Others will be happier without me”, are signs that the youngster is in trouble.

That is the moment to help him, trying to be closer to him, showing that the presence of parents and friends is good. To make him feel love is fundamental to raise his self-esteem.

It is important to know that the teen with low self-esteem is afraid, anxious and other negative states both physically and psychologically. He starts, then, not taking care of himself: he does not look good, looks down, head bent down. He feels worse than others, isolated from friends and people in general. He has no goals in life; he ends up entering in a depressive process of bad consequences.


Most attempts of suicide and real suicides among teenagers mainly occur in troubled homes, with families without structure; or from familiar groups who have mental problems; or, with teens that have problems with the Police or justice. Sometimes they were not desired, in families of cold behavior, without care, sad, insecure, and revolted; families leaning towards sexual promiscuity and use of alcohol, smoking and drugs.

The action of the youngster looking auto-termination is a desperate outlet to find love, to call attention. Thus, the role of the family is to work as effective antidote to suicide.


The numbers of the recent “Map of Violence IV” (WAISELFISZ, 2004), by UNESCO, covering the years between 1993 and 2002, show that suicides in Brazil went from 5,553, in 1993, to 7,715, in 2002, representing an increase of 38,9%. In the same period, the increase is well above the registered in deaths by means of transportation (19.5%), but it is still below the murders (62.3%).

Among people from 15 to 24 years old, the increase was smaller (30.8%), going from 1,252 to 1,637 suicides, between 1993 and 2002. Situations by state are different: in Amapá, Maranhão and Paraiba, for example, the number of young suicides increased four times. In states like São Paulo, Paraná and Distrito Federal, there was a slump.

In capitals, the increase of suicides in the period 1993 / 2002 was well below compared to states as a whole: 38.9% for the states and 17.9% for capitals. In the young population, this gap is even wider: 30.8% of increase in the states, and only 4.9% in capitals.

We also verify that, in capitals, suicides of the population in general increased much more than young ones. The cities of Macapá and Cuiaba stand out, because they tripled their absolute number of suicides in total population, in this same period. As for teenagers in capitals, the rate of suicides (5 out of 100 thousand) is a bit bigger than the total population (4.4 out of 100 thousand), likely to fall. The biggest rates, for total population and young ones can be found in the region of Porto Alegre and Fortaleza.

Considering this data according to the size of population, shown in the map, we verify that the rate of Brazil, in the year of 1993, was 3.7 suicides for 100 thousand inhabitants. With variations, it was slowly increasing for, in 2002, reaching 4.4 suicides for 100 thousand inhabitants. Compared to the others 66 analyzed countries, Brazil shows low rates of suicide, ranked 57th, when it is about the total population, and 53rd for young people.


Suicide is practically non-existent up to 10 years old. From that age on this number increases, to get to its full course at age 22, which registered 218 suicides in the year of 2002. From then on there is a short decrease, slowly decreasing the absolute number as the age advances.

The general rate of suicides in the same period (1993 / 2002) increased 38.9%, and, as for the rest of the world, increased a lot among the elderly – who are used to suffer from serious diseases, financial difficulties or, being widowed or rejected in the family. However, what makes scholars worry the most about teens is that the suicide is happening earlier, and many times, can be avoided.


Obsession is also one of the causes that many youngsters commit suicide. In the book we wrote
“Suicide and Its Consequences” (MONTEIRO, 2000), we show the account of Hilda, Spirit of a young suicidal, in which she talks about her sufferings after the death of her physical body, explaining her unhappy state.

According to Hilda, besides being rebellious in not accepting life with its natural difficulties and frustrations, the influence of obsessors spirits was also an important factor to make her take this action. Allan Kardec, in “The Gospel According to Spiritism” (KARDEC, 1998), says that in most cases obsession shows the vengeance a Spirit exhorts and that, frequently, lies in the relations the obsessed one had with him in a previous incarnation. This fact can be seen in the following excerpt of her testimonial, through the psychophony of the medium Francisco Cândido Xavier, registered in the book “Voices from the Other Side” (XAVIER, 1990):

“Speak to us humble confrere that still suffers after the tragedy of suicide, someone that knows a lot the responsibility in this case, unhappy. I was obsessed, that’s right, a proud youngster, with sentimental problems, considered the idea of runaway, ignoring all the favors that God had given me to my staying. I considered suicide as a solution and, thus, through it, I conceded ground to enemies from my past, that were closer to me.

I forgot about my generous parents, to whom I owed care, relatives with whom I committed to; I forgot my friends, whose friendship could be used as a shield in my defense, and I deviated from the field of my sacred tasks, ignoring that they represent the instruments of my spiritual restoration... In face of that, I suffered, after the grave, all humiliations that degrade the helpless woman”.


The Spirit Hilda, in her account of painful experience, points out that her rebellion in not accepting life, with its natural difficulties in youth, generated frustrations, and advises how teenagers should proceed to defend themselves against suicide (XAVIER, 1990):

“Let us do as we are told, visit the sick friends, help the lost kids, try to do our job adequately, look for good books to read, talk only about good and uplifting things, exercise prayer and help our fellow to be happy, always making good actions and acting against insensitiveness, because, through it, obsession looms, persecution materializes and, when we wake up, to our own responsibility, many times we cry too late”.


The recurring idea, which every now and again pops in the mind of the youngster, is due to the fact of previous lives. To understand it better, let’s read the chapter “Precious Conversation”, from the book “Action and Reaction”, by André Luiz, through the medium Chico Xavier (XAVIER, 1998), when Minister Sânzio, from the Spiritual Colony Nosso Lar, replies to Hilário:

“Let’s Picture a coward man before the fight, committing suicide at age 40. This man enters in the spiritual world suffering the immediate consequences of such action, spending more or less time, according to this action, to rebuild the cells of the perispirit and, as soon as he is ready again, when he deserves the prize of a body in the Human Sphere, among the trials he will take again, is naturally included the extreme leaning towards suicide at the same age he deserted before, because the destructive images, he stored in his mind, will be shown, to him, through the phenomenon we can call ”reflexive circumstances”, giving space to emotional problems that will lead him, logically, to the contact with these unbalanced forces that are in the same tune”.
In the last chapter of the book “Memories of a Suicidal” (PEREIRA, 1998), when the Spirit Camilo Cândido Botelho (pseudonym used by the Spirit Camilo Castelo Branco) tells his resolution to reincarnate experiencing blindness from 40 to 60 years old, also comments on his fear of a new failure in this new experience.

But the spiritual instructors, talking to him, clarify that, reincarnating, Camilo will take solid elements of victory acquired in the long educative stage in the spiritual life, and because of that, it would be unlikely that his will be corrupted to the point of dragging him to bigger and harder responsibilities.

According to the advice by the Spirits André Luiz and Camilo Castelo Branco, we can conclude that, if there is a leaning towards suicide in the physical life, on the other hand, God always provides the necessary resources to the Spirit, before his coming back to Earth, so that he can be victorious.


Comprehension of adolescence conflicts must be mandatory for parents, teachers, doctors, therapists and all those who deal with teens. The adolescent must be stimulated to gather and discuss among themselves their feelings. The society needs to give our youngsters conditions that, even troubled, incorporate healthy objectives into their perspectives of life, so that they can become good parents and, thus, avoid or decrease the suffering of new generations.

As for parents, it is up to them, since always, to give religious orientation to their kids. It is basically to teach them to pray to God, to value life as a gift from Him, to face challenges and show them the necessity to love all their brothers in humanity, so that they can become truly good people.

With this spiritual orientation, in adolescence, they will be able to get away from addictions and drugs that naturally lead many youngsters to die early, constituting, such behavior, in the main protection to not end their own lives. In face of that, we can conclude that education of the Spirit is the best preventive against suicide.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brasil)
Translation: Felipe Darella

from: O Consolador - Weekly Magazine of Spiritism, Year 2 - N° 72 – September 7, 2008

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