Firestone, R.W., & Seiden, R.H. (1990). Psychodynamics in adolescent suicide. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 4(3-4), 101-123.

The article contains an analysis of underlying cognitive processes that have been found to strongly influence an individual’s movement toward self-destruction. Clinical material from a discussion with several young people illustrates significant signs of suicide intention including: (1) a tendency toward isolation; (2) substance abuse; (3) low self-esteem—negative attitudes toward self; (4) a sense of hopelessness and despair; (5) guilt reactions and psychological pain; and (6) a progressive withdrawal from relationships and favored activities. The self-disclosures of these adolescents provide a comprehensive view of a hostile thought process or “critical inner voice” that is a fundamental part of self-destructive tendencies existing, to varying degrees, in every individual. A chart depicting levels of increasing suicide intent, “The Continuum of Negative Thought Patterns,” can be utilized to assess the suicidal potential in the individual student or patient. Reprint