Impact News

Responding to Violence, Suicide, Psychosis and Trauma

7 Year-Old Boy Is Youngest Case Of Suicide Attempt

A new medical report calls for caution following the recent case of a boy who tried to hang himself after watching a hanging depicted in a fictional film. This seems to be the first case of attempted copycat suicide in a child under 10 years old. Exposure to suicidal behaviour in the media has been strongly linked to copycat suicide attempts but never in someone so young. This case warns of the potential danger to young people who are exposed to suicide even when it is fictional, and exposes the previously ignored role of attention deficit and impulsive behavioural traits on suicide.

The case report, published in Cases Journal, describes how a seven year-old Iranian boy was found by his mother, semi-conscious, lying down with a torn band around his neck. It was apparent that the boy had hanged himself after watching a scene in a fictional film in which four soldiers were hanged before being rescued and escaping. The boy was taken to hospital and treated effectively.

There was no history of depression or anxiety in the boy and his medical record was insignificant. The boy’s family history also displayed no suicidal tendencies. However, the boy was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (“ADHD”) and had a tendency for impulsive behaviour. Although the roles of anxiety and depression in suicide have been well documented, there has been no research into the role of ADHD and impulsivity in such cases, and these should be considered by doctors in future.

Cases Journal publishes case reports from medical professionals from all over the world. As an online journal, it does not have the space constraints of traditional medical journals, and allows the publication of a very broad range of cases. Typically, an important case such as this might never have achieved public exposure due to the high barriers to publication in major journals.

More information about Cases Journal can be found on the website: Cases Journal is a peer-reviewed, open access journal. The editor-in-chief is Richard Smith, previously known for his role as editor of the British Medical Journal, and he is supported by an international editorial board. Unlike traditional medical journals, Cases Journal publishes any case report that is understandable, ethical and complete – the perceived interest level, or rarity of the case is not important. The journal’s ethos is that every case is important, just as every patient is important, and we can learn something from every case report.

All case reports published in the journal will be included in the forthcoming Cases Database, which will allow doctors to search all case reports to find those relevant to their practice. As an open access journal, all case reports are free for anyone to download without subscription.

Cases Journal

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