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Was Chris McCandless suicidal?

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Yolani Ponce

on 12 January 2016

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Transcript of Was Chris McCandless suicidal?

Causes of Major Depression
Was Chris McCandless suicidal?


Chris McCandless was not suicidal, although we believe that he may have had depression or a personality disorder. It is entirely possible and likely to have depression and not be suicidal, according to Dr. Passino, Ph.D.
The National Institute of Mental Health explains that depression is a condition which causes a person's sadness to increase to a point where it interferes with their personal life and creates pain for them and their peers.
Suicide
Was Chris McCandless Suicidal?

Yolani Ponce, Ella Doyle, Wensy Xie, Debbie Mousa, Pooja Vallam
Conclusion
Evidence
Jon Krakauer writes, “McCandless found a used gun to buy, a semiautomatic .22 caliber Remington” (161).
Evidence
WebMD states that some causes of major depression may be social isolation, major life traumas, personal conflicts with relationships, and physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
Krakauer states, "Long after falling in love with Billie, long after she gave birth to Chris, Walt continued his relationship with Marcia in secret… When Walt's double life came to light, the revelations inflicted deep wounds. All parties suffered terribly" (121).


Symptoms of Major Depression
According to Fox News Health, “The researchers found having access to a gun was tied to a three-fold increase in the likelihood that people would kill themselves”.
What is Personality?
MayoClinic states that some of the symptoms of major depression are feelings of sadness, angry outbursts and feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
Personality is “a distinctive set of traits, behavior styles, and patterns that make up our character or individuality,” according to Mental Health America and Healthline.
Also, "people with healthy personalities...have no trouble forming relationships with family, friends, and co-workers."
Evidence
Book Evidence
Personality Disorders
Healthline defines personality disorders as a fixed pattern of negative thoughts and behaviors a person experiences that prevents them from getting along with people, regardless of the circumstances.
According to WebMD, "Most people feel sad or low at some point in their lives. But clinical depression is marked by a depressed mood most of the day... and a loss of interest in normal activities and relationships" ("Major Depression, Clinical Depression)".
Chris complains to Carine, "You know what I bet? I bet they [Billie and Walt] think I'm a homosexual. How did they ever get that idea? What a bunch of imbeciles" (Krakauer 125).
Book Evidence
Evidence
According to WebMD, " Choosing to be alone and avoiding friends or social activities also are possible symptoms of depression, a leading cause of suicide. This includes the loss of interest or pleasure in activities the person previously enjoyed. "
Billie states, "He seemed mad at us more often, and he became more withdrawn—no, that's not the right word. Chris wasn't ever
withdrawn.
But he wouldn't tell us what was on his mind and spent more time by himself" (Krakauer 121).
Jon Krakauer states, “On March 5, McCandless sent another card to Burres and a card to Franz as well”(53).



Evidence
Determining Chris Not Being Suicidal
Chris fumes to Carine, "I'm going to divorce them as my parents once and for all and never speak to either of those idiots again as long as I live" (Krakauer 64).
Was Chris a Victim of Domestic Violence?
How Could it Have Affected his Mental Health?
Evidence
Carine explains, "Dad was cunning enough not to leave any visible marks on any of us that would be noticable to outsiders..."
Carine also says, "...[Walt and Billie would tell] stories about how other children who overreacted and talked about such things were separated from each other and thrown into foster homes."
Effects on Mental Health
According to a recent study, "Almost 76% of adults reporting child physical abuse and neglect have at least one psychiatric disorder in their lifetime and nearly 50% have three or more psychiatric disorders" (Harper et al.,2007).
Mayo Clinic explains if you are diagnosed with one personality disorder, you are likely to have signs and symptoms of another personality disorder.
What Personality Disorder might Chris have Had?
Schizoid PD
Antisocial PD
Book Evidence for Schizoid
Mayo Clinic informs us that people with Schizoid Personality Disorder will prefer solitary activities and have very few close relationships. People with this disorder tend to shy away from social situations and are more comfortable with themselves being alone.
Works Cited
Mayo Clinic states that people with this disorder have little to no regard for right or wrong. They do things their way and show no remorse where someone with a healthy personality would. They act impulsively and tend to manipulate people.
Book Evidence for Antisocial Personality Disorder
Charlie explains of Chris, "Nice guy, yeah, a pretty nice guy... Didn't like to be around people though." (Krakauer 42)
Carey, Elea. “Personality Disorder.” Ed. George Krucik, MD. Healthline. N.p., 31 July 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2015. <http://www.healthline.com/health/personality-disorders#HelpforLovedOnes6>.
Mayo Clinic.“Schizoid Personality Disorder.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., 27 July 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2015. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizoid-personality-disorder/basics/definition/con-20029184>.
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Antisocial Personality Disorder.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., 12 Apr. 2013. Web. 11 Dec. 2015. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/antisocial-personality-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20027920>.
“Personality Disorders.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/personality-disorders/basics/symptoms/con-20030111>.
Passino, Ph.D, Dr. Personal interview. 15 Dec. 2015.
“Personality Disorders.” Mental Health America. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015. <http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/personality-disorder>.
“Depression.” National Institute of Mental Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2015. <https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml>.
Passino, Ph.D, Dr. Personal interview. 15 Dec. 2015.
“Major Depression (Clinical Depression).” WebMD. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2016. <http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/major-depression>.
=Grohol, John M., D., ed. “Warning Signs & Symptoms of Depression.” PsychCentral. Ed. John M. Grohol, D. N.p., 19 May 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015. <http://psychcentral.com/lib/types-and-symptoms-of-depression/>.
- - -, ed. “Warning Signs & Symptoms of Depression.” PsychCentral. Ed. John M. Grohol, D. N.p., 19 May 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015. <http://psychcentral.com/lib/types-and-symptoms-of-depression/>.
The National Institute of Mental Health, // //, ed. “Depression is real illness.” NIMH. N.p., 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 6 Jan. 2016. <http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-what-you-need-to-know-12-2015/index.shtml>.
“Depression.” National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2015. <https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression/Overview>.
“Impact of Child Abuse.” ASCA. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Jan. 2016. <http://www.asca.org.au/WHAT-WE-DO/Resources/General-Information/Impact-of-child-abuse>.
“’Into the Wild’ Chris McCandless’ Sister Says He Was Determined to Cut Ties with Parents.” ABC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Jan. 2016. <http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wild-chris-mccandless-sisters-journey-escape-traumatic-childhood/story?id=26743275>.
McCandless, Carine. The Wild Truth. New York: HarperCollins, 2014. Print.

“Depression.” National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2015. <https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression/Overview>.
“Impact of Child Abuse.” ASCA. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Jan. 2016. <http://www.asca.org.au/WHAT-WE-DO/Resources/General-Information/Impact-of-child-abuse>.
“’Into the Wild’ Chris McCandless’ Sister Says He Was Determined to Cut Ties with Parents.” ABC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Jan. 2016. <http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wild-chris-mccandless-sisters-journey-escape-traumatic-childhood/story?id=26743275>.
“Fox New Health.” Gun ownership and tied to three-fold increase in suicide Risk. N.p., 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Jan. 2016. <http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/01/21/gun-ownership-tied-to-three-fold-increase-in-suicide-risk.html>.


The National Institute of Mental Health, // //, ed. “Depression is real illness.” NIMH. N.p., 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 6 Jan. 2016. <http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-what-you-need-to-know-12-2015/index.shtml>.
“Depression.” National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2015. <https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression/Overview>.
“Impact of Child Abuse.” ASCA. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Jan. 2016. <http://www.asca.org.au/WHAT-WE-DO/Resources/General-Information/Impact-of-child-abuse>.
“’Into the Wild’ Chris McCandless’ Sister Says He Was Determined to Cut Ties with Parents.” ABC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Jan. 2016. <http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wild-chris-mccandless-sisters-journey-escape-traumatic-childhood/story?id=26743275>.
McCandless, Carine. The Wild Truth. New York: HarperCollins, 2014. Print.

“Depression.” National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2015. <https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression/Overview>.
“Impact of Child Abuse.” ASCA. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Jan. 2016. <http://www.asca.org.au/WHAT-WE-DO/Resources/General-Information/Impact-of-child-abuse>.
“’Into the Wild’ Chris McCandless’ Sister Says He Was Determined to Cut Ties with Parents.” ABC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Jan. 2016. <http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wild-chris-mccandless-sisters-journey-escape-traumatic-childhood/story?id=26743275>.
“Fox New Health.” Gun ownership and tied to three-fold increase in suicide Risk. N.p., 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Jan. 2016. <http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/01/21/gun-ownership-tied-to-three-fold-increase-in-suicide-risk.html>.
Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor, 1996. Print.
McCandless, Carine. The Wild Truth. New York: HarperCollins, 2014. Print.

According to a study by Professor Bessel van Der Kolk of Harvard Medical School,"The implications are that real-world childhood...trauma may be resposnsible for many psychopathologies...including various kinds of phobic, depressive, anxiety and eating disorders, not to mention borderline personality, antisocial personality and multiple personality disorder."
Chris writes to Carine, "I'm going to let them think they are right,... and then,... with one abrupt, swift action I'm going to completely knock them out of my life." (Krakauer 64)
Jon Krakauer explains, “His journal entry for the day is characteristically terse but unmistakably joyous: “CLIMB MOUNTAIN!” (164).
Evidence
Chris was not suicidal, but it was likely to have a mental disorder such as depression and/or a personality disorder.
Works Cited
Risk
The National Alliance on Mental Illness states,"Young adults aged 18-25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people aged 50 or older."
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