"Panodil-pigerne": - En opgave om forebyggelse af unge pigers selvmordsforsøg

Matilde Hersland Powers

Student thesis: Master thesis


Up to 20% of all young people in today’s postmodern society have had serious suicidal thoughts, and approximately 5% have attempted suicide. 80% of all attempted suicides today are by an overdose of non-prescription pain medication, and the majority of attempts are made by young girls. This project has, on the basis of this issue, examined how the young girls - here termed as ”Panodil girls” - can be studied from a social and individual perspective to trace social, behavioral, and psychologic patterns to understand the preconditions of suicidal attempts. The project’s studies will thus try to provide suggestions of how to prevent new and recurring suicide attempts in school, family and health care settings. To shed light on the problem area, a mix of empirical data has been used from two semi-structured life-interviews with a psychiatrist and a “Panodil-girl”, and from three external studies, which are representative of different parts of the western world, based on both quantitative and qualitative data. The project is built on a hermeneutic approach. The understanding and working tools throughout the whole work process is based on the theoretical concepts of Aron Antonovsky and Knud Illeris. The study showed that young people of today are increasingly feeling the pressures of the outside world, which is why some part of the growing suicidal tendencies in youth is the result of some trends in the social structure. There is also the indication that young people feel alone with their problems of well-being, which enhance suicidal thoughts. The outside world does not notice when the young girls have suicidal thoughts. Their parents misunderstand the signals and teachers do not have the time and resources to help the young people with their daily problems. Those of the same age are today raised to prioritize their own needs first, which is why they have difficulty in setting aside their own needs and caring for others. It is difficult to point out some general conditions which characterize “Panodil-girls”, as the girls are widely represented from all social layers and have diverse professional competencies. However, some behavioral patterns seem to be consistent. The girls have, for example, difficulties meeting challenges and crisis in their lives, which is why the girls also typically act in affect in connection with their suicide attempt. On the basis of this, you also see that many of the girls have harmed themselves during the period leading up to their suicide attempt. The number of negative events in the young girls lives appear to be a risk factor for suicidal tendencies, wherefore special awareness should be given to those who have been subjected to events such as deaths in the near family, abuse, bullying or being let down by those they trust. Likewise, it looks as if problems with friends and family give the young people a lack of sense of coherence between their desired- and actual life situation, which also has influence on their well-being and the risk of suicide. Prevention efforts should take place in the schools, as it guarantees reaching the whole target group. Parents likewise have need for tools to help them guide and understand their teenagers, and courses should therefore be offered to them. The way society is structured also bears part of the responsibility for the great pressure put on the youth of today. This will, however, demand a change in political policies. After a young girl has attempted suicide, she is at high risk for repeating the attempt, which is why it is vital that a targeted and competent treatment process be made available to both the teenager and the family. The evidence level and its research quality will be enhanced by a repeating study, which finds comparable results. This is why it is recommended prior to implementing a major process. In such a study, it would likewise be a good idea to involve the preventive institutions to a greater extent, so the chances of a successful implementation process are increased.

EducationsHealth Promotion and Health Strategies, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
Publication date28 Jan 2016
SupervisorsKasper Andreas Kristensen


  • qualitative study
  • adolescent
  • suicide attempt
  • prevention