14th Dec 2016
Suicide has been defined as the process of devising a plan to endone’s life and executing such a plan in well-calculated moveleading to death. People use different methods to commit suicide buttop among them are shootings, drug overdoses, carbon monoxidepoisoning, and hanging. Worldwide, there are approximately over800,000 people who end their own lives. In U.S. alone, approximately40,000 people commit suicide annually. This is an extremely hugenumber that has placed suicide as the tenth cause of death. Notably,the number could be extremely higher than these figures because ofthe numerous unreported suicide cases (Goldsmith 84). Furthermore,there are instances such as single car accidents, which are notconsidered as suicide while they were meant to end someone’s life.Suicide rates are highest amongst people aged 14 and 25 years.Research has also indicated that suicide rates are higher amongstmales than in females.
Thesis: Depression, financial constraints, drug use, divorce, andother mental illnesses are the leading causes of suicide. Distractionof suicidal thoughts through engaging in other positive activitiessuch as watching movies or television, engaging in physical activityto reduce depression and seeking counseling services are the primarysuicide prevention measures.
Between 1999 and 2014, the suicide rates in the U.S. increasedsignificantly. The rates were the highest in 30 years and the issuehad become a major health and security issue in the country.Interestingly, youngsters between the ages of 14 and 25, who areexpected to be schooling and relying majorly on their parents forsupport, comprise the higher percentage of people committing suicide.Extensive research in the U.S. indicated that 17% of these olderteenagers have ever considered suicide. Furthermore, 13.5% haveactually made plans to commit suicide while 7% have attempted suicide(Boyle 1421). Most of these suicide attempts fail because theyoungsters lack lethal means to end their lives. Statistics from theWorld Health Organization indicate that suicide rates are lowestamongst people aged 65+ years. WHO has also asserted that for everysingle suicide death there are approximately 20 other suicideattempts. This implies that if the epidemic is not managedeffectively, there could be over 20 million deaths annually fromsuicide. It is essential to state that suicide attempts areconsidered to criminal in many jurisdictions across the world.Additionally, many religions such as Christianity and Islam do notcondone suicide and it is considered as immoral.
Suicide can take many forms. In recent years, hanging, drug overdoseand carbon monoxide poisoning have been the major strategies thatpeople have been using to end their lives. However, self-shootingsand single car accidents are suicide forms. Hanging and drugoverdoses are common among the young people while self-shootings andsingle car accidents are prominent amongst the elderly (Ronald andStephen 144). Documented research has shown that females are likelyto use less severe methods such as drug overdose while males preferhanging and carbon monoxide poisoning. Furthermore, hit by trains andjumping from rooftops has become a common suicide method especiallyearly in the morning or late in the night.
One primary question that has baffled psychologists for decades iswhy people decide to end their own lives when there other numerousways of dealing with depressing situations. Suicide is considered asa long term solution to short-term problems. Middle-age crisisassociated with achievement and financial freedom are major causes ofsuicide. People aged between 20 and 40 years are in their productiveyears. Due to the economic depression being expressed in the U.S. andindeed across the world, many teenagers do not have jobs. As aresult, they are depressed and they end up considering suicide as thesolution. Divorce has also been cited as a major cause of suicide. Inthe U.S., there are approximately 50% marriages that end up indivorces. Many of the young people are severely affected by divorcesand they contemplate suicide as a solution (Margaret and Elizabeth106). Depression and bi-polar disorders are leading mental illnessesthat cause suicide. Moreover, people who abuse alcohol and drugs aremore likely to commit suicide. In school, aspects such as bullyingand failure in examinations can provoke suicidal thoughts. Whereas itis difficult to prevent someone from ending his or her own life,there are various strategies that could reduce suicide incidences.
Many of the people who commit suicide hardly talk about the issuefacing them. Psychologists have urged that speaking out over certainissues reduces the likelihood of ending someone’s life. Therefore,as a prevention measure, it is essential for any person with suicidalthoughts to talk to a counselor or a doctor. In most cases, a changeof treatment for depression or delusions can eliminate the suicidalthoughts. It is important to talk to someone who is sympathetic andunderstanding (Poland 128). There are numerous lifelines in the U.S.,which are toll-free and which people with suicidal thoughts can calland talk with counselors. In cases where a person threatens to commitsuicide, it is essential to discuss with such a person openly and ina non-judgmental manner. Having emergency service numbers isimportant.
Committing suicide occurs after deep thoughts and feelings ofdepression, despondency, and desperation. In order prevent or subsidesuicidal thoughts, it is important to engage in other positiveactivities such as watching television, movies, writing or readingfavorite books. Psychological research has shown that suicidalthoughts are episodic. Therefore, wherever they occur, they should besuppressed with other thought provoking activities. For many years,engagement in physical activities has been considered as an effectiveway of dealing with suicide. Physical activity is considered anatural antidepressant. It increases the production of endorphin,which leads to good feelings.
Although consulting a counselor or a doctor are considered as godways of alleviating suicide, it is essential to note that thesemethods might not be fully functional. This is because most of thepeople who commit suicide are reserved and prefer to remain alone.They hardly interact with any person and it would be extremely hardconsult a professional. Furthermore, it is evident that it will beextremely hard to prevent suicide using this method since lack ofcommunication is one the causes of depression (Kushner 174). The bestway to deal with suicide should be to eliminate the triggers. Thisshould be meeting the needs of the people who commit suicide. Forinstance, if teenagers’ cause of suicide is bullying, the solutionwould be to eliminate bullying. Furthermore, suicide that resultsfrom drug use and broken marriages should be resolved throughaddressing these vices. Counseling services for married couplesshould be made compulsory and strict policies of dealing with drugtrade established.
Depression is the underlying factor that leads to suicide. Althoughother factors are involved, there are extremely few cases of suicideof people without prolonged depression. Notably, depression istreatable therefore, suicide can be prevented through treatingdepression. In order to effectively deal with the suicide epidemic,it is essential to establish depression diagnosis centers in schoolsand in hospitals (Goldsmith 112). Youngsters who are diagnosed withdepression should be subjected to treatment immediately. Clearly,stressful situations cannot be avoided such as failure inexaminations or failed marriages. Such situations can severelyexacerbate depression leading to suicidal thoughts. Even though thissolution may not eliminate cases of suicide completely, it is clearthat it will reduce the number of suicide deaths by a hugepercentage. This solution will only apply when the correct diagnosisis done. Diagnosis for depression cannot be compulsory and therefore,people who are not diagnosed will eventually commit suicide if theyare subjected to extremely stressful situations.
While concluding, it is clear that suicide rates have gone upsignificantly in recent years owing to the hard economic timesespecially for the young people. Lack of jobs and family breakupshave also led to the increased suicide rates. Worldwide, there areover 40,000 deaths from suicide annually. Males are reported tocommit suicide more than females. People have been using differentsuicide methods such as carbon dioxide poisoning, shootings, drugoverdoses, and auto accidents. Majorly, mental illnesses such asdepression contribute immensely to this problem. Essentially,engaging in other positive activities such as watching television orreading a favorite book can move away one’s thoughts from suicide.Seeking counseling services or talking to a doctor can reducesuicidal thoughts. However, dealing with the problem of depressionand offering the appropriate treatment can significantly reducesuicide rates.
Boyle, Martin. “Ontario Child health study: suicidal behavior inyouth aged 12-16 years.” American Journal of Psychiatry,Vol. 145, 2012, pp. 1420-1423.
Goldsmith, Connie. Understanding Suicide: A NationalEpidemic. , 2016. Print.
Kushner, Howard I. American Suicide: A Psychocultural Exploration.New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2013. Print.
Margaret, Olive and Elizabeth H. Forsyth. Suicide: The HiddenEpidemic. Minneapolis: CompCare, 2011. Print.
Poland, Scott. Suicide Intervention in the Schools. NewYork: Guilford Press, 2014. Print.
Ronald Moses, and Stephen T. Holmes. Suicide: Theory,Practice, and Investigation. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications,2015. Print.