Many people think of ending it all but we fail to understand the root cause of this problem. Without identifying the reason behind an issue it will be futile for us to tackle the problem head on. In 2018, there were 48,344 recorded suicides, up from 42,773 in 2014, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). On average, adjusted for age, the annual U.S. suicide rate increased 24% between 1999 and 2014, from 10.5 to 13.0 suicides per 100,000 people, the highest rate recorded in 28 years. Findings demonstrate that both male and female suicide rates tend to be higher during the spring and summer months (combined gender inference of: April ~ 27.24; May ~ 30.04; June ~ 28.86; July ~ 27.83) compared to winter (Nov. ~ 25.77; Dec. ~ 23.17; Jan.
Suicide is the aftermath of not being able to gain control of life and ultimately losing hope. Suicide is considered an honor in some countries and in others it is viewed as a vile act. Suicide rates are on the rise and this is very alarming statistical fact because this just proves the culture surrounding the current society. Suicide was seen very lightly as the numbers weren’t so alarming but toady it is taken seriously by many organisations proving the fact that everyone can always get help. This had sparked the thought that mental health is an extremely important aspect of life. To truly understand suicide we have to go back in time.
Origins of Suicide
Suicide was generally associated with mental disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders and anxiety disorders. It is considered that an individual that suffers from such disorders is more likely to commit the act of intentional suicide due to the inability to cope. There are a various ways an individual may go about killing themselves and in most cases it various based on the region/country but research shows that the most common identifiable methods are hanging, pesticide poisoning and firearm. Suicide is generally most common among those over the age of 70 however, in certain countries, those aged between 15 and 30 are at the highest risk.
Over time the age gap has shifted and it can be said that the act of ending it all is not all determined by ones age, race or background. In most cases a general demographic of people involved in this act is close to unidentifiable. In the past the act of attempted suicide was in fact higher compared to actual death rates and this caused the general public to perceive suicidal individuals as attention seeking. This mindset has since been curbed and more people are trying to solve the issue of suicide by recognizing those who may have suicidal traits and try to find meaning and solve whatever problem it is they may be facing.
Views on suicide have been influenced by broad existential themes such as religion, honor, and the meaning of life. Religion played an important part in ensuring that devotees or followers understood that the act of ending one’s life is seen as a sin. Religious groups built up communities for people to always feel welcome and this helped alleviate any emotional stress that an individual may face. Suicide isn’t only caused by emotional distress but it is one of the more prominent reasons in today’s society and so the thought of something always being there for you is in fact very soothing. Suicide is often seen as a major catastrophe for families and is viewed negatively almost everywhere around the world.
Suicide by Method
There are multiple recorded ways of suicide that have been analyzed over the years but the most common suicide method globally is through the use of firearms. The Global Burden of Disease study estimates that over 24,000 died from firearm suicide in the United States in 2017. Citizens of the US as the 2nd Amendment in the Constitution states that a well regulated Militia is necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
However people have abused this right and used firearms not to protect but to instead inflict pain upon themselves. Keeping firearms is not recommended for many reasons but the key reason being that owning a weapon during a time of sadness or panic may be extremely risky. At the end of the day we are only human and there may come a time when we face immense difficulty in our lives, in these moments of weakness our will may not be as strong as we hope and that’s okay but to own firearms may invoke thoughts that are not premeditated.
Another common suicide method is through pesticide poisoning as there have been more than 14 million people who have died from self-poisoning from pesticides over the past 50 years. They estimate the total number of lives lost to self-poisoning over the period from 1960 to 2018 to be 14 to 15 million. This method is mainly used by the poor who are in most cases farmers or those who barely enough to support their living. This method is seen to be statistically popular in South East Asia and Latin America.
Other methods include suicide by hanging which was a more common practice in the olden days before the consumption of substances became mainstream. During those times, drowning was a also a method of choice which was seen as a painful way to die. Death by asphyxiation then grew in large numbers due to the rise in the automotive industry allowing emissions from the exhaust to be a viable method to be oxygen deprived. Jumping from high rise buildings allowed for a dramatic effect as more and more tv networks took up this method to allow for the portrayal of suicide in films. Other means of suicide are by stabbing, immolation and drug poisoning.
Risk Factors of Suicide
- Mental health
- Economic recessions
- Daylight patterns
- Media coverage of suicide
- Divorce laws
- Gun prevalence
- Alcohol use
- Stressful life event
There are many reasons as to why an individual may consider ending their lives but some the most common reasons have been mentioned above. Mental health is something many people struggle and in most cases it is something that a majority of people fail to address. A failure is doing so may result in feeling trapped and uncertain about future life decisions. Since suicide is a choice, the act itself is linked to an individuals well being and livelihood.
Financials is something many grown ups have to deal with and in many cases it can be the root cause for a lot of problems. As much as we tell ourselves that the value of money is merely a social construct, that isn’t necessarily the case as good financials allow for a smoother life. It is always recommended to maintain a good track record when it comes to money to constantly be prepared for all situations.
Media coverage of suicide causes a rise in what most people consider to be copycats. There are people who are willing to end thier lives merely for the publicity and to gain the attention of others. Studies measuring the effect of either an entertainment or political celebrity suicide story were 14.3 times more likely to find a copycat effect than studies that did not. Lack of attention may cause to resort to extreme lengths in order to prove a point ensure that they are remembered even if the cost is death.
Abuse of substances is in most cases an extremely careless death. The consumption of these substances are voluntary but they may be done in excess resulting in an unintentional death but the definition still stands that the act of consuming said substances was by choice. Alcohol and drugs cases an individual to lose control and leave it all up to chance. They may inject heroin for the thrill of it but end up dying of hypertension. The body wasn’t built to exhaust all forms of emotions at the same time so consumption of substances should always be done at a minimum.
People around the world are working hard to curb suicide rates before they exponentially skyrocket out of control. There are many agencies and organisations which are willing to lend a hand and support the cause. The people around you should always know that help is available to those who seek for it. Recognizing an individual who has suicidal thoughts is not an easy task especially when everyone is busy living their day to day lives. Regardless there are some key things that we can expect to identify in a suicidal individual.
- Talking about suicide
- Being preoccupied with death and violence
- Changing normal routine
- Having mood swings
- Changes in personality
- Sudden calmness
- Irritability in men
- Changes in appetite and weight
Contact the people you love and talk to them about the problems you are facing. Reassess your life and take out parts of it that you don’t necessarily enjoy. Life is to short to do the things you hate. Cut out people who aren’t contributing to your well being and always gauge your happiness as an individual without taking into account evaluations that are created by your family members or friends. Only you know how you truly feel at any given moment.
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