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Introduction to Suicide

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According to data gathered from Worldometer at the time of the writing of this article(2019), the world’s population growth rate is estimated at 1.07 percent per year. a downward progression from the previously recorded 1.0% in 2018 1.12 percent in 2017 and 1.4% in 2016. the average population increase presently is estimated at about 82 million people annually.

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This shows us that the world population will continue to grow especially in this 21st century. However, it will grow at a much slower rate compared to in the past.

If the figures provided by the world health organisation is anything to go by, then about 800000 people die yearly as a result of suicide. This would mean one individual committing suicide every 40 seconds.

These numbers are very high and disturbing. The scariest part is that this suicide rate doesn’t seems to be reducing as more problems that are responsible for pushing people to want to end it all keep creeping in.

We live in a “you only live once” generation. Everybody wants to live the best life possible and even going a notch higher by showing the rest of the world how happy they are via social media. This brings us to the question, why would anybody wants to leave this world in the first place knowing from the start that you’ll never get out alive? Everyone dies eventually.

Well, as the popular saying goes, you never know where it hurts until you walk in the victim’s shoes. Join us on a journey as you read further to learn more about what suicide is, why people commit suicide and the types of suicide.

What is suicide?

Suicide

Have you ever been in a situation where everything seems to be working against you, and all you want to do is find a way out, but there is none available? Have you ever found yourself in that position where you seem to be all that is wrong with this world, and somehow you feel if you were absent things would be a lot better?

These feelings might not be new to a lot of people. As a matter of fact, more than half the world’s population can relate to being in the state of mind.

Suicide is quite a complex phenomenon, and it involves numerous factors that make it difficult to attribute suicide to a single cause. One prominent suicide stereotype is that people who commit suicide have a mental illness. However, not everyone who has a mental illness has ever attempted suicide. In fact, not all of them have thought of ending their lives.

People who think about suicide usually usually a suffering from tremendous physical or emotional pain. People see those who commit suicide as selfish some of them think it might be a character flaw or a moral weakness but suicide is not about any of these things. When a person considers taking their own life, it is usually because they feel the pain they are currently suffering will never end. They have to deal with an overwhelming feeling of despair, helplessness, and hopelessness.

A person’s decision to take his or her life can be due to quite a large number of factors. Some of the contributing factors include childhood trauma or any other form of trauma, loss, addiction, a serious physical illness, depression, and sometimes major life changes that leave them overwhelmed and present them with difficulty to cope.

For those of us who haven’t had to deal with suicide ideation, we may think that people who commit suicide would have been able to consider holding on a little longer. Sometimes we may believe the nature of the loss or the stressors responsible for the person’s suicide is something that could have been properly managed or something that shouldn’t have been such an important factor. But we forget that we experience things differently, and the feeling of things being unbearable is also managed differently. No two humans at the same after all even if they are Siamese twins.

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Suicide is nothing close to simple it is one of the most complicated things that man will ever have to deal with. Links have been established between depression and suicide, but every particular suicide occurs in a unique mix of complicated and interconnected factors.

The majority of the factors that have been linked to suicide include; environmental, individual, psychological, biological, social-cultural, political, historical, spiritual, and also psychological trauma.

How people talk about suicide vs. how Suicide should be talked about

When there is an ongoing conversation about suicide a lot of individuals talk about it like the victims are selfish, weak, and inconsiderate. We are sinking neck-deep into being judgemental that we forget to see through the eyes of the victim. This shouldn’t be the case. When it comes to suicide and a lot of other emotional topics, language is critical.

When we talk about suicide, our language should be one that expresses understanding care and no judgements you should make people understand that when they have to engage in suicide-related behaviours, they should always remember that there is a comfort and hope somewhere in the world regardless of how invisible in may seem at the moment. Shame, stigmatisation, and suggestive words should be eliminated from our vocabulary. Other terms such as “failed suicide attempt”, “successful suicide”, “committed suicide” should be used wisely. Preventing suicide is not an easy task. As a matter of fact, it may take more energy and mental capacity for you to successfully talk a person out of committing suicide. However, the first step we all can take is to address the stigma of mental illness and suicide.

Types of suicide

Emile Durkheim is one sociologist who define suicide and helped us to understand how different factors can be responsible for suicide. dawkins suicide framework has even become a tool that enhances gerontological practitioner’s ability to spot and prevent suicide among older people.

Emile Durkheim’s book on suicide titled Le Suicide was published in 1897. In this book, the French sociologist defined four distinct types of suicide and how they are grounded in societal factors rather than individual factors. In this suicide series, we would be looking at each of these four factors namely egoistic suicide, anomic suicide, Fatalistic suicide, and Altruistic suicide.

In this article, we would only touch each of these briefly, but you would get to know more about each of them from our articles on specific suicide types.

Egoistic Suicide: people who are more likely to commit an egoistic suicide are those who feel a lot detached from their society. In this case, we’re talking about a prolonged sense of being out of and disintegrated in a community. These individuals are left with little or no social guidance or support and they fail depressed melancholic and feel life is meaningless.

Altruistic Suicide: Altruistic suicide is the direct opposite of egoistic suicide. In this case, a person sees themselves as less important than the larger society. According to Durkheim individuals in an altruistic society have fewer reasons to commit suicide. But there are cases where they may have to give up their life on behalf of the society examples would be suicide bombers or people in military service.

Anomic Suicide: In the case of anomic suicide, it is a typical reflection of an individual’s lack of social direction and moral confusion this is usually linked to dramatic social and economic upheaval. In this case, individuals want to do what is right to make money and survive the economic situation of their country or society however there is a state of moral disorder which prevents people from being able to identify the limits on their desires. In this case, there is an imbalance between desired goals and limit to the means of achieving those goals.

Fatalistic Suicide: fatalistic suicide is the flip side of the coin when it comes to anomic suicide. In this case, people’s futures are blocked; their passions are violently taken away from them by oppressive discipline. In other words, individuals in such a society are excessively regulated. An example of a person who would commit a fatalistic suicide is a young girl who has been forced into marriage to an older man who would keep her abuse her and prevent her from pursuing her dreams of becoming someone better in future.

Suicide might be a little difficult to eradicate completely, but it is not impossible to reduce. The world has got to a point where people have to work extra smart to meet today’s economic needs; people get more depressed by the things they see on the internet, people also placing high expectations on others which makes it difficult for people to be themselves around those who expect so much from them. Despite all of these, we each have a role to play in making people feel more comfortable and see reasons why they should hold on a little longer to live.

We hope that you found this article quite educating. Do not hesitate to read the other ones that make up this series and leave comments below to tell us what you think. And also, let us know if you have had to deal with suicide or if there is any other valuable information that you feel others might find useful.

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