Posted: October 17th, 2013






Suicide can be taken to imply the intentional action of causing one’s own death. Etymologically, suicide was derived from two Latin words. These include sui, meaning oneself, and cidium, meaning to kill (Jekkel, 18). To most people, suicide is normally committed out of despair that can be attributed to causes such as bipolar disorder, depression, autism spectrum disorders, and schizophrenia. Factors such as stress and financial constrains are also seen to play a significant role.

It is established that over one million people lose their lives through suicide. The World Health Organization (WHO) establishes that suicide is the 13th ranking cause of global deaths, and the Safety Council has estimated that it ranks 6th in the cause of deaths in the United States. Suicide is the leading cause of death among young adults aged between nineteen and thirty-five. Men are known to commit suicide at a higher intensity compared to women with males having a three or four percent chance to commit suicide than women. Every year, the World Health Organization estimates that up to twenty million non-fatal suicide attempts occur globally.

Suicide views are normally influenced by broad cultural views such as honor, religion as well as the meaning of life. In the early Christian setting, the religion considered suicide as a massive sin against God due to life sanctity (Andriolo, 25). Christianity regarded suicide as a serious sin and this view still remain in modern thought. Nevertheless, before the Christian religion gained popularity, suicide was not considered a sin by the ancient Roman and Greek culture. Conversely, in the course of the samurai era, the Japanese culture allowed suicide through a ritual known as seppuku (Andriolo, 32). This ritual was considered necessary for samurai who wanted to die in honor for failure to achieve an important objective.

Even though it is outlawed, Sati was a ritual practice in the Indian culture. This ritual required women to set themselves ablaze (immolation) on the funeral pyre of their husbands. This action was either under forced pressure from society and family or willingly. In both the 20th and 21st centuries, self-immolation suicide and has been implemented as a way of protesting and the form of suicide bombings and kamikaze as terrorist or military tactic. In modern times, euthanasia, or medically assisted suicide is one controversial issue. The determining characteristic of euthanasia focuses on people who are in extreme pain, terminally ill, or have slim chances to life emanating from an illness or injury.

The methods of carrying out suicide are in variation depending on the country. The known methods of committing suicide in different regions are done through hanging, firearms, and pesticide poisoning. The World Health Organization conducted a review on suicide mortality data and concluded that hanging was the most common method used in most countries. This method accounts for fifty four per cent of male suicide and forty per cent of female suicide. In a global scale, thirty per cent of suicides are done through pesticide poisoning. However, it is prudent to note that this method has wide variation with four percent in Europe up to fifty percent in the Pacific region (Oravecz, 64).

In the United States alone, it has been established that fifty percent of suicide deaths have occurred through the use of firearms. Poisoning and the use of suicide bag are also common methods altogether. Other methods of committing suicide include blunt force trauma (jumping from a high point or self-defenestration). Slitting one’s throat or wrist, self-immolation, intentional drowning, intentional starvation, and electrocution are other known methods of committing suicide but their number is significantly low (Suicide & Alcohol Misuse, 52). This is because people are known to use torturous or painful ways to end their own lives.

With the numbers on suicidal deaths at a devastating rise, it was imminent that preventive measures be undertaken. Suicide prevention implies efforts aimed at reducing suicide incidence through preventive measures. Various strategies have been implemented with an objective of restricting access to common methods of committing suicide such as firearms and the use of poisonous pesticides (Hawton, 16). These efforts have proved to be successful in their bid to reduce suicide rates. Empirical data studies and research suggest that proper prevention, treatment and diagnosis measures of factors such as depression and drug abuse significantly reduce the rate of suicide deaths. Efforts of following up on suicide attempted individuals is also a positive measure. Even though hotlines for these kinds of crises are available, there is little evidence available to refute or support their effectiveness.

In certain countries, individuals with a high propensity of harming others or themselves have an opportunity of voluntarily checking with a hospital emergency department. These actions may also be carried out through involuntary measures orchestrated by individuals working on a professional capacity such as police officers (Hawton, 29). This is normally referred to as sectioned and committed. Individuals in this case are normally put under watch until and emergency physician declares it clear to release the individual.

With the above overview on suicide and its implications, there is need to take seriously threats and attempts of suicide by individuals. About thirty-five percent of individuals who undergo failed suicide attempts will try to do so within one year. About ten percent of individuals who threaten to kill themselves will eventually succeed in doing so. Therefore, it is necessary to administer necessary action to individuals facing this risk. It would not be right o dismiss that individual as only attempting to get attention.


Works Cited

Andriolo, Karin R. “Masked Suicide and Culture.” The Relevance of Culture. (2009): 165-186. Print.

Hawton, Keith. “National Suicide Prevention Strategies.” Pogled. (2004): 1-2. Print.

Jekkel, Éva, and László Tringer. “Suicide and Cognitive Distortions.” Psihološka Obzorja. (2004): 139-150. Print.

Oravecz, Robert, and Melinda Moore. “Suicide, the Discursive Process.” Pogled. (2004): 1-2. Print.

“Suicide & Alcohol Misuse.” (2003). Print.

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