Suicide is an unfortunate occurrence that affects the United States in alarming numbers. More than 38,000 people committed suicide in the year 2013. Self-inflicted death is currently ranked number 12 in the top causes of death in America. The suicide rates seem to be the highest among males and people who are between the ages of 15 and 54. A wide range of reasons exists for suicide. Some of the most common causes of suicide are as follows:
1. Mental Illness
Large amounts of people who commit suicide have depressive mental illnesses. Conditions such as unipolar depression and bipolar depression can cause suicidal thoughts if they are untreated. In fact, 15 percent of people who have unipolar depression die by suicide, and 25 to 50 percent of those with bipolar disorder attempt suicide at least once.
A person who has either one of those conditions must participate in therapy and have the proper medications such as mood stabilizers and antidepressants. The individual must also have a strong support system that involves caring and attentive family members. Teens who have mental illnesses are more vulnerable than adults are because they have underdeveloped coping mechanisms.
People who know little about the diseases may wonder what causes suicidal thoughts. The suicidal thoughts are caused by imbalances in the brain chemicals. They may occur because of depleted amounts of serotonin or the lack of the presence of dopamine. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers work by boosting the levels of the chemicals that cause contentment. Other factors that may cause such a person to have suicidal thoughts are ordinary life problems that become exaggerated because of the illness. Depressed individuals must have people in their corners who are willing to motivate them and talk them through dark moments in their lives.
2. Financial Problems
Many people commit suicide because of financial problems. Having the responsibility of taking care of a family, home and car can feel as if the weight of the world is on one’s shoulders. Workers who are abruptly fired or laid off have a tendency to commit suicide when their finances start rapidly depleting. Clinical depression rates increase as unemployment rates increase, according to a study by the American Journal of Community Psychology. Women and men who lose their jobs must have as much support and resources as people who have mental illnesses. Such support could include family assistance, spousal support and services through the unemployment office.
3. Abuse and Bullying
Teenage bullying is one of the leading causes of teenage suicide. It is the third leading cause of death in young children according to a report by the CDC. Abuse brings feelings of low self-esteem, shame and guilt that can quickly escalate to the desire to end one’s life. Without the proper care and attention, a teenager will attempt suicide. Approximately 30 percent of students who suffer though bullying in school opt to stay home to avoid the abuse. The time they spend alone with themselves gives their minds a chance to wander and generate negative thoughts. Parents must learn the signs of impending suicide and develop strategies to prevent such from occurring.
Adults who experienced adult or childhood abuse are susceptible to suicide attempts, as well. These adults often have unresolved feelings about their self-worth. A large majority of abuse survivors develop personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder and codependency. Borderline personality disorder can be one of the causes of suicide as well as codependency. Such people usually measure their self-worth on the actions and feelings of other people. Therefore, someone with these disorders may want to hurt himself or herself following a failed relationship or a job rejection.
4. Divorce and Family Losses
People are most susceptible to suicide attempts following a serious family breakup. The spouse who receives the divorce papers from the other spouse is the one who is most likely to attempt suicide. Married people sometimes have their entire lives planned, and they involve all members of the family. The thought of going on without one’s children and spouse may be too much of an emotional blow. Divorcees often need counseling and support to make through those times.
5. Death of a Loved One
Death is something that many people cannot handle when it happens to someone they love. A parent who loses a child may quickly become distraught and unable to find reasons to live. A spouse who loses his or her wife may have a similar reaction. The grieving process includes a natural period of depression. Medical specialists, therapists, family members, and friends will need to monitor the person in question and try to nurture him or her as best as possible. The person may not see the light that inspires him or her to continue living.
6. Terminal Illness
A diagnosis with a terminal illness such as AIDS or cancer may be one of the suicide causes. It is difficult for a person to cope with finding out that he or she will not have many sunrises left to see. It is up to that person to find spiritual and emotional health by seeking assistance from friends and loved ones. Establishing a positive relationship with one’s deity may help the person to transition. Additionally, some organizations have services that will help a person who has received such a diagnosis.
7. Drug Abuse
Excessive drug abuse and addiction can prompt a suicide attempt if the person becomes psychotic. The individual may also lose hope in his or her ability to stop using. Such may cause that person to ingest an excessive amount of drugs. Additionally, drug abusers can easily have a depressive episode as they are detoxing from the substance. For this reason, people who are suffering with drug problems should obtain in-patient care where staff members can monitor their progress on a consistent basis.
8. Legal Problems
Criminal convictions and legal problems can cause suicide. Many people who are facing life terms or lengthy prison sentences take their lives because of the unknown. They worry about suffering abuse inside the facility. They worry about how they will function in society once the prison term is over. They hurt over the loss of time with their significant others and children. Some of them many not see a reason to live, but there is always a reason to live.
9. General Hopelessness
Life struggles sometimes cause people to want to give up. A consumer who has low-income may grow tired of constantly struggling to pay bills. This person may be mentally fatigued by raising children and dealing with society’s prejudices, discrimination and unjust practices. A person like this may attempt suicide after something poor occurs.
How to Recognize Impending Suicide
People who are contemplating suicide will show several signs. Family members and friends must be assertive if they know someone who has suffered or is suffering from any of the aforementioned causes of suicide. Some of the most common signs of an impending suicide attempt are as follows:
A person who is thinking about suicide usually has to convince himself or herself that it is acceptable. The person may do that by speaking of death in a serious or joking manner. The person may ask family members how they would feel if he or she were no longer around. Suicidal people who are angry may come out and blatantly say that they should just kill themselves. Assertive family members, spouses and mental health providers must take action if such occurs. No one should take death-talk lightly.
Extreme self-doubt is a huge indicator of an impending suicide attempt. The person may refer to himself or herself as worthless or useless. He or she may express feelings that no one in the world cares. In some case, the person may say that he or he wishes that he or she were never born. Other comments that a suicidal person may make are that he or she messes up everything and never gets anything right.
Deserting Important Possessions
A person who is going to commit suicide may part with items that once meant everything to him or her. The person may simply throw those items in the trash, or he or she may give them away to a loved one such as a younger brother or sister.
Odd Writings and Drawings
Artistic individuals who are contemplating suicide may express such using their creative abilities. A writer may create a dark poem about death. A visual artist may paint or draw pictures of corpses, blood or other deadly images. If the person does not usually create deadly art, then interested parties should be concerned about that person. Suicidal people often keep these items in binders, drawers, or areas under the bed. The ones who want to cry for help before they do the act might leave such material in the open for a parent to find.
A depressed person may have the ability to vocalize his or her feelings. This person may openly tell another person how much he or she is hurting. Recipients of such information must take it seriously and act on it. A depressed person who says that he or she is depressed is not lying. That person feels horrible inside and needs help immediately.
Other signs of an impending suicide attempt may include increased drug use, reckless and risky behaviors, social withdrawal, unrealistic worries and dramatic changes in one’s behavior or personality.
How to Avoid Teen or Adult Suicide
Suicide can be prevented if parents monitor their children closely, and if friends would be supportive friends. The following are four ways a parent or family member can help someone who is suicidal:
Notify the Authorities
A suicidal person may become angry about a phone call to police. However, that phone call may save the person’s life. Family members and loved ones who are unavailable at the time of the suicide threat must call 911 and send someone to the person’s home immediately. The police officer is not going to the home to arrest the person or place charges on him or her. The officer is going to find some help for that person to stabilize him or her.
Shower the Person with Love
Suicidal people need to know that their friends and loved ones love them back, and that they make a difference in their lives. Anyone who sees the signs of impending suicide should make extra effort to pull the individual into a room, hug that person, and let that person know that he or she cares. Sometimes a little compassion and support can save a life.
Seek Medical Attention
A depressed person needs to see a medical professional who can prescribe the right therapies or medication that can stabilize him or her. Parents of suicidal teens can force them to take treatment. Adult friends and mates of suicidal adults do not have that option, but they can still provide a strong support system for such individuals. Such services as group counseling, individual counseling, outpatient treatment, and depression support groups can help a person to come out of a depressive stage. The person needs to understand that he or she needs help, however. Sometimes it takes a team of supportive people to give that person everything he or she needs.
Information is avaible on the web to help people deal with the causes of suicide and their repercussions. Support groups exist for just about every kind of depressing situation. Help is available for depression, bipolar disorder, teenage bullying, adult abuse survivors, drug addiction, financial problems and the like. No one ever has to feel so alone that he or she must cease to live. Everyone in the world has a purpose, and every dark day has a bright counterpart. Suicide is never the best option for any problem. Anyone who knows someone who is suicidal can call the suicide prevention lifeline at 800-273-TALK, or visit an online support site.