The Root Causes Of Suicide, Probable Remedies, And The Strategies For Prevention
“People don’t commit suicide because they’re weak. They commit suicide because they have no reason to be strong.” — Cave Man
There is no single cause of suicide, as it is often the result of a complex interplay of factors. During most of the cases of suicide, the parents are believed to be responsible for such an act. However, the cases may be the outcome of some of the organizations or even inadequate counseling in the education institute too. Whether the specific suicide is due to the physiological structure of the individual or the environmental effect, the remedy may not be appropriate without diagnosing the root cause. Several areas may impose the ideas or thinking process for committing suicide. Let us discuss some of them.
1. Mental Health Disorders
Mental health disorders are one of the primary factors contributing to suicide among adults. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and substance abuse are among the most commonly reported mental health disorders associated with suicide risk.
Depression is a mood disorder that can cause feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in once-enjoyable activities. When left untreated, depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can also increase suicide risk, particularly when individuals feel overwhelmed by persistent fear, worry, and distressing thoughts.
Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a mental health disorder characterized by alternating periods of high-energy manic episodes and low-energy depressive episodes. During manic episodes, individuals may experience a heightened sense of euphoria and impulsivity, which can lead to impulsive and risky behaviors, including suicidal ideation.
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health disorder that affects an individual’s perception of reality, including their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations, can increase the risk of suicide, particularly if individuals believe they are under threat or experiencing severe distress.
Substance abuse, including drug and alcohol abuse, is another major risk factor for suicide. Individuals who struggle with addiction may turn to substance abuse as a means of coping with difficult emotions, but these substances can worsen mental health symptoms and exacerbate suicidal ideation.
It is important to note that while mental health disorders can increase suicide risk, effective treatment can reduce this risk significantly. Early detection and proper treatment of mental health disorders can help individuals better manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.
2. Life Stressors
Life stressors can play a significant role in increasing the risk of suicide. Stressful life events can be challenging to manage and can leave individuals feeling overwhelmed, helpless, and hopeless, which can ultimately lead to thoughts of suicide. Some of the most common life stressors that can contribute to suicidal thoughts and behaviors include:
The end of a romantic relationship, marital problems, or family conflict can cause significant emotional distress and lead to feelings of isolation, rejection, and hopelessness.
Struggling with financial problems, such as unemployment, bankruptcy, or mounting debt, can increase stress levels and cause feelings of despair and hopelessness.
Chronic illnesses, chronic pain, or disability can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, increase stress levels, and cause feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Traumatic experiences, such as physical or sexual abuse, violence, natural disasters, or accidents, can trigger intense emotional distress and lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Facing legal challenges, such as arrest, incarceration, or legal disputes, can cause significant stress and anxiety and increase the risk of suicide.
3. Social Isolation
Thinking process of humans is complex. Sometimes you are alone but feel with everybody. Sometimes you are with everybody but still, you feel yourself alone.
Social isolation, which is the experience of feeling alone, disconnected, or unsupported by others, is a significant risk factor for suicide. When individuals feel disconnected from others, they may experience a sense of hopelessness, which can exacerbate feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. This can lead to suicidal ideation, or the contemplation of suicide as a possible solution to their problems.
There are several ways in which social isolation can contribute to suicide risk. For one, socially isolated individuals may lack the emotional support and resources that could help them cope with stressors in their lives. Without supportive relationships, individuals may feel as though they have no one to turn to when they are experiencing difficulties, which can exacerbate feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Social isolation can also impact an individual’s self-esteem and sense of purpose. Without social connections and opportunities for meaningful engagement with others, individuals may feel as though they lack a sense of purpose or meaning in their lives. This can contribute to feelings of despair and a sense that life is not worth living.
It is important to note that social isolation can affect individuals of all ages and backgrounds, but certain populations may be particularly vulnerable. For example, a retired person in his second inning of life may live alone or have limited mobility and may be at a higher risk for social isolation. Individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer, and experience discrimination or marginalization may also be at increased risk for social isolation and subsequent suicide risk.
4. Access To Means
Individuals are much more prone to suicide and may fall prey to the undesirable act due to available access to lethal material or methods. For instance, recently a case was reported in the news when a man committed suicide with a service revolver which was easily available at home.
The probable sources of the material may be firearms, medications, pesticides, or other dangerous objects. Access to means can be a significant risk factor for suicide, as it can increase the likelihood that an individual who is experiencing suicidal thoughts will act on them.
Psychological studies have shown that individuals who live in households with firearms are at a higher risk of dying by suicide than those who do not have access to firearms. This is because firearms are a highly lethal method of suicide, and the presence of firearms in the home increases the likelihood that an individual who is experiencing a suicidal crisis will attempt to use them to take their own life. An upset wife at home may commit the act when her spouse is not available at home but the lethal weapon may help her to end her life.
Similarly, access to medications can also increase the risk of suicide. Medications such as opioids, benzodiazepines, and antidepressants can be deadly in large quantities, and individuals who have easy access to these medications may be more likely to use them to attempt suicide. When proper things are not available, people are hospitalized after taking several sleeping pills.
5. Previous Suicide Attempts
Previous suicide attempts are a significant risk factor for future suicide attempts and completions. Individuals who have attempted suicide in the past are at a higher risk of attempting again, with estimates suggesting that up to 20% of individuals who attempt suicide will die by suicide at a later time.
There are several reasons why previous suicide attempts may increase the risk of future attempts. One explanation is that individuals who have attempted suicide in the past may have developed a sense of hopelessness or desperation that makes them more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. They may also have difficulty coping with life stressors and may not have developed effective coping strategies or support systems.
The previous suicide attempts may increase the likelihood of future attempts because they can normalize suicidal behavior and make it seem like a viable option for dealing with emotional pain and distress. Individuals who have attempted suicide may also be more likely to have access to means, such as firearms or medications, that can be used in future attempts.
Addressing previous suicide attempts is an important component of suicide prevention efforts. Strategies may include providing ongoing mental health support and treatment for individuals who have attempted suicide, as well as ensuring that they do not have access to means that could be used in future attempts. It is also important to provide education and support to families and loved ones of individuals who have attempted suicide, as they may play an important role in providing support and helping to prevent future attempts.
6. Medical Illness
Medical illness, particularly chronic or terminal illness, can increase the risk of suicide. Individuals who are struggling with medical conditions may experience pain, disability, and other symptoms that can be difficult to manage, and may also face challenges related to social isolation, financial difficulties, and changes in their personal and professional roles.
Research has shown that individuals with chronic medical conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, and neurological disorders are at an increased risk of suicide. The risk may be particularly high for individuals who are experiencing depression or other mental health disorders in addition to their medical illnesses.
In some cases, the use of certain medications to manage medical conditions can also increase the risk of suicide. For example, some antidepressant medications may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain individuals.
Addressing the risk of suicide in individuals with medical illness requires a comprehensive approach that includes both medical and mental health interventions. This may involve providing medical treatment and support to manage symptoms of the illness, as well as providing mental health support and treatment to address any co-occurring mental health concerns.
It is important to provide education and support to individuals and their families about the risk of suicide and to encourage them to seek help when they are experiencing suicidal thoughts or other mental health concerns. Suicide prevention efforts may also involve addressing broader social and economic factors that contribute to the risk of suicide among individuals with medical illnesses, such as access to healthcare and social support services.
The Suicide Rate In USA
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the suicide rate in the US increased by approximately 33% between 1999 and 2019, with the rate increasing at a faster pace in recent years. However, it is important to note that suicide rates can vary widely by demographic group, geographic location, and other factors and may be influenced by a range of social, economic, and political factors.
It is important to prioritize suicide prevention efforts and provide support to individuals who may be struggling with mental health issues or other risk factors for suicide, regardless of the overall suicide rate in a given year.
According to the CDC, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the US was 10.5 per 100,000 people in 1999. By 2019, this rate had increased to 14.0 per 100,000 people, which represents an overall increase of approximately 33%.
However, it is important to note that suicide rates vary widely across demographic groups and geographic locations. For example, in 2019, the highest suicide rates were found among males, individuals aged 45–54 years, and individuals living in rural areas. Additionally, suicide rates can be influenced by a range of social, economic, and political factors, such as access to mental health care, access to firearms, and economic conditions.
It is important to continue monitoring suicide rates and understanding the factors that contribute to them, to develop effective suicide prevention strategies and provide support to individuals who may be at risk for suicide.
Suicide Rate In India
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which is responsible for compiling data on suicide in India, the total number of suicides in the country increased from 1,29,887 in 2011 to 1,39,123 in 2019, which represents an overall increase of approximately 7%.
The age-adjusted suicide rate in India was 10.6 per 100,000 people in 2011 and increased to 10.9 per 100,000 people in 2019. This represents a smaller increase in suicide rates compared to the US during the same period.
However, it is important to note that suicide rates can vary widely across different regions and demographic groups in India. According to the NCRB, the states with the highest suicide rates in India in 2019 were Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra, while the states with the lowest suicide rates were Nagaland, Sikkim, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Additionally, suicide rates in India may be influenced by a range of social and cultural factors, such as stigma surrounding mental health issues and suicide, poverty, and gender inequalities.
It is important to continue monitoring suicide rates and understanding the factors that contribute to them, to develop effective suicide prevention strategies and provide support to individuals who may be at risk for suicide in India.
Suicide prevention is a complex issue, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, several general remedies can help reduce the risk of suicide and support individuals who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Some pointers include:
Seeking Possible Help
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or behaviors, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional or a crisis helpline. Talking to a trusted friend or family member can also provide emotional support and help reduce feelings of isolation.
Address underlying mental health issues
Many people who die by suicide have underlying mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse disorders. Addressing these conditions through therapy, medication, or other forms of treatment can help reduce the risk of suicide.
Reduce access to lethal means
Suicide attempts using firearms or other lethal means are more likely to result in death. Reducing access to these means, such as by storing firearms safely or limiting access to prescription medications, can help reduce the risk of suicide.
Address social and economic factors
Suicide risk can be influenced by social and economic factors, such as poverty, unemployment, and social isolation. Addressing these factors through community programs, economic support, and social connections can help reduce the risk of suicide.
Promote a culture of help-seeking and destigmatize mental health
Many people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or behaviors may not seek help due to the stigma or shame surrounding mental health issues. Promoting a culture of help-seeking and destigmatizing mental health can help reduce barriers to seeking help and support individuals who may be at risk for suicide.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Reducing access to means is an important component of suicide prevention efforts. Strategies to reduce access to means may include safe storage of firearms, limiting access to medications, and restricting access to lethal means in high-risk settings such as hospitals and prisons. Additionally, suicide prevention efforts may involve educating individuals and communities about the importance of reducing access to means and encouraging individuals to seek help when they are experiencing suicidal thoughts or other mental health concerns.
Fruitful Reading Before Retiring At Night
Reading self-help books can be a helpful activity to do before going to bed. This kind of good habit may drastically reduce suicidal ideation. It can help to distract the mind from negative thoughts and provide a sense of relaxation and comfort, which can be particularly beneficial when struggling with suicidal thoughts.
Suicidal ideation is a serious concern that should be addressed by a mental health professional.
Other than reading, several other strategies may help to reduce suicidal ideation including seeking social support, engaging in physical activity, and practicing relaxation techniques.
Suicidal ideation is a serious concern that should be addressed by a mental health professional to develop a comprehensive plan for managing suicidal ideation through adequate guidance.
1. Suicide doesn’t end the chances of life getting worse, it eliminates the possibility of it ever getting any better.
2. Because if you kill yourself, you’re also going to kill the people who love you.