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What is Suicide

Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, "to kill oneself") is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair, the cause of which is attributed to a mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse. Stress factors such as financial difficulties or troubles with interpersonal relationships often play a significant role. Suicide is the process of purposely ending one's own life. The way societies view suicide varies widely according to culture and religion. For example, many Western cultures, as well as mainstream Judaism, Islam, and Christianity tend to view killing oneself as quite negative. One myth about suicide that may be the result of this view is considering suicide to always be the result of a mental illness. Some societies also treat a suicide attempt as if it were a crime. However, suicides are sometimes seen as understandable or even honorable in certain circumstances, such as in protest to persecution (for example, hunger strike), as part of battle or resistance (for example, suicide pilots of World War II; suicide bombers) or as a way of preserving the honor of a dishonored person (for example, killing oneself to preserve the honor or safety of family members). As opposed to suicidal behavior, self-mutilation is defined as deliberately hurting oneself without meaning to cause one's own death. Examples of selfmutilating behaviors include cutting any part of the body, usually of the wrists. Self-tattooing is also considered self-mutilation. Other self-injurious behaviors include self-burning, head banging, pinching, and scratching. Physician-assisted suicide is defined as ending the life of a person who is terminally ill in a way that is either painless or minimally painful for the purpose of ending suffering of the individual. It is also called euthanasia and mercy killing. CLASSIFICATION




Individuals who wish to end their own lives may enlist the assistance of another party to achieve death. The other person, usually a family member or physician, may help carry out the act when the individual lacks the physical capacity to do so alone, even if supplied with the means. Assisted suicide is a contentious moral and political issue in many countries, as seen in the scandal surrounding Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a US medical practitioner who supported euthanasia and was convicted of having helped patients end their own lives, for which he served an eight year prison term

Murder suicide

A murdersuicide is an act in which an individual kills one or more other persons immediately before or at the same time as him or herself. The motivation for the murder in murdersuicide can be purely criminal in nature or be perceived by the

perpetrator as an act of care for loved ones in the context of severe depression.

Suicide attack

A suicide attack is an act in which an attacker perpetrates an act of violence against others, typically to achieve a military or political goal, which simultaneously results in his or her own death. Suicide bombings are often regarded as an act of terrorism by the targeted community. Historical examples include the assassination of Czar Alexander II, the kamikaze attacks launched by Japanese air pilots during the Second World War, and larger scale attacks, such as the September 11th attacks.

Mass suicide

Some suicides are performed under social pressure or coordinated among a group of individuals. Mass suicides can take place with as few as two people, often referred to as a suicide pact. An example of a larger group is the 1978 "Jonestown" cult suicide, in which 918 members of the Peoples Temple, an American cult led by Jim Jones, ended their lives by drinking grape Flavor Aid laced with cyanide. Over 10,000 Japanese civilians committed suicide in the last days of the Battle of Saipan in 1944, some jumping from "Suicide Cliff" and "Banzai Cliff".

A suicide pact describes the suicides of two or more individuals in an agreed upon plan. The plan may be to die together, or separately and closely timed. Suicide pacts are generally distinct from mass suicides in that the latter refers to a larger number of people who kill themselves together for a common ideological Suicide pact reason, often within a religious, political, military or paramilitary context. In contrast, suicide pacts typically involve small groups of more intimately related people (commonly spouses, romantic partners, family members, or friends), whose motivations are intensely personal and individual.

Suicide is sometimes committed as an act of defiance or political protest such as the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia whose treatment at the hands of the authorities led to a revolt that overthrew the ruling regime and touched off the Arab Spring. During the sectarian strife in Northern Ireland known as "The Defiance or Troubles" a hunger strike was launched by the provisional IRA, demanding that protest their prisoners be reclassified as prisoners of war rather than as terrorists. The infamous 1981 hunger strikes, led by Bobby Sands resulted in 10 deaths. The cause of death was recorded as "starvation, self-imposed" rather than suicide by the coroner; this was modified to simply "starvation" on the death certificates after protest from the

Dutiful suicide

Dutiful suicide is an act of fatal self violence at one's own hands done in the belief that it will secure a greater good, rather than to escape harsh or impossible conditions. It can be voluntary, to relieve some dishonor or punishment, or imposed by threats of death or reprisals on one's family or reputation as in the forced suicide of German general Erwin Rommel during World War II. He was

found to have foreknowledge of the July 20 Plot on Hitler's life and was threatened with public trial, execution, and reprisals on his family unless he took his own life. It is a traditional practice in some cultures, such as the heavily ritualized Japanese custom of seppuku.


In extenuating situations where continuing to live would be intolerable, some people use suicide as a means of escape. Some inmates in Nazi concentration camps are known to have killed themselves by deliberately touching the electrified fences. Over 200,000 debt-ridden farmers in India have committed suicide since 1997.

What are some possible causes of suicide? Although the reasons why people commit suicide are multifaceted and complex, life circumstances that may immediately precede someone committing suicide include the time period of at least a week after discharge from a psychiatric hospital or a sudden change in how the person appears to feel (for example, much worse or much better). Examples of possible triggers (precipitants) for suicide are real or imagined losses, like the breakup of a romantic relationship, moving, loss (especially if by suicide) of a friend, loss of freedom, or loss of other privileges. Firearms are by far the most common methods by which people take their life, accounting for nearly 60% of suicide deaths per year. Older people are more likely to kill themselves using a firearm compared to younger people. Another suicide method used by some individuals is by threatening police officers, sometimes even with an unloaded gun or a fake weapon. That is commonly referred to as "suicide by cop." Although firearms are the most common way people complete suicide, trying to overdose on medication is the most common means by which people attempt to kill themselves.

Suicide Causes by Kevin Caruso Over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death. And the most common mental illness is depression. Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide. SOME CAUSES FOR DEPRESSION:

Situational Recent loss of a loved one (death or divorce). Survivor of a previous suicide attempt. Loss of prestige (could be loss of job or business).

Serious illness (chronic pain or exhaustion with no end in sight). Exhaustion of resources - could be real or imaginary (money or credit lines). Family history of suicide A close friend commits suicide. Physical abuse Verbal abuse. Sexual abuse. Unresolved abuse (of any kind) from the past. Feeling "trapped" in a situation perceived as negative. Feeling that things will never "get better." Feeling helpless. Serious legal problems, such as criminal prosecution or incarceration. Feeling "taken advantage of." Inability to deal with a perceived "humiliating" situation. Inability to deal with a perceived "failure." Alcohol abuse. Drug abuse. A feeling of not being accepted by family, friends, or society. A horrible disappointment. Feeling like one has not lived up to his or her high expectations or those of another. Bullying. (Adults, as well as children, can be bullied.) Low self-esteem. Behavioral: Talking or writing about death/suicide. Giving away personal possessions. Change in behaviors/mood. Falling grades. Ending close relationships. Crying a lot. Not smiling as much. Not showing expression when they normally would. Expressing negative impressions when normally they wouldn't. Talking about them negatively or harshly. Not participating in regular activities. Buying weapons, pills, etc. Reading a lot about suicide. Emotional Sense of personal failure. Overwhelming sadness. General lack of interest. Feelings of hopelessness. Guilt. Withdrawal/isolation Feelings of being a burden to others. Verbal: "It's too late now." "I can't go on."

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"I have nothing to live for." "I'm just so tired of life." "No one cares about what happens to me." "There is nothing left to do." "What's the use?" "They won't have to deal with me." "I'm at the end of my rope." "They're better off without me." "I just want the pain to stop." "Nobody gets me." "You just don't understand!" If you see many warning signs in the person, you have to help them. It wont be easy but remember CLUES

Connect - Make contact with the person. Actively show that you hear what is being said and understand that his or her pain is real. Listen - Listen very carefully. You don't have to have all the answers - just be there and let him or her know that you care. Understand - Don't tell him or her how s/he should feel or what s/he should do. Just express your desire to support and help understand what s/he is feeling. Reflect what is said back to the person. Ex: S/he says: "I've tried everything, spent every rupee I have, but just don't know what else to do." You reply, "It's frustrating when you feel you've tried so many things but there's still no relief, isn't it?" S/he may say, "And no one cares." You reply, "You feel so alone - you're not alone, though." Above all, do not be afraid to voice the nearly unspeakable: "I'm so worried about you. Are you thinking about killing yourself now?" See the steps below for more details. Express concerns - Let the person know that you are worried and want to help. Seek help - The person's safety is the number one priority, and you might not be able to handle it on your own. Talk with the person about seeking help, either through a doctor (preferred, if you discover they have a plan, the means and the intention of carrying it out) or clergy. Suicidal thoughts cannot be kept a secret. Talk frankly. One of the worst things for a person contemplating suicide is feeling that no one understands or cares about him or her. These people are often extremely frustrated over talking with friends and family only to find that they are placated with statements like, "Oh, you'll feel better soon - this too shall pass." Suicidal people feel like they've been trying to tell others how feeling invisible. Though it seems counter-intuitive, saying, "Are you thinking of killing yourself now? Do you have a plan for doing it?" can bring tremendous relief to someone like this. They can feel that, at last, someone has heard them clearly. This is so hard to believe, but it is true.

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Assess lethal intent. If the person you are talking with confesses to contemplating suicide right at that moment, and also says s/he has a plan in mind for doing it, you need to figure out how serious s/he is and get all the information you can so whatever help you send is the best it can be: Ask: Does s/he have a weapon? Is it with him or her?

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If it's pills, what kind? Where are those pills right now? Has s/he thought about this before this moment? Recurring ideas about doing away with oneself point to a very serious threat. Ask the person to put the items s/he plans to use in another room while you're talking. S/he may say, "Why? I can just go get them again." You say, "Right. So why not just put them away for the moment? You can go get that whenever you want. Right now, I need you to stay with me and focus on our conversation." This may sound harsh or blunt, but it is actually very effective. First, it focuses the person on someone other than him or herself. Second, it is almost a direct command. If this person is in the same room, or on the phone with you at this stage, s/he sees you as a minor authority figure. Use that authority to get the person to follow your instructions, even if it's only for a moment. Get a friend to help you. Having ideas (especially ones they have been entertaining awhile), a plan, and the means to commit suicide constitute a very serious, immediate danger, and you should contact police immediately. If you're on the phone, it's best not to let this person know that's what you're doing though. Ideally, you will have a friend on your end that can quietly go and make the calls to send help to the suicidal person while you stay on the line and try to console or otherwise at least delay the person until help arrives. If you are alone, try to use another phone, if possible, to text someone and get them to help. If you are physically with the suicidal person, it's a little easier, because suicides rarely happen with someone else present. Staying with the person until s/he sleeps or calms down some is recommended, never tell them how good their life is because that will hurt them more, tell them that you are there for them so that way they will open up to you and tell you everything. TIPS:

Avoid buying your friend gifts to make them feel better - indeed, the gifts may make the person feel guiltier. To some, gifts are more indication that they are "sick" and need presents to get better or that people would rather send them material things instead of spending time with them. Although this is not always the case - if you feel that you must give them something, it's best if you play it safe and send them a card. The tough thing with working with those that are contemplating suicide, it is important to determine why they are feeling so much despair that they are considering ending their life or harming themselves so. Don't be afraid that if you mention suicide, it will plant the idea in their head. If they are severely depressed, they have almost certainly already thought about it. You having the guts to actually say the word will probably be a refreshing change as suicidal people tend to feel they are invisible to others. Once you openly ask them if they are planning to hurt themselves, they will know you've heard them crying out in pain and understand how deadly serious they are. WARNINGS:

If your friend tells you that s/he is going to commit suicide, get help immediately, even if they tell you to keep it secret. It is better to anger a friend than lose the actual human being. Do not pass it off as attention seeking or some sort of sick joke. If they tell you they want to kill themselves, help them or get help for them. Not believing there is danger will only make your friend feel worse.

Do not try to fix the situation all by yourself. Tell someone you know that the suicidal person can trust so that your suicidal friend will be connected with good help. It is not your responsibility or job to do this on your own. It is often a relief just to have other people knows about it. If they are actually attempting suicide, use any means necessary to safely stop them, and call emergency services. If it is not safe to do so (either by them possessing a weapon or being in an area that is difficult to safely access), do not approach them but instead call emergency services immediately. Don't ever tell them how good their life is, Because that will hurt them more. Tell them that you are there for them so that way they will open up to you and tell you everything.