Behind The Happy Face – Hidden Truth About Suicides
Perhaps, you may still remember the day when your sister called you to tell the bad news. Her best friend and colleague at work decided to call it quits and ended her life. She was found hanging on a beam of her dormitory room. Nobody knew this was coming. Just the other week ago, she was with you at the beach. You invited her for a short summer break and she showed no signs of any depression. In fact, she appeared happy and cheerful. Now, she was as dead as a door nail. So what could have happened to her? How could this have happened to a cheery girl like her?
The act which is intentionally carried out so as to cause his or her own death is generally known as suicide. There are many causes or reasons that induce a person to commit suicide out of which depression, mental disorders, and addiction to drug or alcohol are the most common ones. Besides these, excessive social pressure, economical failure, grief, emotional misbalance, and interpersonal relationship also tend to encourage a person to commit suicide.
People who have suicidal thoughts are confused. They don’t know where to turn to for help and who to ask for help. For them, ending their life is looking forward to a better one. This false promise gives them hope that when they finally end their life they won’t feel depressed, lonely or empty anymore. Studies show that suicidal thoughts have a lot of causes. Aside from genetics and an undiagnosed mental illness, people who were exposed from a negative experience in life are prone to depression and sometimes succumb to suicide. There might be several life changing experiences that can cause depression like a death of a loved one, a divorce, a break up, a serious loss like losing your job, money, your house or your car, physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse and at times bullying in teenagers. Depression can have physical signs like weight loss or weight gain, loss of concentration, feeling weary or lethargic, neglect of personal appearance or withdrawal from other’s company.
So how come your cheery friend decided to end her life?
You never saw her look gloomy at all. Depression can be hidden; a depressed person can appear normal and happy on the outside but breaking on the inside. You have asked her friends at the dormitory where she resided and they said that she was often in her room; she was seen often looking spaced out and lonely. Turned out she had horrible problems at home that she can’t escape from.
The method implemented by people for committing suicide differs from culture to culture and from place to place. In the under-developed and developing countries, use of pesticide and hanging has become a widely used method for committing suicide while in developed countries, use of firearm has evolved as a common method. In United States, almost half to the suicide are committed with use of a firearm. Other common methods of suicide in US are asphyxiation and poisoning which results in about 40% suicide cases. But the most common method by which one commits suicide is by the use of pesticides, which almost accounts for 30% of suicide deaths worldwide. Other general methods used for committing suicide are hanging, diving from height like from building, bridges, or cliffs; smoke inhalation, exsanguinations, self-drowning, electrocution, and coming in front of a moving train or traffic are the most widely used methods for committing suicide.
It is estimated that around the world, roughly about one million people commit suicide yearly and it is the 6th leading cause of death in United States. It is found that men are more prone to committing suicide than their counterparts and the most common age group of people committing suicide are between 15 and 35. The age between 15 and 35 is the prime time when people begin to realize the actual meaning of life and come across many hurdles and challenges.
Three Things You Should Know about the Suicidal Mind
It is not that suicide cases are “the new-world” phenomenon, but incidences of suicides go way back to our ancient times. We must have heard about a Hindu practice known as “Sati” where the widower have to immolate herself on her husband’s pyre whether willingly or with force from the society and family. This practice is still carried out in some of the remote villages of India. Also in samurai era in Japan, suicide was a form of punishment given for failure. Suicide cases are not limited to death of single person, but it can also be a mass suicide where a large number of people commit suicide. These types of suicides are generally done for some religious beliefs or as a form of protest. In 1978, mass suicide by members of Peoples Temple in Guyana is an example of this type of case.
So what could we have done to prevent this?
Experts say that people who are suffering from depression should go to a specialist if the blues does not go away after two weeks. Psychiatrists can prescribe treatment or consultations depending on the degree of depression that the person is feeling. When mild depression is diagnosed, the patient can go on consultations or counseling groups, a common ground of support people that can understand him better and help each other in the process. If major depression is diagnosed however, he is prescribed antidepressants or at times when the patient cannot help him and poses danger to him and to others, he is confined and given electro shock therapy. These are all meant to save him from himself and the life threatening effects of depression.
In the present scenario, suicide is generally committed as the person lacks to compete in today’s cutthroat competitive world. People has considered suicide as an easy gateway from any problems, difficulties, or failures that one faces in their lives and don’t have the courage to fight back. It is often seen that the most common reason for anyone to commit to suicide nowadays are either failure in exams, failure in business, failure in meeting the expectation of the society and family members, stressors in home or between the partners; but whatever the problem, committing suicide has not and will never be the solution. One must have a positive attitude towards the life and must have the courage to fight back whatever the situation might be.
Important too is the support that depressed people get from their family and their friends. Let them know that they are not alone. They can turn to you for help if they really need it.
Copyright © 2016 by Julie Nou.
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