When Giving Up Is an Option-Major Causes of Suicides
“The father’s Last Recourse”
It was November, 2011 when I heard the hideous news from our place in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. A father and his son were burned to death inside of a car. Witnesses revealed to the authorities that the father was trying to over speed his vehicle but had gotten stuck on the muddy side of the road. The nearby residents who attested to the incident were trying to assist the truck to remove it from the muddy place, but instead the father kept stepping on the accelerator until his vehicle overheated. The man’s vehicle was burning into flames while his three year old son was crying aloud. The good Samaritan bystanders were trying to rescue the victims, but sadly he refused the help and instead shot one of the rescuers causing the latter to acquire injury and was immediately rushed to hospital. After that incident, nobody dared to help or get close to the burning vehicle until both father and son were horribly burned to death. According to the testimony of various observers, the alleged circumstances was an obvious manifestation of suicide.
How could a father do such a thing to his three year old son? What drove him to resort to an atrocious end? Nobody could ascertain the defenses behind the man’s peculiarity. Regardless of the unbearable dilemmas in his life, giving up is definitely not an option. What rights do we hold to take our own lives before God? We are certainly the master of our own fate, we create initiative to survive and get through with our countless odds, but we are not the owner of the life we breathe or even the possessions we treasure. In loving, we made our existence here on earth possible and inflicting pain to ourselves or to others is not the real intention and purpose of living. I have found many causes of suicides from my research at suicide.org but I will cite a few, which I think, are the main source of these predicaments.
Based from their study, untreated mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorders are the major causes of suicides comprised of over 90 percent of its death suicide incidents. The contributing factor that triggers the illness is economic instability leading to loss of jobs, increasing debt (also one factor of divorce), and others. The environment we live in could also be another factor of increasing depression. Other sad instances are if we belong to a family that gives no support in any manner and doesn’t demonstrate good examples to begin with. Traumatic experiences such as physical abuse, rape, death of a love one hold and signifies emotional pain and are deemed unbearable to take for some.
PAIN FROM DISEASES
Some people who took their lives were diagnosed with a fourth stage of cancer or other chronic types of illnesses where medicines were no longer an alternative. I recall when I was in college and one of our psychology topics was euthanasia. We were asked about our stand on mercy killings. Part of our mind would always reason out that killing for mercy is an option to cease the pain of the sufferer and yet, part of our heart is telling us to hold on to the smallest chance of a miracle to heal the pain and sufferings of the victim. The harsh reality will at times impel us to unreasonable conclusions.
Some cultures will brainwash or indoctrinate people to kill themselves (suicide), to embrace their beliefs (whatever that is!) and some people with bizarre instinct will fearlessly experiment with death. I remember the science fiction movie entitled “Flatliners” where a group of medical students were playing with death, exploring the life after death. Curiosity of the mind will come to its’ extremes and most likely lead to tragic aftermath. In my opinion, being intrusive is healthy, which only means we are an intellect form of being but too much of it is demented (Beware!).
To elaborate more about the causes of suicides from environmental factors includes peer pressures, unpleasant family history, discriminations, and bullying.
- Peer Pressures – this scenario is common to teenagers who are being challenged by friends at school or peer groups. Dare to try prohibited drugs, drink beer, and sometimes to steal money (awful isn’t it?). Mostly victims of peer pressure are those lonely children who want to feel belongingness and acceptance by others. They are afraid to be left out by their environment and would indubitably do whatever it takes to be part of their society.
- Unpleasant Family History - This is partly discuss earlier under depression and to reckon up details, unpleasant family history includes a broken family, parents who wouldn’t show affection to their children, and parents with a history of taking prohibited drugs or initiating illegal forms of enterprise. I always believe as the saying goes, “Family is our strongest influence”. Whatever personality we possess is molded from our first unit of the group - The Family. There is also the exception of those who grow up in a rough environment, yet turn out to be a better person. These would be a person with a positive outlook on life and resolving problems to suicide is NOT an option.
- Discriminations – Suicide incidences resulting from discriminations are not so common yet very alarming. People with less tolerance of humiliation because others did not accept them fairly due to racism, gender, and status quo could not hold the pressure from their emotions any longer. We hear about someone that took their life because they could not keep disguising their real gender to society, a trivial and nonsense excuse. However, “We are who we are” and therefore, I am not in the position to insinuate others perceptions.
- Bullying - It means pushing around, harassing, and persecuting somebody and this is very common for kids. I was once bullied by a male classmate when I was in my third year of high school (cannot really remember the exact detail). I felt emotionally harassed every time I went to school. My father had noticed my agony every time I came home and decided to visit my school to resolve the issues. I considered myself lucky for having such loving parents and my father was my great defender at that time. There are others, especially for those who belong to a family that care less about them will most likely end up in a catastrophic plot of their life.
When is giving up an option? In my point of view, the only option to give up is giving up all of your worries and queries of the uncertainties in life because God did not created us to suffer and bare the pain. He created us to explore the beauty of life as a traveler in this world. Do not pity on yourself for you have all the capabilities to live according to God’s plan, and if the birds live by eating seeds from the trees, how much more that a man could do to prosper.