Suicide is the act of purposely ending one’s own life. Thoughts of ending a person’s own life, or of killing oneself, are also known as suicidal ideation or suicidal thoughts.
It is one of the main causes of death in the US, taking the lives of about 44,000 Americans every year, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Among teenagers and adults under 35, it ranks behind only accidents as the leading cause of death. Also, there are more than twice as many suicides in the US as there were homicides.
Ethnically, the highest suicide rates in the US occur in Native Americans and in non-Hispanic whites.
In Canada, on average, over 3,900 people take their own lives per year. In the United Kingdom, there are about 6,600 suicides. The most common suicide method was hanging.
In the EU, approximately 60,000 people commit suicide. Almost 77 percent were committed by men. The World Health Organisation estimates that each year approximately 1 million people die from suicide.
Worldwide, around 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, meaning that 1 person dies every 40 seconds.
In addition, for each adult who died of suicide, there may have been more than 20 other people attempting suicide.
Suicide rates are 300 percent higher in men than in women.
In women, suicide is more common between the ages of 45 and 74. In men, suicide is more common between the ages of 15-24 years old.
Firearms are the most common means by which people take their lives. Other common ways include asphyxiation, an overdose of medication, and hanging.
It is estimated that about 90 percent of people who attempt or die by suicide have one or more mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and others.
However, the most common cause of suicide is untreated depression, as 90 percent of people who commit suicide are depressed.
Certain groups have considerably higher suicide rates compared to the general population:
- individuals with a prior history of attempted suicide;
- prison inmates, for whom suicide is the main cause of death;
- senior men over the age of 80;
- people of First Nations and Inuit descent, who have suicide rates 3 to 6 times greater than the national average;
- young men between the ages of 20 and 24;
- putting affairs in order, making a will;
- talking about wanting to kill themselves;
- talking about wanting to die;
- using alcohol or drugs more often;
- talking about feeling hopeless, empty, or having no reason to live;
- saying goodbye to family and friends;
- looking for a way to kill themselves or making a plan, like – stockpiling pills, searching online, or buying a gun;
- giving away important possessions;
- talking about great shame or guilt;
- displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm;
- talking about death often;
- taking great risks that could lead to death;
- talking about seeking revenge;
- showing rage;
- changing sleeping habits;
- changing eating habits;
- talking about being a burden to others;
- feeling unbearable emotional pain;
- feeling that there are no solutions;
- talking about feeling trapped.
The disgust with life that takes hold of certain people, without a plausible motive, is the effect of laziness, lack of faith and often of society itself.
For those who use their knowledge for a good purpose and according to their natural abilities, work is meaningful and life flows faster. They endure vicissitudes with patience and resignation because they act for greater and more durable happiness.
Voluntary suicide is always a violation of the law of life. Suicide can also be involuntary – for example, a person who suffers from a mental disorder doesn’t know what she is doing.
Sometimes suicide has the purpose of escaping from the miseries and deceptions of this world. It is accomplished by those who do not have the courage to embrace the hardships of existence.
The difficulties of life are trials; those who bravely endure them will eventually be rewarded. Unhappiness, on the other hand, will touch those who think their salvation comes from what they call hazard or luck.
Luck can favor them at some point in their life, but only to make them feel the consequences of this perception later on.