Suicide Awareness Essay

This essay has a total of 2304 words and 9 pages.

Suicide Awareness

Suicide Awareness
Suicide ranks as a leading cause of death but by knowing and understanding symptoms
and causes suicide can be prevented. Suicide is an intentional attempt to kill oneself whether it is
successful or unsuccessful. Suicide accounts for about one percent of all deaths in the United
States each year (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic). During the last two decades
suicide rates among teenagers has increased three hundred percent (Coleman 1). Suicide attempts
far outnumber actual suicides (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic).
Every ninety minutes a teenager in the United States commits suicide and every nine
minutes a teenager attempts suicide. About one hundred and twenty-five adolescents commit
suicide in one week and one thousand will try during that week (Coleman 1). More girls will
attempt suicide than boys, but more boys will commit suicide than girls (2). Every year 30,000
Americans will commit suicide (All About Suicide). Because they are likely to suffer from a
mental illness, particularly severe depression (Suicide).
Depression is one of the most treatable mental disorders, and one of the under diagnosed
and under recognized. This is a serious mood disorder that affects a person’s ability to function in
everyday activities. It affects how that person works, family life, and social life (All About
Suicide). Suicidal behaviors occur as a response to a situation that the person views as
overwhelming (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic). “Someone who is profoundly
depressed, the option of suicide becomes the only option, the only way to control life and end the
unremitting pain” (Leone 71).
One of the scariest experiences a person suffers from in their lifetime is the experience of
depression. More than one out of five Americans can expect to get some form of depression in
their lifetime and one out of twenty Americans have a depression disorder every year. Depression
is one of the most common and serious mental health problems facing individuals today (All
About Suicide).
There are two main threads of suicide. The social or institutional suicide and individual or
personal suicide (Farberow 1). “Institutional suicide is self-destruction that society demands of the
individual as part of his identification with the group” (1). Personal suicide is an individual act of
protest or declaration against internal conflicts with himself or herself or transgressions against
society (2).
“The motives were preservation of honor and dignity, expiation of pusillanimity or
cowardice, avoidance of pain and ignominy by old age and/or disease, preservation of chasity,
escape from personal disgrace by falling into the hands of the enemy, unwillingness to bear the
hurt of separation or loss of love and others” (Farberow 2).
Lack of social support appears to be something that provokes adolescents to feel
hopelessness, depressed, and unworthy (Borst 74). During high school one out of every ten
students experiences some form of serve depression. Recent surveys have shown that about sixty
percent of all high school students thought about killing themselves or about his or her own death
(Leone 71). “More than ninety percent of all suicides are related to an emotional or psychiatric
illness” (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic).
Certain aspects will increase the chance of that person attempting suicide. The best
predictor of suicidal intent is hopelessness. People with a sense of hopelessness perceive suicide as
the only alternative. Those diagnosed with mental illnesses makeup about ninety percent of all
suicides. Physical illness also increases an individual’s risk of suicide, especially when it is
accompanied by depression (Suicide). “Other risk factors include previous suicide attempts, a
history of suicide among family members, and social isolation. People who live alone or lack close
friends may not receive emotional support that would otherwise protect them from despair and
irrational thinking during difficult periods of life” (Suicide).
Suicidal behaviors imply that an individual wishes, intends or actually attempts suicide
(Disease, Condition or General Health Topic). Suicidal behavior is viewed as a form of
communication, also known as a cry for help (Results for suicide). Scientists agree that suicide is
a complex behavior that has psychological, biological, and social causes (Suicide).
Each risk factor biological, psychological, cognitive, and environmental of the suicide
trajectory contains elements that transcend all ages. The biological basis of depression is age-
irrelevant. It is associated with low levels of several neurotransmitters, serotonin metabolite and
dopamine metabolite. These influence suicidal behavior, also depression. Some people become
depressed with little or no environmental pressures. Another factor of suicide of all ages is
maleness, throughout history and cultures. Males are more aggressive than females from birth.
Also they are more likely to turn this aggression on themselves (Borst 11).
The psychological factors such as low self esteem and depression appear in every age
group. Individuals that are depressed talk more about their feelings therefore suicide risks are
more evident with hopelessness and helplessness (12).
The cognitive factors show individuals that think of suicide as the best and only answer to
their problems. These people do not have positive feelings or positive attitudes. If they fail at
something once they may feel that in the future they will fail at it again in a different situation
The environment factor shows negative family experiences increase suicidal risk. Abuse of
all types, death, and divorce are examples of these factors. A negative life including loss, increase
probability of suicidal response (13).
There are warning signs such as verbal threats and previous suicidal behavior. Finally,
unexpected triggering events can tip the balance between life and death. The differences that are
related to age and development levels are factors to examine (14).
Impulsivity is the biological risk factor for children. They are more impulsive and violent in
their suicidal behavior and this is why they are more likely to commit a spontaneous act (Borst
12). There are two major psychological factors that increase children’s risk of suicide. The first
one is a sense of inferiority. Children need to develop feelings of confidence and positive self-
regard. Those children who fail to develop these feelings may experience strong feelings of
inferiority and develop poor self-concepts and low self-esteem (14).
“The second psychological risk factor specific to childhood is the expandable child
syndrome, which involves very low self-esteem in addition to other significant problems” (15).
Parents communicate very low regard for the children, hostility toward them, and even hatred of
them on a daily bases. This makes the child believe that they are unworthy and expendable and
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