Suicide is considered the world’s third most significant cause of death for the age group of 15-29. 800000 people kill themselves yearly, i.e., approximately one death every 40 seconds. So what can we do? To kill a tree, we must destroy its root, like destroying a problem to eliminate its causes.
So, here is a list of the top 15 Causes of Suicide Worldwide
Depression is the constant feeling of sadness and is considered one of the major causes of suicide all around the world. People who commit suicide are usually flooded with negative emotions. People who attempt suicide don’t usually die because they want to kill themselves; the motto is ending the pain they have suffered for a very long time. Depression increases the risk of suicide. If you or any of your loved one is going through depression, motivate them to fight it, help them out, and stick by them. Treatment includes social support, stress reduction, therapy, medication, a balanced sleep pattern, and a healthy lifestyle.
2. Impulsive behavior
Impulsive behavior is considered a warning sign for suicide; the American Association Of Sociology even listed impulsive behavior in both acute and chronic suicide risk factors. Impulsive behavior can be defined as the action of acting rapidly without thinking about its consequences. Research suggests that impulsivity plays a very crucial role in suicidal behavior. Certain ways through which we can exclude impulsive behavior from our lives are understanding the ADHD functions, being mindful, trying to challenge our negative emotions and take action against them, trying to engage ourselves in calming activities, etc.
3. Traumatic stress
Traumatic events include the loss of loved ones, suffering abuse, accidents, witnessing a brutal crime, serious injury, etc. Such events are not only shocking but emotionally overwhelming. These events bring along a lot of stress and negativity, which results in a disorder such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Some people get out of these conditions, while some do not. The events impact their minds so badly that they feel horrified, helpless, stressed, and experience extreme fear. These emotions push them to the edge and ultimately result in death. Treatment of these severe conditions includes therapy, medications, Stress Inoculation Training, and restoring self-esteem.
4. Fear of loss or experiencing loss
We, humans, aren’t that good when it comes to dealing with loss. We are attached to things around us, and we fear losing them. Even when we still possess them, we keep on experiencing fear in our guts that we might lose them. These situations may include the loss of loved ones, losing one’s job, losing your living, ending a relationship, financial problems, academic failure, etc. During such dreadful situations, we end up believing that this is the end of our world, and we lose hope.
5. Substance use
The term substance use refers to the usage of either drugs and alcohol or other substances such as cigarettes, inhalants, solvents, etc. Substance abuse becomes a huge concern when these substances start to harm us. People with substance use disorder are said to be six times more likely to attempt suicide compared to a person without this disorder. Suicide and addiction tend to have a very close interconnected relationship.
People with mental disorders turn themselves into addicts to eliminate their negative thoughts and numb themselves but end up increasing the severity of these feelings. Detoxification, medications, behavioral counseling, and long-term follow-up are a few of the treatments that can be used to deal with substance use.
6. Terminal Illness
Terminal illnesses, also known by the term ‘end-stage diseases,’ are diseases that cannot be cured or treated. The patient just has to wait until they meet death. Thus the only thing that the patients do is grieve until death comes and takes them. Depression is quite common among people suffering from terminal illness.
These people are in a lot of physical as well as mental pain. They know they are gonna die soon; they usually take their own lives since they cannot bear the pain anymore. The people looking after the patients undergoing terminal illness have a very important part to play. They have to take care of these patients not only physically but also mentally. They have to make sure these people are filled with positivity and courage to bear the pain they are suffering.
Hope is a very important factor; without hope, we have nothing, but with it, we have everything. An individual without hope is like a bird without wings. Hopelessness gives rise to a series of negative emotions, which many times gets out of our control. It is a crucial factor for both suicide ideation and death by suicide. Hopelessness is said to play such a crucial role because it covaries with depressive symptoms. So how can we avoid hopelessness? Break the cycle, build good habits, deal with monsters, and try something new in life.
8. Social Isolation
Social isolation is the absence or lack of contact between an individual and the society. Social isolation can be a provoking factor for suicide. Research suggests that people who experience social isolation are more vulnerable to suicide than those with strong social ties. Suicide by veterans is primarily caused due to loneliness or isolation. Humans need humans; they are social animals.
Survival can be difficult when they are alone; therefore, people kill themselves when they begin to believe that they are lonely or do not have anyone. Here is how you can overcome social isolation, reconnect with friends and family, get support, get a pet, volunteer for social service activities, and try getting involved in your community.
9. Accidental Suicide
Accidental suicide is killing oneself accidentally using means through which one attempts suicide. Let’s try to understand this with an example to simplify it for you. Using a gun to perform suicide is quite common. If a man pulled a trigger, assuming the gun was empty, but instead, the gun was loaded. Therefore, he performed accidental suicide. In short, it is killing oneself accidentally. More examples: falling accidentally from the tower, getting hit by a car, drug overdose, etc. This is more of an accident than suicide; a huge number of people die every year just cause they were not extra careful.
10. Unbearable Pain
Pain is an unbearable feeling that, at times, gets too difficult to handle. Pain can be both mental and physical. Many patients around the globe have to go through chronic pain while they suffer dangerous illnesses. Chronic pain has, in a certain way, elevated the risk of suicide since they feel that death is the only escape from this constant pain. Diseases like arthritis, cancer, spinal pain, etc., are quite common among people attempting suicide. But what is common in all these diseases? Pain.
Almost 9% of suicidal death demonstrated evidence of chronic pain. For a report, researchers studied 123,181 suicide cases. Out of the 10,789 of these people experienced chronic pain.
11. Family history of Suicide
Having a family history of suicide is a very prevalent risk factor for suicide. Although a very small portion of people may have such a family history, it surely creates a strong influence. Evidence regarding the same has been found in both case reports and epidemiological studies. Research also suggests that suicidal traits in a family are, to a certain extent, transmitted through genetics. According to another research, out of 469 suicide attempters, 70 were known to have a family history of suicide.
12. Difficulty in dealing with sexual orientation
It’s 2023, and even though we have pride flags flying high, many people still have to go through a terrible time. They are given a hard time just cause their sexual orientation is slightly different than ours. I am talking about gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, basically, people who are a part of the LGBTQ community. People make them feel excluded and faulty; therefore, they develop rage within themselves. This rage sometimes is too dangerous that they end up giving up on life.
Around the world, many people, especially teens, attempt suicide because they have to suffer extreme difficulty in dealing with their orientations and the people around them. How can we change this? Try to be more accepting and kind towards people from the LGBTQ community, stop throwing negative remarks at them, and make them a normal part of this society, don’t look at them any differently.
13. Mental disorders
Mental disorders contain a huge range of conditions that affects our mood, thinking, and behavior. The existence of mental disorders has become quite frequent in today’s world. We have already seen how depression and PTSD evaluate suicidal ideation. But many other disorders can lead you to this dark path, such as bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, phobia, delirium, etc. About 95% of people who suicide are suffering from mental illness. Therefore efforts should be made to make mental health care more accessible to the people and also eliminate the taboo associated with it.
14. Victim of violence
Violence refers to a brutal force that results in hurting someone or something. Violence can be physical, verbal, and mental. You don’t have to raise your hand to kill someone; sometimes, your words can do that too. Humans tend to turn into impulsive monsters; we don’t think while we act.
We speak harsh words, not realizing how deeply it can hurt someone. Speaking personally, my aunt killed herself because my grandfather scolded her using some brutal words. For ages, we have heard cases of rape, domestic violence, ragging, bullying, etc. Most of these survivors kill themselves to escape the torture they have to face daily.
15. Possessing a gun
When a gun or any other firearms is available, the risk of suicidal ideation increases too. When you have easy access to something, your thought processes over that things change quite a lot. In the US, in the year 2010, about 19,392 people killed themselves using a gun. Also, a gun is considered the most fatal means to commit suicide. Therefore guns and suicide have a huge interconnected history over ages. Decreasing access to firearms can surely reduce the number of suicide across the world.
We believe that we might never come out of a bad situation; we feel weak and take our lives because we are too scared to get up and try again. This is not the way. Always seek help.