Why do people commit suicide?


Suicide is defined as the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. There are many factors that play a role in influencing whether someone decides to commit suicide. Nearly everyone experiences suicidal thoughts at one point or another throughout their existence. Everyone deals with tough times, but some people have been dealt a tougher hand when it comes to life circumstances, past trauma, mental and/or physical illness, social standing, and ability to cope with depressive emotions.


In general, people do not commit suicide because they are in pain, they commit suicide because they don't believe there is a reason to live and the world will be better off without them.  In attempting suicide, a person is really trying to stop unbearable emotional pain. The person is so distressed and overwhelmed by their situation that they cannot see any other option. Often, a suicide attempt is a cry for help.


Suicidal people usually feel terribly isolated. In reality, there are often community resources, friends, and family ready to help them past what may be the most difficult period in their lives.

Example of a reason for suicide is what experts term "interpersonal difficulties," or problems arising between two or more individuals. These difficulties are also a result of failure, failure to have a harmonious and happy marital, community or work relationship.


A sudden shock resulting from the loss of a loved one, devastating financial loss, losing a treasured job, being drafted, or even coming into a huge sum of money have been known to precipitate a suicide.

Revenge is cited as another cause of suicide. Revenge is another effect of failure, this time the failure to grow up emotionally. A teen-ager wants to "get even" with his parents and reasons the way to do so would be to hurt or kill himself. A teen-age girl with much of life yet to be lived will jettison it to "get back at" a boy who has jilted her. A wife and mother will strike out at her husband and/or children, hoping to hurt them by hurting herself.


The following are other reasons why do people kill themselves;
1. They’ve made a mistake. This is a recent, tragic phenomenon in which typically young people flirt with oxygen deprivation for the high it brings and simply go too far. The only defense against this, it seems to me, is education.

The wounds suicide leaves in the lives of those left behind by it are often deep and long lasting. The apparent senselessness of suicide often fuels the most significant pain survivors feel.

2. They have a philosophical desire to die. The decision to commit suicide for some is based on a reasoned decision often motivated by the presence of a painful terminal illness from which little to no hope of reprieve exists. These people aren’t depressed, psychotic, maudlin, or crying out for help. They’re trying to take control of their destiny and alleviate their own suffering, which usually can only be done in death. They often look at their choice to commit suicide as a way to shorten a dying that will happen regardless.

3. They’re depressed. This is without question the most common reason people commit suicide. Severe depression is always accompanied by a pervasive sense of suffering as well as the belief that escape from it is hopeless. The pain of existence often becomes too much for severely depressed people to bear. The state of depression warps their thinking, allowing ideas like “Everyone would all be better off without me” to make rational sense. They shouldn’t be blamed for falling prey to such distorted thoughts any more than a heart patient should be blamed for experiencing chest pain: it’s simply the nature of their disease.


Because depression, as we all know, is almost always treatable, we should all seek to recognize its presence in our close friends and loved ones. Often people suffer with it silently, planning suicide without anyone ever knowing. Despite making both parties uncomfortable, inquiring directly about suicidal thoughts in my experience almost always yields a honest response. If you suspect someone might be depressed, don’t allow your tendency to deny the possibility of suicidal ideation prevent you from asking about it.

4. They’re crying out for help and don’t know how else to get it. These people don’t usually want to die but do want to alert those around them that something is seriously wrong. They often don’t believe they will die, frequently choosing methods they don’t think can kill them in order to strike out at someone who’s hurt them but are sometimes tragically misinformed.

5. They’re psychotic. Malevolent inner voices often command self-destruction for unintelligible reasons. Psychosis is much harder to mask than depression and arguably even more tragic. The worldwide incidence of schizophrenia is 1% and often strikes otherwise healthy, high-performing individuals, whose lives, though manageable with medication, never fulfill their original promise. Schizophrenics are just as likely to talk freely about the voices commanding them to kill themselves as not.

6. They’re impulsive. Often related to drugs and alcohol, some people become maudlin and impulsively attempt to end their own lives. Once sobered and calmed, these people usually feel emphatically ashamed. The remorse is usually genuine, and whether or not they’ll ever attempt suicide again is unpredictable. They may try it again the very next time they become drunk or high, or never again in their lifetime. Hospital admission is, therefore, not usually indicated. Substance abuse and the underlying reasons for it are generally a greater concern in these people and should be addressed as aggressively as possible.

Posted by: Lusubilo A. Mwaijengo

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