Suicide: a Personal Choice Or a Sin?

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For years, it has been highly controversial whether suicide is a personal choice of people in relation to their life or still a terrible sin. It is not natural for a human being to consciously desire to voluntarily pass away, even if one’s life is highly miserable and unfortunate. All the disasters and unhappy situations tend to be justified on the basis of our karmic debts, our ancestors’ sins or other religious stuff.

On average, in the world about three thousand people die voluntarily every day. Moreover, suicidal attempts occur about twenty times oftener than suicides themselves. Current leaders in the area of suicides are Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. One million suicide deaths in the world per year is a figure often used in discussions and presentations about the magnitude of the phenomenon. According to World Health Statistics 2017, about 800,000 people commit suicide every year, which means that every 40 seconds one person on this planet dies due to this reason. Suicide is considered to be the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally.

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Every suicide attempt has obviously its own reason. In addition, if an adult often finds a proper solution to his or her challenges, a child is often not able to do it. Moreover, children and teens seldom have a grown-up in their environment, who would be capable to understand their problems and provide assistance for their decision. In this case, it seems to be death that is the only way out of such a difficult, intractable situation for a child or a teen. Moreover, young people of today prefer to live with the syndrome of a split personality, creating a prototype of their ideal Ego in various social media.

When a person becomes him- or herself within the boundlessness of the World Wide Web, he or she actually stays off the real life. Adults rarely control which sites their children visit, when they are theoretically busy with their homework. Parents are happy that their offspring’s do not run into the street full of maniacs, murderers and rapists, and stay away from cigarettes and cheap alcohol. At the same time, an increasing number of teenagers feeling loneliness unite on web sites linking “young travelers to the other world”.

Causes of suicide

Suicide is a form of behavioral and mental activity, which is aimed at a voluntary self-destruction. Suicide is considered to be either a social act (fear of being a burden), or a rational one, which is realized for moral reasons (fear of loss of honor). It may also be of a philosophical, religious nature determined by personal attitudes, as well as by pathological manifestations of mental disorders, such is anxiety, affective, delusional, involutional, etc. Suicide can be committed during an acute existential crisis (accompanied by loss of reason for existence). It should be mentioned that suicide performs several functions. To start with, it helps avoid painful or intolerable situations. Then, it deals with autoagression. Finally, committing suicide acts as a call for help (a common case when suicide serves as an invocation or a message to the environment). The latter function is often limited to attempts and has demonstratively blackmail behavior.

The main causes of suicide are known to be the following factors, such as age after 45 years, severe mental disorders (depression, schizophrenia, dementia, delirium, hallucinosis, psychosis, dysphoria, psychopathy), a recent divorce, a spouse’s death, unemployment, lack of a family, incurable somatic diseases, loneliness. Up to 30 per cent of suicide attempts are repeated, and 10 per cent are carried out to the end.

The danger of committing suicide is noted among such groups, as singles, young people with interpersonal disorders, drugs or alcohol abusers, persons with criminal or deviant behavior, those, who criticize themselves, suffer from humiliation or tragic losses. This risk group also includes adolescents experiencing frustration; persons who have split up or suffer from diseases, as well as those, who are prone to neuroses. Most people intending to commit suicide tend to reveal their aspirations. Certain occasional subtle hints or easily recognizable threats help to detect such an intention. It should be noted that according to statistics, three fourths of those who commit suicide usually attend psychologists, doctors, teachers, and social workers. They try to find an opportunity to speak and to be heard, but they do not get what they want. [5]

In my opinion, signs of suicide are revealed in a person after a conversation. In addition, they are manifested in ambivalence (duality) of feelings. Suicidal personalities are in despair. At the same time, they hope for a kind of salvation. Their desires for and against suicide frequently have a balanced character, so it is crucial for close relatives to show care, warmth, and insight at this difficult time. If this is not done, the existing balance tips in favor of suicide. Therefore, it is important to timely identify the signs of suicide. As a rule, propensity for suicidal behavior is distinguished depending on the type of personality. About 36 per cent of suicidal acts are committed by personalities with hysterical disorders, 33 per cent of them by infantile labile personalities, and 13 per cent are connected with those showing asthenic traits.

I think that one of the ways to prevent suicide is to be able to acknowledge such signs of an upcoming suicide as suicidal threats, aggression, parasuicide (an incomplete attempt). In these cases, a person is noted to have a lack of appetite or, on the contrary, gluttony, increased drowsiness or insomnia during a week. Moreover, he or she complaints of abdominal and head pain, fatigue, frequent drowsiness, disdainful attitude to themselves or their appearance. In addition, such people may feel a constant sense of guilt, uselessness, loneliness or sadness, boredom, isolation from one’s family, friends. They can start avoiding contacts, thinking about death, being prone to sudden bouts of anger. Finally, they use to have no plans for their future.

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