Suicide Essay, Research Paper
Julien Rouleau Suicide: A Self-Destruction Suicide is the act or an instance of intentionally killing oneself. According to Emile Durkheim, suicide is applied to all cases of death resulting directly or indirectly from a positive or negative act of the victim himself, which he knows will produce this result (44). Suicide is a rarely ever a spur of the moment thing. Th Susceptibility to suicide is lowest among those who have strong community ties. Involvement in church, synagogue or temple may help the disquieted person feel that he is part of a religious fellowship bound together by ties of sympathy, love, and mutual concern. House of worship often substitute for a missing family. ?We this reach the conclusion that the superiority of Protestantism with respect to suicide results from its being a less strongly integrated church than a catholic church? (Durkheim 159). Grollamn noe ?Augustine (354-430) denounced suicide as a sin, there was no official church against it (23). Today people continue to commit suicide for a variety of reasons: Love, insanity and chronic depression. There is usually a series of events and warning sign before an attempt is made. Suicide is not spoken much and is a topic that needed to be explored. Statistics on suicide attempts changes so rapidly, that none can be stated with accuracy. Grollman write that ?Almost everybody at one time or another contemplates suicide. Self-destruction is one of many choices open to human beings?(5). If one is alert and observant, there is a chance that the suicide victim can be saved. Imagine the thought of being dead. Would the world be better off without that one life? Probably not, but some people may think so. That life will be greatly issued by someone. It may even cause a person to want to commit suicide in order to join the friend that died. Imagine how it would feel if the pressures of everyday life increased greatly. Perhaps a parent, brother or sister was lost. What if an adolescent person was arrested? How would his family and friends react to this little misfortune? Say there is a test in math or science class, and when the test came back the same person had failed it. It would seem to him to be just another failure in a series of botched attempts to further himself. It seems that the last month or two has been nothing but hardship. There is no place to go. So, he feels, there is only one thing that can help, suicide. ?Man prefers to abandon life when it is least difficult (Durkheim 107). The child may think: ?If I where to die now, my parents would feel sorry for their meanness? (Grollman 6). For days, even weeks, a plan is formulated. How does he leave the loved ones and his problems behind respectably? Finally he thinks of a plan, sleeping pills, in hopes that a final slumber will take all the nightmares of reality away for good. Klerman note that ?An act like this is prepared within the silence of the heart, as is a great work of art? (55). The pills are taken, after a while sleep sets in. At last, the final rest that has been so long awaited for. A blurred vision appears and slowly focuses. A white room appears, the vision gets clearer. He focuses in on details, such as an IV stand with several bags hanging on it. The hospital room was not the expected place to awake. This attempt was just one more failure in his life. The next time he will think of a more lethal way to seek eternal peace. After the attempt. He will go to a hospital where all his actions will be monitored. In the end, a counselor is usually called in. hopefully its will help him in the struggle to deal with life?s problems, all this done in hopes that another attempt is made. ?12 % of those who attempt suicide will make a second try and succeed within two years (Grollman 73). To think all of this could have been prevented if he sought help in the beginning. To further understand suicide, we must take a look at the different reasons behind the act itself. Suicide is not a genetic disease, but rather a series of events that are very depressing or stressful. Dolce implies that ?For years people assume that only mental or emotional problems drove people to commit suicide? (33). Lester writes, ?Zimmerman et al found that depressed inpatients who had experienced more psychological stresses had also attempted suicide more? (205). Without depression, most people would not attempt to take their own lives. ?People have been killing themselves since the beginning of recorded history. Attitudes toward suicide vary from age to age and from civilization to civilization? (Grollman 17). ?Typically depressed patient is apt to be young woman under the age 40? (Klerman 107). ?While suicide remains a major source of mortality, depression is a major source of morbidity? (Klerman XV). Depression, is a vital issue in almost every suicide attempt. The victim feels very depressed and everything seems to be going the wrong way. Depression is not just ?sadness?. Depression is a mild form mental illness which can be permanent or temporary. It can be simple things like the loss of interest in usual activities. Showing sign of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness and irritability are common in suicide victims. If rapid changes in appetite, weight, behaviors, level of activity or sleep patterns, or loss of energy occur, one must be cognizant of the fact that these are prime warning signals. While making negative comments about one?s self can be because of lack of self esteem, it is also be something to be watched for, especially in one who seems to be purposefully putting their personal affairs in order, giving away their possessions, or has a sudden intense interest I personal wills or life insurance. ?The youth gives away all this valued books and prized phonograph records? (Grollman 74). If one notice a person appears to be cleaning their slate of personal incidents in the past, red warning flags should go up, particularly if this person has had suicide thoughts or fantasies, or has made previous attempts at suicide. Be familiar with a sudden change from extreme depression to being ?at peace,? in one who has previously been talking, writing or hinting about suicide. ?Once a person has decided to kill himself he almost always acts a little bit differently” (Grollman 74). This list does not describe all suicidal people. ? Davidson found that 17% of a sample of drug abuser had previously attempted suicide? (Lester 303). Some may not show any signs and yet be suicidal. ?Others may show all these sign and not be suicidal. In many cases, the victim would choose differently if they were not in such great distress and were able to evaluate their options objectively?(Stoney). Depression is like a bad dream, but with help, a person can overcome this ?bad dream? and awake. The start of what leads a person to suicide does not have anything to do with the person?s present life experiences, but with their early childhood experiences. ?Traumatic or difficult birth experiences put certain people at a much higher risk for suicide? (Dolce 33). ?Scientific studies indicate that babies who suffer respiratory difficulty during or shortly after birth may be more prone to suicidal tendencies late in life? (Dolce 36). This is because the view of others, outside family and friends, has no contribution to the pain that causes suicide and depression. Depression can include: self-pity, shame, envy, and grandiosity. All of these things play a role in depression one way or another. Depressed people are usually subjects to desire and ?grandiose ideation?. Some psychologist suggest that depression and grandiosity are in some ways, mirrors of each other, both being types of ?narcissistic disturbance? (Conroy 104). Grandiosity is best described as when a person starts thinking they are above everyone and everything else. They absurdly exaggerate many things in their lives just for the attention it brings them. Envy, another cause of depression, has two aspects. In its primary sense, ?envy is the experience of pleasure, when the person who has that desired quality suffers misfortune?. (Conroy 85) Shame, in depression, is usually aimed inward toward the victim, or depressed person. The feeling of, ?why did I not do that?? or ?why did I not take that chance?? rather than having pity for other people?s mistake or misfortune. When self-pity, another depression mode, is thought of, it usually brings up the feeling of being sad or angry for mistakes that have happened in the past. David L. Conroy gives a better example of self-pity by saying, ?Our recognition of our own suffering is much more vivid than our appreciation for the suffering of others (99). Shortly before an attempt at suicide is made, a note may be written. ?Eaton and Reynolds found that adolescent attempt suicides were less likely to leave a suicide note than adult attempters? (Lester 261). This article is refereed to as a suicide note. It is one of the only things that can be examined after the attempt or ?completed? suicide to help the friends and families determine what the victim was thinking and/or feeling at the time. Here is a letter that has most of the depression characteristics discussed earlier: It is hard to say why you don?t want to live. I have only one real reason. The three people I have in the world which I love, don?t love me. Tom, I love you so dearly, but you have told me you don?t want me and you don?t love me. I never thought you would let me go this far, but I am now at the end which is the best for you. You have so many problems and I am sorry I added to them. Daddy, I hurt you so much and I guess I really hurt myself. You only wanted the best for me and you must believe this is it. Mommy, you tried so hard to make me happy and to make things right for all of us. I love you too, so much. You did not fail. I have no place to go so I am back where I always seem to find peace. I have failed in everything I have done and I hope I do not fail in this. I love you all dearly and am sorry this is the way to say good bye. Please forgive me and be happy. Your wife and daughter (Lester 79). When looking at and examining at suicide note, there are severals factors to look for. One of the factors might be that the victim is faced with depressing problems that are extremely hard to deal With. His situation is viewed as long history of similar crisis. He believes that death is the only way to escape the problems in his life. The victim usually becomes socially isolated, so isolated that the distress cannot be shared with others. The victim must also overcome the belief that suicide is not irrrational or immoral. The victim feels less constrained by social rules. He feels that the problem is not of his own making, and there is not other solution. He makes a statement that his problems will not occur after death (Lester 78). The following are illustrations of people who failed committing suicide because it is not easy as the Hollywood movies make it seem. 1. Tom, a teenage boy, put a .22 pistol to his head and pulled the trigger. The bullet entered his temple, ripped through his brain, ricocheted around in his skull, and lodged in his jaw. He did not die. Now severely brain-damaged, he lives on, unable to work or go to school. 2. Marry jumped from a high bridge into a river, many people have died making this same jump. Marry did not. Rather, she entered the water at a bad angle and broke her back. She was rescued before she could drown. Marry lives in a wheelchair. 3. George shot himself with a large-caliber pistol in the stomach. He destroyed a kidney. Fortunately, he had two. 4. Bryan, arrested on a drug charge and fearful of his parents reaction. Attempted to hang him self and loosing consciousness. The loss of oxygen to his brain caused permanent brain damage. 5. Janice cut her wrists-sideways. One of the cuts ran deep enough to sever a tendon. Janice used to play piano. She still does but not so swell (Quinnet 118). A good assumption to make about suicide attempts would be, the more lethal method a person uses, the more their body will be disfigured if their attempt fails. This not a major concern of the victim, but causes untold grief to those left behind to care of what is left of that person. Here are several reasons why suicide should not be an option. One, funerals are expensive, two, the Mr. Rogers way of thinking, people can like me just the way I am. There are many signs and reasons people commit and attempt suicide. They are usually in extreme emotional pain. They do no see another way out of their problems. These victims of emotions running rampant need lots of love and understanding. But what they need most is someone to really listen to them and tell them, ?I do not want you to die.?