Six Reasons Why Individuals Choose Suicide: Why People Kill Themselves

Why people commit suicide?


In spite of several movements around the world to lessen suicide, it remains the 15th leading cause of death in 2012. And seventy-five percent of those suicide incidents happened among low-income countries.

But the question is, what makes people kill themselves? Dr. Wendy Boring-Bray in her article listed six of the most common reasons.

Six reasons for suicide

  • Depression: The feeling of despondency and distress; it can strike at any age and can encompass a roller coaster of emotions. Different groups of people do experience depression in different ways for example men and women display depression differently and men are four times more likely to die of suicide than women (NAMI).

  • Despair: Hopelessness can be a sign of depression, but it can also stand alone. Research has shown that severe despair and hopelessness can be predictors of suicide (NCBI 2012).

  • Decline: Individuals suffering from chronic illness and/or chronic pain resist seeking psychiatric or psychological care for fear their pain symptoms will be minimized or considered reflective of an underlying mental disorder. A survey by Hitchcock et al found that 50% of chronic pain patients had serious thoughts of committing suicide due to their pain disorder (NCBI 2011).

  • Defeat: A feeling that “It’s all wrong” or “I can’t do anything right.” The inability to escape from defeating or stressful circumstances provides the setting conditions for the emergence of suicidal thoughts (Lancet Psychiatry 2014).

  • Desolation: Feeling alone, isolated, and sometimes, bullied. This is more commonly seen in teens and older adults, but it can apply to anyone. Loneliness has been attributed to social anxiety and suicide in teens (Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 2014).

  • Demographics: Among American Indians/Alaska Natives age 10 to 34, suicide is the second leading cause of death. Males take their own lives at nearly four times the rate of females and represent 77.9% of all suicides. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 10-14 and the second among persons aged 15-34 years (CDC 2015).

It is vital to determine whether or not someone is about to kill himself/herself. But how can we know someone is about to kill himself/herself?

There are several emotional changes of a person who is planning to kill himself. The Suicide Line listed several emotions that might be evident among people who plan to kill themselves.

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Shame
  • Desperation
  • Disconnection
  • Hopelessness
  • Worthlessness
  • Powerlessness
  • Loneliness
  • Isolation

The family has tremendous potential to help other relatives who experience depression. Your presence and empathy can be of great help to your depressed loved ones. But if signs of depression persist, find help from health professionals immediately.

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