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Psychological explanations for the causes of suicidal behavior are quite diverse. Perhaps within the framework of each psychological concept, there are views regarding its causes and specific mechanisms. Here we can single out the psychoanalytic approach, the frustration theory of suicide, the motivational theory, and a number of others, formed under its influence.
From a practical point of view, and above all from the standpoint of conducting expert psychological studies of suicidal behavior, it is of greatest interest to identify the immediate causes, which, as we have already noted, are usually closely related to the immediate environment: family problems, divorce, adultery, remarriage, alcoholism of one or several family members, conflicts between spouses, hostility between family members, illness, loss of relatives.
All this has an impact not only on adult family members, but, worst of all, on children.
Changes in the family lead to changes in the sphere of communication, and then one of the family members is forced to take a different position in the family. Losing the previous position, changing it to a new one means the loss of something vital: comfort, power, love, affection. This causes a complex internal conflict: the need for communication remains, but the person can no longer realize it in the forms he is accustomed to, and one of the ways to restore balance he considers suicide used in order to put pressure on others or family members.
But sometimes this inner conflict can be so deep that true suicide takes place as a means of getting out of an intolerable situation.
The causes of suicide can also be intra-family conflicts, accompanied by mutual insults and humiliations. The depth of the conflict depends on the depth of communication. In superficial communication, as a rule, there are no deep conflicts. The closer, the closer the contacts in the family, the deeper the severity of the conflict is, the more sensitive it is for a person. Conflicts give rise to maladjustment, which in turn is one of the prerequisites for suicidal intentions.
Early marriage also does not help reduce the risk of suicide. According to American scientists, among married boys – 1.5 times, and among married girls – 1.7 times the percentage of suicides is higher than among their non-family peers. This is primarily due to the fact that early marriages are more often an attempt (and not always successful) to solve some other non-marital problems. For example, the unbearable situation in the parental family.
School problems associated with overload, academic failure, conflicts with teachers or peers can also be the reasons for suicide among young people. Conflict relationships with parents are often the cause of suicide.
According to American scientists, more than 90% of people who commit suicide suffer from mental illness, while Russian scientists note that only 27-30 percent of suicides suffer from mental illness.
Despite all these reasons, the main person who decides the choice between life and death is the person himself. The choice between adaptation to life situations and suicide due to circumstances traumatizing his psyche depends only on the strength of his personality.
It is believed that the disease of suicide is depression – up to 70% of depressed patients show suicidal tendencies, and 15% of them commit suicide. Therefore, the problem of suicide is the problem of depression.
Past psychiatry believed that almost all suicides were mentally abnormal people. Now the data on the mental abnormality of those who committed suicide are so different that I will not dare to cite them here. More interesting to me, I found a Harvard study in which doctors were given medical records of people who had committed suicide and asked for a diagnosis. Doctors did not know that some of the stories, selected at random, were edited – they lacked information that the person had committed suicide, everything else remained unchanged. Diagnostic results were very different: for those whose stories were about suicide, the diagnosis of mental illness was made in 90% of cases, and in the edited stories – only 22%.
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The preferred methods of suicide can vary greatly depending on the region. So, in the Indian state of Punjab, more than half of suicides die under the wheels of trains, in Sri Lanka, 91% of suicides are committed with the use of insecticides,
– Hanging. This is the way most suicides choose to die.
– Firearms. In the United States, where weapons are readily available, 60% of suicides die from a bullet. In Canada, where weapons are less readily available, they account for 30% of suicides. And in Austria, where the arms trade is prohibited – only 4%.
– Poisoning. Overdose of drugs kills 15-18%
– First half of the day – 32%
– Second half – 44%
– Night – 24%.
– There is a connection between the number of suicides and age
– There are ethnic groups prone to suicide. For example, among the Finno-Ugric group (whether they are residents of Udmurtia, Hungary or Finland, it does not matter) there is a very high suicide rate.
– The suicidal risk for various professions (assessed in points from 1 to 10) looks like this: in the first place is the musician (8.5 points), followed by the nurse (8.2); dentist (8.2); financier (7.2); psychiatrist (7.2). At the bottom of the list are the librarian (3.2) and the seller (2.1).
moicide. In China, a large percentage of suicides commit suicide with the help of pesticides, where they are readily available.
– It is believed that a large percentage of fatal accidents with a single victim are actually suicides.
The inaccessibility of potential suicide weapons reduces suicide rates. So, when in England they switched from poisonous coke oven gas to less toxic natural gas, the suicide rate fell by a third, and the number of suicides with the help of gas fell from 2368 to 11 per year.
Family status. According to statistics, married people commit suicide much less often than single or divorced. Those who have lost a partner have a high suicide rate – they commit suicide three times more often than family ones.
At-risk groups. There is a direct relationship between suicide and the loss of social status – what is called the “King Lear complex.” Thus, there is a high suicide rate among demobilized officers, young soldiers, people taken into custody, and recent retirees. The highest rates of suicide were noted among drug addicts, disabled people, mentally ill people, as well as chronic alcoholics. Alcoholics commit about a third of all completed suicides and a quarter of all attempted suicides.
– Farewell notes leave 44% of suicides. They are addressed to:
– “all” – 20%,
– for relatives – 12%,
– chiefs – 8%,
– to nobody – 4%.
– Alcohol was used by 60% of suicides during their lifetime, although immediately before suicide, alcohol was used only in 8% of cases, drugs – in 4%.
– Satisfactory – 44%
– Unsatisfactory – 56%
– The standard of living and the number of suicides are not related to each other – so one of the most highly developed and wealthy countries in Europe – Sweden for ten years was the leader in the number of suicides.
Sexual orientation. According to research conducted in the United States, gay men are 7 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight people.
Education – People with a high level of education are less likely to commit suicide. The most dangerous group is people with incomplete secondary education.
– Communicated with a wide range of people – 24%
– With several people – 60%
– They were withdrawn and avoided communication – 16%
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Social cataclysms have a direct impact on the number of suicides. For example, after the construction of the Berlin Wall, the suicide rate in the eastern sector increased 25 (!!!) times. Economic crises affect not only the material, but also the mental state. In this situation, the future seems extremely uncertain, and suicide is the only acceptable solution.
– About 80% of suicides first let others know about their intentions, although the means of communicating this can be veiled.
– In 6% of those who committed suicide, one of the parents was a suicide.
-12% after a failed suicide attempt within two years, repeat it and achieve the desired. 80% of those who commit suicide have tried to do so at least once in the past.
– In the environment of each person who committed suicide, on average, there are 6 people for whom his suicide is a serious mental trauma.
– Since the beginning of the 19th century, there has been a constant and even increase in the statistics of suicides in all countries of the world.
According to the WHO forecast, by 2020, 1,500,000 people will commit suicide every year.