Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, "to kill oneself") is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair, the cause of which can attributed to a mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, alcoholism, or drug abuse. Stress factors such as financial difficulties or troubles with interpersonal relationships often play a significant role.Here are links to scientific research into suicide.
Over one million people die by suicide every year. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that it is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide and the National Safety Council rates it sixth in the United States. It is a leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35. The rate of suicide is far higher in men than in women, with males worldwide three to four times more likely to kill themselves than females. There are an estimated 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year worldwide.
Views on suicide have been influenced by broader cultural views on existential themes such as religion, honor, and the meaning of life. The Abrahamic religions traditionally consider suicide an offense towards God due to the belief in the sanctity of life. It was often regarded as a serious crime and that view remains commonplace in modern Western thought.
However, before the rise of Christianity, suicide was not seen as automatically immoral in ancient Greek and Roman culture. Conversely, during the samurai era in Japan, seppuku was respected as a means of atonement for failure or as a form of protest. Sati is a Hindu funeral practice, now outlawed, in which the widow was expected to immolate herself on her husband's funeral pyre, either willingly or under pressure from the family and society. In the 20th and 21st centuries, suicide in the form of self-immolation has been used as a medium of protest, and the form of kamikaze and suicide bombings as a military or terrorist tactic.
Medically assisted suicide (euthanasia, or the right to die) is a controversial issue in modern ethics. The defining characteristic is the focus on people who are terminally ill, in extreme pain, or possessing (actual or perceived) minimal quality of life resulting from an injury or illness.
Self-sacrifice on behalf of another is not necessarily considered suicide; the subjective goal is not to end one's own life, but rather to save the life of another. However, in Émile Durkheim's theory, such acts are termed "altruistic suicide."
The analysis, led by researchers from the University of Warwick in association with colleagues at the University of Bristol, highlights that being bullied at primary school age can cause enough distress to significantly increase the risk of self-harming in later adolescence.
Cyberbullying -- the use of the Internet, phones or other technologies to repeatedly harass or mistreat peers -- is often linked with teen suicide in media reports. However, new research presented on Oct. 20, at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, shows that the reality is more complex. Most teen suicide victims are bullied both online and in school, and many suicide victims also suffer from depression.
A published study by researchers from the West Virginia University School of Public Health and Injury Control Research Center found that suicide has now passed motor vehicle traffic crashes as the leading cause of injury deaths in the United States. Additionally, the disease rate has been declining while the injury rate has been rising.
Women infected with the Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) parasite, which is spread through contact with cat feces or eating undercooked meat or unwashed vegetables, are at increased risk of attempting suicide, according to a new study of more than 45,000 women in Denmark. A University of Maryland School of Medicine psychiatrist with expertise in suicide neuroimmunology is the senior author of the study, which is being published online July 2 in the Archives of General Psychiatry.