Why Do People Commit Suicide?

Suicide refers to the act of causing one’s own death intentionally. Up to one million people die from suicide every year. There are many factors influencing an individual’s decision to commit suicide, both physical and psychological. Nearly all people experience suicidal thoughts at one point or another in their lifetime as weall go through hard times. Some people can adjust such thoughts while others may not be so positive. If people around you are showing any signs of depression or suicide, be sure to offer help. And knowing the reasons why people would choose to end their life can be of great help. You can also contact National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (United States): 1 (800) 273-8255.

Why Do People Commit Suicide?

Here are some common factors that influence people to commit suicide:

1. Depression

Depression is the most common cause of suicide. About 90% of the people who commit suicide are depressed. People suffering from severe depression also experience a sense of suffering and believe that it is hopeless to escape from their suffering. Depressed people find the pain too much to bear. They think that everyone would be better without them and such a thought makes rational sense to them. They are suffering from a disease just like any other patient with a heart disease. Hence, they should not be blamed for having such thoughts.

2. Mental Illness Like Schizophrenia 

Some people experience malevolent inner voices that demand self-destruction for irrational reasons. Psychosis is harder to hide and more tragic than depression. The schizophrenia incidence in the world is about 1%. Schizophrenia usually attacks healthy and high performing individuals. They manage their lives with medication but do not fulfill their original promise. Schizophrenics talk freely about the inner voices that command suicide and are honest about suicidal thoughts. Schizophrenics require psychosis treatment to function. If psychosis remains untreated or is treated poorly, patients may be admitted in a locked ward and the inner voices become powerless.

3. A Way of Asking for Help

Some people attempt suicide to communicate to those around that they need help. They do not want to die and often believe they will not die. Hence, they choose methods that they think cannot kill them to get back at those who hurt them but are often misinformed. For instance, a teenager may swallow a bottle of Tylenol because of a sour relationship without realizing that high doses of the drug will cause irreversible liver damage.

4. Traumatic Experience

Traumatic experiences often lead to feelings of guilt and/or shame and helplessness. Most victims of sexual abuse, war trauma, and physical abuse are at high risk of suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD), and PSTD often causes suicidal thoughts. PSTD patient flashback and sometimes block memories of their traumatic experience. They live in intense, debilitating anxiety, which is often accompanied by fear and interferes with their normal lives. They opt for suicide when they are permanently traumatized and helpless about their situation.

5. Bullying

Bullying is an inevitable part of our lives and most people have experienced it when growing up. Why do people commit suicide when bullied? Bullying affects how people think and feel about themselves. Bullying makes the victims feel worthless, extremely depressed, and hopeless. Most bullying cases become known when the victims opt for suicide to escape their pain. All forms of bullying including cyber bullying make the victim look weak when they cannot respond to their bully.

6. Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are defined as traits that make it hard for individuals to function in a society. Such individuals have difficulties keeping their jobs, relationships and coping with life. An individual with dependent personality disorder may fear leaving an abusive relationship and consider suicide as the only way out. One with an avoidant personality disorder will avoid social contact in fear that he or she will be rejected. Borderline personality disorder is associated with the highest risk of suicide.

7. Drug Addiction

Drug and substance addicts are at a high risk of depression. They use drugs to avoid dealing with their hopelessness and depressions. Drug addiction provides temporary relief but affects neurotransmitters and brain functions in the long-term. Drug abusers develop a high tolerance to their drugs to an extent that the drugs do not boost their mood anymore. Drug addiction escalates to deep depression. They feel helpless when trying to overcome their addiction. Some addicts consider suicide as the only way out.

8. Unemployment

Why do people commit suicide because of unemployment? Unemployment can create feelings of isolation. Finding a new job after losing one in a bad economy is difficult because of the competition. The feeling that life has no purpose and lack of income often leads to depression. The unemployed are stressed when their bills are due. The inability to provide for yourself or your family may lead to anxiety and depression. Hating your current job may also cause suicidal thoughts.

9. Social Isolation

Social interactions are basic needs, which when not met, will lead to loneliness, depression, and eventually suicidal thoughts. Loneliness is a feeling of sadness that results when an individual is alone or disconnected from others. Isolation is separated from people in your environment. People feel isolated for various reasons including loss of a loved one, mental illness, an introverted personality, living alone and fear of rejection. Isolation leads to negative feelings, low energy, mental conditions, and sleeping problems, hence it is possible to lead to suicidal thoughts.

10. Relationship Problems

Some of the relationship issues that people face, including lack of appreciation, abuse, and breakups, will cause suicidal thoughts. Some people have problems making new friends and staying in a social group. Others prefer to stay in abusive relationships to avoid feeling lonely or isolated. Some people are willing to join a gang to get the sense of belonging. Breakups in romantic relationships will lead to intense feelings of panic, depression, guilt, and anxiety. Relationship issues, especially in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community, trigger suicidal thoughts.

11. Terminal Illness

Terminal illness is an answer to the question, ‘why do people commit suicide?’ Terminal illness causes a feeling of powerlessness, which may escalate to depression. Most of the patients are under the control of the impairments associated with their situation. Terminal illnesses make patients feel hopeless, shocked, and frustrated. Some illnesses cause other physical handicaps that drain an individual’s energy level, capacity, and willpower. Most terminally ill people opt for euthanasia and travel to states where the practice is legal.

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