Suicide Research Paper

Essay by Jeana_WarrenCollege, Undergraduate May 2004

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Why do people commit suicide? 30,000 Americans kill themselves annually (SAVE). A significant statistic, not just a few wayward souls slipping through the cracks, this is an issue of national importance. Of course no words can entirely describe the feelings and thoughts which precipitate suicide, nor is there a uniform set of reasons. However, a review of the characteristics of those who commit suicide may provide insights and understanding into the reasons why.

Though there is no concrete, set-in-stone way to predict who will commit suicide, certain factors increase risk. Women attempt suicide three times more often than men, however, four times as many men actually succeed. In the spring and summer more people kill themselves, contrary to popular belief, which incorrectly favors Christmas and Valentine's Day. Caucasians currently lead other races in suicide, however it is a rising problem, especially within the African-American community. Suicide is the leading killer of youths.

At special risk for suicide are those suffering a comorbid complication; combining mental disease with addiction. (Suicide & Crisis)

Statistics surrounding the issue of suicide are grim, as are certain behaviors which may indicate a person is preparing to commit suicide. What is clear from the poetry and prose of suicidal writers is self-depreciation is extreme, and the main preoccupation is the futility of any action. Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote a despairing poem, which exemplifies the inability to judge oneself as worthwhile or make simple decisions. Her poem "I Know 100 Ways to Die" begins "I know some poison I could drink, I've often thought I'd taste it, But mother bought it for the sink, And drinking it would waste it." Aside from dramatic and dark verbal expression, watch groups cite among the following behaviors as warning signs: withdrawal, reckless behavior, getting affairs in order and...