Suicide - A Growing Epidemic

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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The Growing Epidemic With life growing more and more hectic every day and stress reaching new heights, suicide has become an increasingly major cause of death. It is thought to be the second leading cause of death among young people today. Since it is becoming more and more common, a growing number of institutions are attempting to educate people in suicide prevention. Understanding attitudes, learning the facts, being able to recognize warning signs, and knowing what to do in crisis situations are all important to being able to possibly save someone's life who might be contemplating suicide.

Being an extremely sensitive issue, suicide is rarely talked about openly but is often generalized and stereotyped by society. It is important to understand what society's attitudes are about suicide in order to gain perspective on preventing it. These social attitudes that are held often form obstacles to being able to prevent suicides from occurring.

Many people hold to the misconception that there is nothing we can do to prevent suicides. Often people can be heard saying that no matter what you say, it will not affect the suicidal person. This may cause many people to simply ignore someone's cry for help and eventually lead to that person's death. Punitive attitudes also present an obstacle to suicide prevention. "These attitudes are eager to punish suicidal behavior and often blame the living for suicidal deaths." This comes from the conservative views of suicide as a "crime and unpardonable sin." Often this makes a person extremely reluctant to ask for help if suicidal thoughts are there because of the fear of being judged by peers. So instead the person will never talk but just slowly drift closer and closer to actually committing the act. Understanding that depression is an illness that can be treated...