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Families & Friends Affected By Suicide Information

  • Suicide affects not only the individual, but also the family and friends who provide support and love. This community is offered as a place for those affected by suicide to gather and gain strength from each other. PLEASE NOTE: If you are suffering from suicidal thoughts, please take advantage of our CRISIS RESOURCES, which you can find at the bottom of every page of the site. You may also find support in our Depression community...
  • Views on suicide have been influenced by cultural views on existential themes such as religion, honor, and the meaning of life. Most Western and Asian religions - the Abrahamic religions, Buddhism, Hinduism - consider suicide a dishonorable act; in the West it was regarded as a serious crime and offense against God due to religious belief in the sanctity of life. Japanese views on honor and religion led to seppuku being respected as a means to atone for mistakes or failure during the samurai era; Japanese suicides rates remain some of the world`s highest. In the 20th century suicide in the form of self-immolation has been used as a form of protest, and in the form of kamikaze and suicide bombing as a military tactic. Medically assisted suicide (euthanasia, or the right to die) is a controversial ethical issue involving people who are terminally ill, in extreme pain, and/or have minimal quality of life through illness. Self-sacrifice for others is not usually considered suicide, as the goal is not to kill oneself but to save another.

    The predominant view of modern medicine is that suicide is a mental health concern, associated with psychological factors such as the difficulty of coping with depression, inescapable suffering or fear, or other mental disorders and pressures. Suicide is often interpreted as a "cry for help" and attention, or to express despair and the wish to escape, rather than a genuine intent to die. Most suicides (for various reasons) do not succeed on a first attempt; those who later gain a history of repetitions are significantly more at risk of eventual completion.

    Nearly a million people worldwide die by suicide annually. There are an estimated 10 to 20 million attempted suicides every year. As many as 60,000 people commit suicide in Russia every year, approximately 30,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States, over 30,000 kill themselves in Japan and about 250,000 commit suicide each year in China. While completed suicides are higher in men, women have higher rates for suicide attempts. Elderly males have the highest suicide rate, although rates for young adults have been increasing in recent years. The countries of the former Eastern bloc have the highest suicide rate in the world. The region with the lowest suicide rate is Latin America. Up to at least the 1950s, it was the Republic of Ireland which had the lowest suicide rate in the world, as reported by an Irish TV news report in 2007. In India, suicide rates for women are nearly three times higher than those for men. Higher suicide rates among women have also been reported in China. Also suicide rates in Africa are moderately high, mainly due to poverty rather than mental illness.

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