Suicide is derived from Latin, meaning “self-murder.” If successful, it is a fatal act that fulfills the person’s wish to die. This is now a global phenomenon in all regions of the world. According to WHO, suicide is accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide and it is making it the 15th leading cause of death in 2012. However, even it is already on the higher rank, a lot of people are still unaware of this because of the stigma.
Here are some of the various terms from the Kaplan and Sadock’s Clinical Psychiatry used to describe parasuicidal thoughts or behaviors that should be used with clear meaning and purpose:
- Suicide – self-inflicted death with evidence that the person intended to die
- Suicide attempt – self-injurious behavior with a nonfatal outcome accompanied by evidence that the person intended to die.
- Aborted suicide attempt – potentially injurious behavior with evidence that the person intended to die but stopped the attempt before physical damage occurred.
- Parasuicidal – patients who injure themselves by self-mutilation but usually do not wish to die. These are the people who are fond of cutting their wrist to ease the pain they are feeling emotionally.
- Suicidal ideation – thoughts of wanting to die; may vary in seriousness depending on the specificity of suicide plans and the degree of suicidal intent
- Suicidal intent – subjective expectation and desire to end one’s life
- Lethality of suicidal behavior – objective danger to life associated with a suicide method or action. Jumping from heights is highly lethal, while cutting wrist is less lethal.
When it comes to demographic and social profile, according to Kaplan and Saddock, over 45 years and men are at high risk for suicide most especially to those who are divorced, unemployed and with a family background which is chaotic or conflictual. Regarding to mental health, those who suffer from severe depression, psychosis (schizophrenia), severe personality disorder, substance abuse and hopelessness are also at high risk.
These are the factors that are less discussed in the society because of the fear of being stereotyped. Instead of extending empathy to these people with mental health problems, some are taking it for granted because they think it as someone being overacting, seeking for attention, call her as a drama queen or being just too emotional.
One of the leading cause of suicide is depressive disorders. Mood disorders are the diagnoses most commonly associated with suicide. It was said that 50% of all persons who commit suicide are depressed and 15% of depressed patients kill themselves. See the difference? Those who are depressed has the higher percentage than those who are already diagnosed with depression.
Another leading cause if alcohol and other substance dependence and with the person who is depressed are likely to be at high risk. Depression is still linked with this illness.
Last 2014, Philippines ranked as the 8th in the Smiliest Country in the world because they said we have the “happy gene”. In the midst of poverty, natural disasters and political issues, us, Filipinos still manage to smile whenever there is a camera that passes us. Others would think that we have the lowest rate of suicide because of our happy gene compared to those developing country like US and Japan.
But still, suicide is suicide. Suicide belongs to Psychiatric Emergencies. It has taken a life and no one could ever reverse that. But everyone can help to prevent suicide.