Solutions for Guilt, Anxiety & Sadness © Martyn Carruthers
If someone hints that he or she may suicide, promptly refer that person to an appropriate health professional. (Telephone a suicide hot-line or the police
Please listen to them, respond with compassion,
History of Suicide
In ancient Egypt, suicide was considered a humane way to escape intolerable conditions. However Egypt’s Roman government outlawed suicide, with threats of eternal torture. As pharaohs and emperors were also gods, imperial law was both secular and religious. Many of these laws were later integrated into Judaism, Christianity and Islam, threatening suicidal slaves with everlasting punishment.
Until recently, suicide attempts were punishable by both religious and criminal law in many countries. Although most criminal penalties for attempting suicide have been abolished in the West, many laws still prohibit assisting people who want to die.
Suicide in Human Relationship Systems
Men are more likely to kill themselves than women in every age group, especially among the elderly. About 85% of suicides are men over 65, and even higher for divorced men. In America, suicide is the second leading cause of death in adults aged 15-24. As a profession, doctors seem to have the highest suicide rate.
Some people may try to act out the life-drama of suicidal relatives. If a parent or grand-parent committed suicide, a descendent may unconsciously identify with that family member, and try to relive that ancestor’s life … and death.
My suicide attempt was mostly my need to hide my weaknesses from my family
When we explore the consequences of suicide in a family, we often find:
Attempted suicide and suicide threats may have similar consequences. Descendents can be burdened by their ancestor’s emotional and relationship disturbances. In particular, we notice that the eldest child (especially if he or she was an infant at the time of the suicide) seems more likely to take on this terrible burden.
It is often rather easy to recognize people who have emotionally identified with a dead person. The signs of dead person identification usually include melancholy and obsessions with death and dying. Identified people may enjoy visiting cemeteries and places where people suffered and died. They may consider themselves psychic and claim to channel spiritual entities or dead people.
A client or student who suicides can provoke similar shock and guilt among therapists and trainers. Other clients or students may express anger to the therapist or trainer for not preventing the suicide. We help therapists, trainers and other affected people deal with emotional consequences. See: Ghosts . Dead Person Identification . Grief
Intelligence and Suicide
Intelligence may not always be a survival trait. Less intelligent people may persevere where more intelligent people may give up. I suspect that intelligent people are more likely to suicide if their lives lack sense. This seems especially true for people who are detached from their families and communities … people with few relationships that inspire hope and effort.
Meaning of Life
A decision to die may reflect a conclusion that “my life does not make sense“. Although decisions to suicide may be made under the influence of pain, depression, disease or drugs; unpleasant negative emotions play a strong role.
Suicidal thoughts may be a basis for a diagnosis of depression, which can lead to prescriptions of psychoactive drugs. Suicidal thoughts may also follow a diagnosis of psychosis or a terminal disease.
A person who lacks close or meaningful relationships and has no sense of life purpose, may be a suicide risk, even if the person is physically healthy and has material success. A meaningless life seems also connected to addictions and depression. If life seems to lack sense, or if death seems to make more sense than life, then suicide may appear to be a solution. Are you suicidal?
Causes of Suicide
Adult children of alcoholics (ACOA) and people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a higher risk of suicidal behavior. Also, people (including criminals, police and military) who kill or torture people may suicide after a period of PTSD and/or substance abuse and/or depression.
Suicidal behavior may follow military service, especially if the causes for which people fought are later exposed as lies. Soldiers who have killed innocent people may decide to suicide, unless somehow convinced that their murders were in a higher cause.
Medals help people get away with murder.
A similar cause is cult membership, if the cult is shown to be false. A lost sense of life can result in a desire for death.
We help people find solutions to cross-generational chains of suicides in families, and help prevent suicidal children in future generations.
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Types of Suicide
Suicide bombers are often single people who have identified with victims in their family or community. People who identify with victims may be unable to imagine future happiness. Instead they may chronically experience chronic anger, rage, suspicion and aggression. (We often help people manage this and similar enmeshments).
Similarly, some people identify with dead people in their family or community. Symptoms of dead person identification often include suicidal fantasies.
Some attempted suicides may be appeals for help, while mock suicides can be accidentally fatal. Avoid dismissing suicide attempts as attention seeking.
Some deaths by misadventure are related to suicidal behavior. Young adults who die while attempting extreme physical or military feats may be in this category. (People who truly do not fear death may be described as having a death wish).
A teenager may try to punish parents, family or friends who were perceived as insufficiently interested in the teenager’s life. Deaths of parents, celebrities or other role models may also motivate teenagers to consider suicide. As most teenagers are highly aware of each others’ moods and actions, a suicide by one teenager may initiate one or more copycat suicides.
If you are worried that a young person may be considering suicide,
Consequences of Suicide
Although support groups may help suicide survivors, we find that partners, children and grandchildren of a suicide may need special help so that they do not identify with the dead person. A child or grand-child of a suicide may carry this burden.
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