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The Tragedy of Suicide

Suicide ranks as a leading cause of death but by knowing and understanding symptoms

and causes suicide can be prevented. Suicide is an intentional attempt to kill oneself whether it is

successful or unsuccessful. Suicide accounts for about one percent of all deaths in the United

States each year (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic). During the last two decades

suicide rates among teenagers has increased three hundred percent (Coleman 1). Suicide attempts

far outnumber actual suicides (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic).

Every ninety minutes a teenager in the United States commits suicide and every nine

minutes a teenager attempts suicide. About one hundred and twenty-five adolescents commit

suicide in one week and one thousand will try during that week (Coleman 1). More girls will

attempt suicide than boys, but more boys will commit suicide than girls (2). Every year 30,000

Americans will commit suicide (All About Suicide). Because they are likely to suffer from a

mental illness, particularly severe depression (Suicide).

Depression is one of the most treatable mental disorders, and one of the under diagnosed

and under recognized. This is a serious mood disorder that affects a person's ability to function in

everyday activities. It affects how that person works, family life, and social life (All About

Suicide). Suicidal behaviors occur as a response to a situation that the person views as

overwhelming (Disease, Condition or General Health Topic). "Someone who is profoundly

depressed, the option of suicide becomes the only option, the only way to control life and end the

unremitting pain" (Leone 71).

One of the scariest experiences a person suffers from in their lifetime is the experience of

depression. More than one out of five Americans can expect to get some form of depression in

their lifetime and one out of twenty Americans have a depression disorder every year. Depression

is one of the most common and serious mental health problems facing individuals today (All

About Suicide).

There are two main threads of suicide. The social or institutional suicide and individual or

personal suicide (Farberow 1). "Institutional suicide is self-destruction that society demands of the

individual as part of his identification with the group" (1). Personal suicide is an individual act of

protest or declaration against internal conflicts with himself or herself or transgressions against

society (2).

"The motives were preservation of honor and dignity, expiation of pusillanimity or

cowardice, avoidance of pain and ignominy by old age and/or disease, preservation of chasity,

escape from personal disgrace by falling into the hands of the enemy, unwillingness to bear the

hurt of separation or loss of love and others" (Farberow 2).

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