Sunday, November 13, 2005

Chapter Nine Short Essay - Suicide

In general, suicides occur in the context of social connectivity. The people most likely to commit suicide either have too few social ties (troubled adolescents) or too many (high stressed occupations). Changes in social ties like deaths, divorces, unemployment, retirement and relocation, also increases the likelihood of suicide.

Child suicides are more prevalent in homes where family ties are disrupted and/or other members have committed suicide. Adolescent suicides have the same risk factors as child ones, with the extra dimension of poor peer relations. Adolescents are also more likely to commit copycat suicides. Adult suicides are more influenced by personal losses, though parents are less likely to commit suicide than non-parents.

Elderly suicide is most likely to be a rational suicide where the older person decides to end their life in an effort to make life easier for those around them. Another cause of elderly suicide is an inability to adjust to retirement or widowhood. While other age groups are prone to suicide gestures, the elderly are far more likely to be successful with their suicides. They approach suicide with a great deal of forethought and planning. In most cases, they give no warning to their friends and family. However, they usually make sure that their other affairs are in order and try to leave a minimal amount of mess to clean up.

Social driven suicides, or honorable suicides, only occur in cultures where they are accepted. Even in some cultures that abhor suicides, certain reasons for killing one's self are considered acceptable if they are done to support a higher moral principle. Some cultures will change their acceptance of suicides when it begins to impact society.

No comments: