Suicide: scope, numbers–close to you?
How can you be comfortable with any numbers on this subject?
We have all been in contact, directly or indirectly, with people who have committed suicide. And even if you think you haven’t, you actually don’t know, since practically no one speaks of it.
I wrote yesterday of Robin Williams’s suicide. There have been many remembrances, stories, articles etc written on the actor/comedian.
How could it happen? He was famous, rich, had children he loved and a wife who loved him. He had friends (although apparently none, or few, close) .
He knew about his problem, took treatment for it as recently as last month, and still, with all the apparent support systems around him (not available to most people, sadly) the whole thing came crashing down.
If you kill yourself with all this help–what can we hope for the millions who lack it?
It is because there are times when all the best efforts can’t help, that people who kill themelves do it because they cannot see another avenue of escape.
A COWARDLY ACT?
Some have been saying suicide is a cowardly act, leaving loved ones with no explanation, no support, and no respite–for their whole lives–from the guilt and sadness they might feel about the loved deceased.
THE WORST SIN?
The Roman Catholic church sees it as among the worst sins because it is the sin of despair, a loss of faith in life, hope and God.
AN HONORABLE WAY OUT?
in some cultures, suicide is considered an honorable way out of complex trouble or wrong-doing.
But surely the powerful depression, the unalterable–in the person’s eyes–way of seeing life as ineffably sad and fearsome, is not cowardice but, yes, despair brought on by the illness.
As an example, if Robin Williams with all his gifts, success, money and available resources still, at age 63, felt the urge to kill himself because nothing else worked, nothing had ever worked…I find it hard to see that as cowardice.
Stephen Marshe, writing in Esquire says Williams fits the current description.
“”Two years ago, suicide became the leading cause of death by injury in America, surpassing car accidents for the first time. …(reflecting) a cohort shift: Men and women between the ages of 35 and 64 are increasingly committing suicide.
“Since nothing ever happens in America until it happens to a celebrity, perhaps this will be the moment when we notice that we’re living in the middle of a suicide crisis…that particularly affects middle-aged men.
MIDDLE-AGED AND THE YOUNG
“The group that has shown the highest increase in suicide rates is middle-aged men and women, for whom the number of suicides has risen by a horrifying 28.4 percent in a mere decade. The sharpest increase has been among men in their fifties, for whom the number has risen nearly 50 percent since 1999. Now nearly 30 per 100,000 American men in their fifties kill themselves. Suicides are increasing across the board, from college students to the elderly, but the increases for the middle-aged are shocking.
The reasons for this rise are unknown.”
Here’s the full by Stephen Marshe in Esquire about the scope and horror of suicide in North America.
If you or a loved one harbor these suicidal thoughts, try to get help.
If you need someone to talk with, I’m here.