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The Causes can be Prevented Introduction The phenomenon of suicide cannot be easily addressed, because psychologists do not agree on its exact causes. One thing is clear though this issue is very complex and the effective suicide prevention program must be based on specifics of every individual case. Nevertheless, there are certain factors that are believed to be universally applicable, when it comes to explaining what causes suicide. In this paper we will discuss social attractors of suicide, such as depression, antidepressants, availability of handguns and heavy-metal music. It has been noticed that these things often go hand in hand with peoples willingness to end their lives. Therefore, such tendency cannot be explained as purely coincidental.
There are two necessary preconditions for the act of suicide to take place the individual must be in specific state of mind and he must also have the means to kill himself. This is why the above mentioned attractors can be thought of as the main motivational factors of suicide. Let us analyze them closer. Depression Richard Hall in his research project Suicide Risk Assessment: A Review of Risk Factors For Suicide In 100 Patients Who Made Severe Suicide Attempts portrays an abstract individual who has the highest potential of becoming suicidal: The most consistent demographic factors associated with risk for suicide include: being male, over 45 years of age, white, living alone, and suffering from a chronic medical illness where the patient perceives poor health (Hall). These demographic characteristics are associated with the high rate of depression, which in its turn, often lead to suicide. Psychologists point out to two causes of depression - rational and irrational.
Many people who had committed suicide liked the expression Horrible end is better than horror without the end. This is exactly the suicidal type of thinking that is clearly rational. Individual who is in the clear state of mind but suffers from some physical illness, or who is lonely, inevitably becomes depressed, because he is able to rationalize hopelessness. Such individual knows that he will not live forever anyways and that the remaining years of his life are going to be miserable. Therefore, he makes a rational decision to end his misery. It is only the unnaturalness of ending its own life that makes people to object to this kind of suicide, in the first place.
There is no way to prevent rational suicidal depression, except for resorting to anti-depressants. But this often leads to unpredictable results, which will be discussed later in this paper. There is also an irrational kind of depression, which has the potential of becoming the cause of suicide. This depression is closely linked to psychiatric illnesses. Richard Hall mentions this in his report: The strongest predictor for suicide is the presence of a psychiatric illness. There many people there are being constantly depressed, without any particular reason.
Their unstable mental condition often prompts them to act irrationally. It is well known that 95 % of all mental disorders are genetically predetermined; therefore, we can say that the irrational suicidal depression has a biological nature. We can only talk about preventing it in next generations by allowing mentally ill people to commit suicide and even assisting them with it, if necessary. This might sound unethical, but it is more unethical to preserve the ultimate causes of depression al suffering. Antidepressants It has been noticed that very frequently antidepressant drugs induce suicidal feelings, especially among young adults. Shankar Vedantam in his article Antidepressants a Suicide Risk for Young Adults refers to the data obtained by recent sociological surveys: Widely used antidepressants double the risk of suicidal behavior in young adults, from around three cases per thousand to seven cases per thousand, according to a huge federal analysis of hundreds of clinical trials.
It marks the first time regulators have acknowledged that the drugs can trigger suicidal behavior among patients older than 18 (Vedantam). The effect of antidepressants is based on principle of mood affectation. Basically, antidepressants are nothing but drugs with the reduced amount of psychotropic ingredients. Therefore, they affect peoples behavior in the same way that many illegal drugs do after comparatively short time of psychotic euphoria, comes the depression.
This depression can only be dealt with by taking an increased dose of antidepressant, which in its turn, results in ultimate strengthening of suicidal feeling, after effect of drugs wears off. Thus, person who takes antidepressant slowly gets addicted to it, which only adds to his depression, when he is able to assess this situation rationally. As it was mentioned earlier, the negative effect of antidepressants on young people is the strongest. This is because they take drugs to reduce the level depression, so that they could go on with their lives. Yet, after a while, they often realize that this of impossible, since they became addicted. On the other hand, older people only seek to stop their depression, without making any particular plans of what to do with the rest of their lives.
This is why there are almost no acknowledged negative effects of antidepressants on older people. However, it goes without saying that drugs affect older peoples mood in the same manner. They go from depression to euphoria and back. When this occurs on permanent basis, older peoples neurotic system becomes affected, as well. Their behavior gets to be unpredictable, causing their friends and relatives to try to avoid contacts with them.
It is not too hard to conclude that eventually, this will also result in increase of their suicidal potential. Thus, antidepressants can be considered as one of suicide main incentives. Even though that it is not hundred percent proven, we can link them directly to the increase of suicide rate among people. Nowadays, many doctors suggest that packages with antidepressant drugs need to contain warnings about their probable danger, in the same way with cigarettes. Handguns Most suicides are being committed in the state of psychological distress. In such state of mind, the decision to commit suicide comes momentarily and the positive outcome greatly depends on availability of murder tool.
Handguns suit the best as such tool, because they provide an individual with quick and painless way to end his life by simply pulling a trigger. This does not have to involve a long planning, during the course of which individual might change his mind. The article Handguns and Suicide, which is available at Doctors against Handgun Injury. org states: More than half (58 %) of all firearm-related deaths are a result of suicide. 57 % of all suicides are committed with a firearm. Therefore, it is logical to suggest that handguns and suicide are supplementary terms. There is no doubt that the rate of suicide would drop drastically, if handguns ownership was illegal.
Still, a lot of people think that taking handguns from citizens would constitute violating their civil rights. Tim Worstall in his article Guns and Suicide comes up with a following statement: Incidence of suicide is a slightly more complex problem that the availability of guns, or whether or not they have a lock upon them. One might even go further and state that concentrating upon gun locks as a method of reducing suicides is dishonest, perhaps even intellectually fraudulent (Worstall). It is hard to fully disagree with the author. Guns do not jump out of drawers and pull their own triggers. Also, we cannot talk of handguns as being exclusively a murder weapon.
Their ultimate social role is to serve as the last resort of imposing order. One of the reasons why crime rate in America is being kept under control is because many law abiding citizens own handguns, which prevents them from being victimized by criminals. If people were deprived of their gun ownership rights, it would result in causing even more deaths that would come as result of robberies, rapes and gang related violence. Isnt it more ethical to allow suicidal people to kill themselves then to subject many more innocent people to the threat of being killed by leaving them unprotected? There is no doubt that handgun control needs to be stricter. Yet, it is quite questionable whether it would be morally acceptable to strive to decrease the suicide rate at any cost.
It will make more sense if people who own guns were being examined by psychiatrists on continuous basis, in order for them to maintain their gun ownership title. Only practice can show whether this can reduce suicide rate in this country. If person is really determined to kill himself, he will always be able to buy an illegal handgun off the street. In fact, he can buy a toy gun and point it at police officer this will guarantee the whole ordeal to have a great dramatic effect. Heavy-Metal Music We live in time when any form of spiritual or physical depravity cannot be named for what it is, because watchdogs of political-correctness tell us that to do so is inappropriate. For example, heavy-metal music is being referred to as valid expression of peoples musical taste.
However, the classic definition of music suggests melody as its main characteristic. One does not have to be a musical critic to understand that heavy-metal music does not contain melodic properties. It is based on rant, just like rap. Ranting is the most effective way to induce psychotic trance, without resorting to drugs.
Japanese kamikazes used to rant slogans for hours, before embarking on their suicide missions. This is why it comes as no surprise that heavy-metal music is strongly linked to instances of suicide among youth. Karen Scheel and John Westfeld in their article Heavy Metal Music And Adolescent Suicidality: An Empirical Investigation point out to the fact that this music significantly raises the level of depression among heavy-metal fans: There is mixed evidence that heavy metal fans typically are in a negative, especially angry, mood before listening These fans were found to be the most disturbed on a number of dimensions, including likelihood of suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and depression (Scheel, Westfeld). While listening to heavy-metal, people get a temporary relief, as it allows them to openly express their frustration with the world.
This kind of music gives them the feeling of power, because they are able to associate themselves with something autocratic and loud. However, heavy-metal fans realize that their obscure statements can never be taken seriously and that they will always remain social outcasts. This adds to their overall depression. It is not a secret that heavy-metal lyrics often exploit the motives of suicide. Heavy-metal music encourages people to indulge in social nihilism.
It does not ease their depression but makes them feel more comfortable, while being one on one with their suicidal thoughts. We can say that heavy-metal music main purpose to legitimatize depression and suicide; this is why it can never become a musical mainstream, for as long as the percentage of mentally stable people in this world is larger than the percentage of marginalized deviants. If our government really cared about saving the lives of many young people, it would ban heavy-metal garbage altogether. The lowest suicide rate in the world is in Iran, due to the fact that this countrys government punishes the promoters of degenerative social doctrines. The highest suicide rate is in Sweden one of the most democratic countries in the world.
There is no doubt that the value of democracy cannot be disputed. Still, what is the point to have a democracy in the country where there are no people to enjoy its benefits? Bibliography: Hall, Richard Suicide Risk Assessment: A Review of Risk Factors For Suicide In 100 Patients Who Made Severe Suicide Attempts. 2001. Dr. Richard C.
W. Hall Publications. 26 Feb. 2007. web Handguns and Suicide. 2000. Doctors against Handgun Injury.
Org. 26 Feb. 2007. web Scheel, Karen and Westfeld, John Heavy Metal Music and Adolescent Suicidality: An Empirical Investigation. 1999. Find Articles. 26 Feb. 2007. web Vedantam, Shankar Antidepressants a Suicide Risk for Young Adults. 14 Dec. 2006. Washington Post. Com. 26 Feb. 2007.
web Worstall, Tim Guns and Suicide. 3 Oct. 2004. Tim Worstall Site. 26 Feb. 2007. web Abstract This paper discusses what is believed to be the main causes of suicide. Outline P. 1. Introduction Pp. 1 - 2. Depression Pp. 2 - 3.
Antidepressants Pp. 4 - 5. Handguns Pp. 5 - 6. Heavy-Metal music
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Research essay sample on Heavy Metal Music Suicide Attempts