Suicide, or ending one’s own life, is a tragic event with strong emotional repercussions for its survivors and for families of its victims. More than 44,000 people in the U.S. killed themselves in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it the 10th leading cause of death overall. Although many suicide prevention programs focus on helping teenagers, the highest number of suicides in the U.S. in 2015 occurred among people ages 45 to 54. Men are especially at risk, with a suicide rate approximately four times higher than that of women. There are also major disparities amongst ethnic and racial groups, with American Indian and Alaskan Natives being the highest risk groups.
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death.
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24 and the second leading cause for people ages 25 to 34.
- Suicide rates have increased for middle-aged and older adults. One suicide death occurs for every 4 suicide attempts.
- Women try suicide more often, but men are 4 times more likely to die from a suicide attempt.
- A gun is the most common method of suicide.
Many people have fleeting thoughts of death. Fleeting thoughts of death are less of a problem and are much different from actively planning to try suicide. Your risk of suicide is increased if you think about death and killing yourself often, or if you have made a suicide plan.
Most people who seriously consider suicide do not want to die. Rather, they see suicide as a solution to a problem and a way to end their pain. People who seriously consider suicide feel hopeless, helpless, and worthless. A person who feels hopeless believes that no one can help with a particular event or problem. A person who feels helpless is immobilized and unable to take steps to solve problems. A person who feels worthless is overwhelmed with a sense of personal failure.
Most people who seriously consider or attempt suicide have one or more of the following risks:
- A personal or family history of suicide attempts
- A family history of suicide attempts or completed suicide
- A personal or family history of severe anxiety, depression, or other mental health problem, such as bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) or schizophrenia
- An alcohol or drug problem (substance abuse problem), such as alcoholism
The warning signs of suicide change with age.
- Warning signs of suicide in children and teens may include preoccupation with death or suicide or a recent breakup of a relationship.
- Warning signs of suicide in adults may include alcohol or substance abuse, recent job loss, or divorce.
- Warning signs of suicide in older adults may include the recent death of a partner or diagnosis of a life-limiting illness.
I’ve battled with thoughts of suicide for a long time, even into my adult years. It was a few times I was close to doing it. There were times I wanted to ram my truck into a brick wall or telephone pole. It was one time I parked on the side of a high way to jump in front of Semi. When I was about to do it, my best friend called me. If it wasn’t for her, I would have died that day. Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I’m glad I didn’t do it. Just to think of all the pain and hurt that I would have put my family and friends through.
Some years ago, a good friend of mine committed suicide by hanging himself. He was fresh out of jail and was having a hard time getting finding a job and a place to live. A day before his death, he was looking for me but couldn’t find me. This was way before I had cell phone. That stuck with me for a long time. There’s a quote floating around that says, “Be kind to everyone. You never know what kind of battle they are fighting.”
Suicide is nothing to play with. If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, get some help and talk to someone. Find things about your life that you enjoy doing.
How did I overcome my battle with suicide? A lot of prayer, studying the Bible, changing the way I think, and learning to see myself the way God does. It’s been a journey and I’m learning h0w to enjoy life despite circumstances. If you need someone to talk to, email me at (email@example.com). Below is a poem I wrote entitled, “Dear Suicide.”
To my family and friends….what you are about to read or hear my come as a surprise….but me and death are about to exchange wedding vows like a bride and groom….tonight is our honeymoon….one way ticket to the other side….from her beautiful dark eyes of gloom, I can no longer hide….believe me I tried….together forever no divorce….this is my last goodbye….Momma….I’m tired
Tired of being depressed….tired of being choked by this python of uncertainty wrapped tightly around my neck…. feeling like my lungs are about to collapse like a woman who is heart broken by her first who just became her ex ….waiting to exhale….but at times it’s painful trying to catch my breath….time to x me out of the equation….this thing called hope is no longer in my scope…..I’ve reached the end of my rope….Signed, Dewayne Smithers
The suicide note I wrote….wanting to slice my throat, take razors to my wrist…. finally put an end to this…. fist quenched in anger and rage….tears flooding my eyes….cursing the day I was born….inwardly torn by chaos and shame, the pain behind my smile…the trials that keep me constrained….I’ve tried to wait in joyful expectations for things to get better….but my break through never came
Change for me has become a fantasy….mentally I’m consumed with self hate….emancipation through suicide is my only way of escape….my days have turn to night….with constant forecast of doom….I should put this gun to my head….pull the trigger and let the aroma of death saturate the room
But what if it’s a failed attempt and I don’t die….just like this one guy who jumped off a bridge to kill himself…but he survived…broke his back….cracked his spine….and now he is paralyzed
I have to realize there are people across the world with problems worse than mine and they have committed suicide….which lets me know….despite the storms I go through….the sun still shines….Not to mention the emotional pain my family and friends would have to endure by loosing me to suicide grief and loss would ll their days and nights….the bottom line….if I commit suicide I die once….but the ones I leave behind will die a a thousand times….trying to relive moments with me in hopes to and find out why….I decided to take my breath ditch life for death….it would be selfish of me to leave them behind with regrets
Dear death….our wedding is off ….we can longer exchange wedding vows like a bride and groom…tonight won’t be a honey moon between me and you by the way of suicide….I’m no longer turned on by your eyes of gloom….I leaving you….for Life