Suicide is a significant cause of death in many western countries. Attempts at suicide, and suicidal

thoughts or feelings are usually a sign indicating that a person is not coping, often as a result of some event

or series of events that they personally find prostrating traumatic or distressing. Most people who attempt

suicide are confused about whether or not they want to die. They usually are desperate to find a way to

remove or stop emotional pain. A suicide attempt is often a cry for help that ends in a tragedy. In eight out

to ten suicides the person has spoken about their intent before killing themselves. In many cases, their

impact can be mitigated, or their prostrating mind will gradually decrease if the person is able to make

constructive choices about dealing with the crisis when it is at its worst. In some cases exceeding deaths by

motor vehicle accidents annually. Many countries spend limitless amounts of money on safer roads, but

very little on suic!

ide awareness and prevention, or on educating people about how to make good life choices. They need

someone to take them and their emotional pain and discouragement seriously. What is usually most helpful

is to encourage them to express them-selves without telling them how they should feel or think. In the vast

majority of cases a suicide attemptor would choose differently if they were not in great distress and were

able to evaluate their options objectively. Most suicidal people give warning signs in the hope that they

will be rescued, because they are intent on stopping their emotional pain, not on dying. Suicidal people

need friends who will listen patiently and show they care, and referral to a professional if possible. Since

this can be extremely difficult, so we may be better able to recognize and help other people in crisis, and

also to find how to seek help or make better choices ourselves.

People usually attempt suicide to block unbearable emotional pain, which is caused by a wide variety of

problems. A person attempting suicide is often so distressed that they are unable to see that they have other

options. We can help prevent a tragedy by trying to understand how they feel and helping them to look for

better choices that they could make. Suicidal people often feel terribly isolated because of their distress,

they may not think of anyone they can turn to, furthering this isolation.

?In particular, those with satisfactory professional qualifications and those who earn a normal living,

appear in normal proportion."

(Adolescent Suicide, Andr* Haim. Page 166)

Having suicidal thoughts does not imply that you are crazy, or necessarily mentally ill. People who attempt

suicide are often acutely distressed and the vast majority are depressed to some area. This depression may

be either a reactive depression which is an entirely normal reaction to difficult surroundings, or may be an

sad depression which is the result of a diagnosable mental illness with other fundamental causes. It may

also be a combination of the two. The question of mental illness is a difficult one because both these kinds

of depression may have similar symptoms and effects. Furthermore, the exact definition of depression as a

diagnosable mental illnesses tends to be slightly flowing and inexact, so whether a person who is distressed

enough to attempt suicide would be suffering from dental office depression may vary in different peoples

opinions, and may also vary between cultures.

?On the basis of the low suicide rates in Catholic countries and among orthodox Jewish communities,

McAnarney (1979) suggested that religious culture may influence the suicide rate."

(Suicide and Attempted suicide among children and Adolescents, Keith Hawton. Page 42)

It is probably more helpful to characterize between these two types of depression and treat each

accordingly than to simply diagnose all such depression as being a form of mental illness, even though a

person suffering from a reactive depression might match the diagnostic criteria typically used to diagnose

clinical depression.

In a society where there is much disgrace and ignorance regarding mental illness, a person who feels

suicidal may fear that other people will think they are "crazy" if they tell them how they feel, and so may be

unwilling to reach out for help in a crisis. In any case, illustrate someone as "crazy", which has strong

negative hints, probably is not helpful and is more likely