Suicides: data, statistics and associated mental disorders

Suicide is the act of deliberately killing oneself. Suicidal behavior is any action that could lead to a person’s death.

Suicide, the leading cause of unnatural death in Spain

Suicide is the leading cause of unnatural death in Spain. There are twice as many suicides as there are deaths from road accidents. In Spain there are 10 suicide deaths per day. However, the rate is low compared to other countries in the European Union. Almost 4,000 people died in 2014 for this reason inside the Spanish borders. 20% more incidence than the data recorded in 2007.

There are companies where it is more acceptable, like in Japan, and others less. In southern countries, with a strong cultural component that drinks from the Catholic religion, suicide is frowned upon.

Why does someone decide to end their life?

Often these people they try to get away from a life situation that seems unmanageable. In the suicide attempt, they seek relief. They often feel embarrassed, guilty, or like a burden to others. They feel victimized and experience feelings of rejection, loss or loneliness. In suicide attempts, they usually reflect calls for help.

Possible symptoms include difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly, engaging in self-destructive behaviors (making cuts in the body, drinking too much alcohol), moving away from friends or not wanting to go out and / or changing habits. food or its bran.

The psychological profile of the person attempting to commit suicide

These people often do not ask for help because they believe nothing will help them, because they do not want to tell anyone that they are having problems, because they think that seeking help is a sign of weakness. In other cases, they don’t ask for help because they don’t know where to go for someone to come and help them. It should be noted that a person considering suicide has a personal and family history behind them, as well as some psychological predisposition. Suicide is not an isolated event, there is no single cause. It’s a multifactorial thing.

There are triggers, but it’s clear that the decision isn’t made “just” because your boyfriend / girlfriend left you or because you lost your job. If that was the case, not all of us would have attempted suicide at some point. Suicide attempts they can be motivated by a mix of genetic and environmental factors. There is no profile of the person attempting to commit suicide and therefore it is not easy to predict suicidal behavior.

Recurrence, one of the risk factors

One third of people who have attempted suicide will try again within a year. 10% of people who threaten or attempt to commit suicide end up committing suicide. It is not an act of selfishness or cowardice, it is the result of a process.

According to experts, when a person carries out the decision to commit suicide (i.e. the second before performing the action) in the person a “short circuit” reaction occurs, one could say that ‘she suffers from a “temporary insanity” where “the survival instinct fails. . “

Suicide and associated mental disorders (comorbidity)

The person who decides to commit suicide must not have any mental disorder. However, it is true that 90% of suicide attempts are usually based on a mental disorder or an incurable condition.

1. Depression

Perhaps the most common mental disorder in suicide cases is depression. Depression is a powerful predictor of suicide attempts and of suicides committed, consumed. However, research shows that between 13% and 40% of people who kill themselves do not meet diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder.

There is evidence that the risk of suicide can sometimes increase as depression subsides. This may be because people with severe depression begin to experience improvement and a return to energy. During this period, called the “window period”, the patient is still depressed but with enough energy to attempt suicide. However, that doesn’t mean that a deeply depressed person is safe.

2. Substance abuse, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder …

About 10% have other diagnoses such as substance use disorders (For example, alcoholism), schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, or bipolar disorder. Patients with borderline personality disorder, for example, with or without depression, are twice as likely to attempt suicide as patients diagnosed with depression alone.

3. Suicides due to “subclinical” causes

Between 5% and 10% of people do not suffer from any identifiable mental disorder. We assume that they are probably suffering from “subclinical symptoms”, that is, they have some symptoms of one or more mental disorders but do not fully meet the diagnostic criteria.

Beyond psychopathology: “rational suicides”

However, it was found that an unknown number of people commit what experts have called “rational suicide”. In these cases, suicide is a decision prepared to end his life, often due to an incurable disease.

As final data, in in most cases of women with suicidal behaviors, the quest to end her life is usually due to an emotional problem. On the other hand, those who commit suicide tend to be men, mostly elderly and suffering from a mental or medical pathology. This is reflected in the statistics.

In general, men kill themselves three times more than womenBut it’s also known that women try to kill themselves three times more than men because they report higher levels of stress and anxiety. We don’t mean by that that they just want attention. This is not true. They want to kill themselves, but they can’t.

The most common methods and systems used to commit suicide

The method chosen to attempt suicide predicts the “success” of subsequent attempts. Among the most used methods, hanging (used by half of the suicides in Spain and especially by men).

The second most used method is the jump into the void chosen by a large number of women. The third option is substance poisoning. The “preferred” month for suicides is June.

Suicide in the world

Suicide is an individual action, but there are countries where it is more culturally accepted than in others. For different reasons, such as economic, social and cultural, there are countries where the suicide rate is much higher than in others. You can check it on the map below.

A taboo topic

Suicide remains a taboo subject in our country, And in many others. It is a failure as a system, at the same time political, social, health, legal and even cultural. And yet, we still have little data and information on him. Why is this happening? What can we do? Can this be avoided? These are some of the questions we are always trying to resolve.

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