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Suicide and its effect on others

Discussion in 'Debate Forum' started by Steampunk, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Steampunk

    Steampunk One Truth Prevails

    Okay, this thread will be for the debate of suicide, what its effects on society are, and whether or not physician-assisted-deaths should be made legal.

    Well, in the first place lets define suicide:
    So suicide is intentionally taking ones own life. Now, what effect does it have on the society and others? Well, aside from the intense emotional pain that the deceased loved ones will feel, the most economically damaging problem is attempted suicides. Attempted suicides have been estimated to have raked up $3 billion annually for medical care for those that have intentionally harmed themselves and $5 billion dollars in lost wages. [Statistics found here] (Please not that these number are from the US)

    Now the most common methods of suicide are
    1. Firearms (50.6%)
    2. Suffocation and hanging (24.8)
    3. Poisoning (17.3%)

    Now the question is "Would they have still taken their lives if they had not had access to these items?" Other people may wonder "Why should we even care? Its their life"

    Another question is "Who is more likely to commit suicide?"

    It is noteworthy that the suicide rates are 4x higher in men than in women. In 2010, 78.9% of suicides were male and females had a 21.1%.

    What about age?
    In 2009 the age range that had the highest suicide rate was the 45-64yrs. age range, and in second place was the 85+yrs. age range. And according to the statistics site "Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults."

    Does races have different suicide rates?
    Yes, but they are in a constant state of flux. In 2010 the race that had the highest amount of suicides was white, followed closely by American Indian/Alaskan native.

    What about where you live? (In the US)
    Supprisingly the state that had the lowest number of recorded suicides was New York, and the highest was Wyoming.

    Now as I mentioned before about Physician-Assisted Deaths. This is a quote from a site that summarizes the subject:
    Unites States Suicide Hotline Number:
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  2. Peter Quill

    Peter Quill star-lord

    Ok, so I'll approve this. I just want everyone to pay careful attention to the fact that euthanasia and suicide are two separate things that should be treated as such. Please take note of that when you debate.

    Also consider this your warning that if you post "Suicide is the most selfish thing someone can do" without at least attempting to back it up I'm going to infract you because it doesn't help the discussion at all. Don't be surprised if I slam one down you. :) - I also think that the debate on who's most likely to attempt to take their own life is a little nul, but when you take into account that there's LGBTQ teenagers who feel the need to take their own life it might be important to discuss it. Do tread carefully there though.
  3. Maedar

    Maedar Banned

    I will make ONE comment on this before anyone else brings it up.

    In the cases that have come up lately of young people being driven to suicide over bullying (cyber and otherwise) I put complete blame on their tormentors and on anyone who was blind to or uncaring of the problem in the first place.

    I agree with the President on that matter. Bullying is NOT some "rite of passage". It's something done by rotten kids who, more often than not, grow up into rotten men.
  4. Steampunk

    Steampunk One Truth Prevails

    Yes, sorry I didn't make that clearer.
    Just for the reference, the euthanasia I was referring to is known as Physician-Assisted Suicide. So while yes PAS should be debated for legality, it is not the problem of people taking their own lives currently for reasons like bullying, stress etc. as Madear brought out.

    It is also these types of suicides that can be helped. When one person basically makes another person feel like killing themselves is the only option, then that scenario could have been avoided altogether.
    And there are several ways that a person can help someone who is being bullied. The big problem is that people don't usually know when someone is being bullied. Especially with cyberbullying.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  5. beepmachine

    beepmachine Member

    who is more likely to commit suicide? the answer there is pretty simple.
    you can chat about demographics all you want, but in the end, suicide is a reaction to extreme emotional distress, and this sort of distress does not usually manifest in people other than those with pre-existing mental conditions.
    clinical depression, the various forms of bipolar disorder, and other personality disorders that affect mood (for example, borderline personality disorder) tend to be the sort of disorders that result in suicide. mood disorders can occur in anybody, regardless of race, sex, or even age, to a point.

    suicide prevention boils down to two things: societal awareness and personal awareness.
    mental health needs to be talked about more in our society if we will ever hope to progress to the point of personal awareness. a person may be technically aware that something is wrong with them, or that they don't feel quite right, but the stigma that is still to this day attached to seeking help for mental health issues makes it that much more difficult for an afflicted person to get the help they need. additionally, if more people are taught to be aware of the signs of various mental health concerns, particularly the sort that could develop into suicidal ideation (or worse), more people will be willing to reach out to their friends and family for whom they are concerned, beginning the chain of events that will get them the help they need if the worst was to happen.

    you posit that a potentially suicidal person might not take their lives were the lethal items out of their possession, to which i reply, of course they wouldn't!
    okay, that might not be true all the time, but here is where personal awareness comes in. i also have to get a bit personal myself here, so bear with me for a moment (also a trigger warning to anybody who may be triggered by discussions of self-injury).

    i have a tentatively diagnosed form of bipolar disorder, and in my youth have had suicidal tendencies. i never made a full-on attempt at my life, but the ideation was there, as were a couple weak gestures that went unnoticed. here's the thing about suicide: it is an urge, brought on by the darkness within one's mind rapidly overtaking them. it does pass in a given amount of time. a person who is aware that they may be suicidal, but who does not overwhelmingly want to die (as in, they haven't planned their death, but only think about it on occasion) should take upon themselves the personal responsibility of removing themselves from the sort of items that they could use to commit suicide. as an example, knowing that i have this mental disorder, and knowing that it is possible for it to evolve once again into suicidal tendencies, i will never allow for there to be firearms in my home. i simply could not trust myself with it. i also used to cut myself; it's the same strategy here of avoidance -- if i am feeling that urge because of a particularly dark time in my life, i will ask my boyfriend to remove sharp objects from my vicinity so that i do not act on it. it is a bit morbid to think about, but if you know yourself well enough to know that these things can happen, you should take that responsibility and do what you can to prevent it.

    however, there is another sort of suicidal, and that is a person who is so deep into their depression that they actively want to die on a regular basis. this is the sort of person who plans their suicide, the sort of person who might not necessarily want to be pulled up from it. the only effective way to prevent this sort of behavior is for a family member or friend to do the best they can to put this person on suicide watch -- essentially have them hospitalized for a time being, until recovery is observed.

    it truly is a tricky minefield to navigate, and it's a feeling a person simply cannot understand (or at least empathize with) unless they themselves have been there. i have no intention of discussing the monetary cost of suicide on our society (there's so many worse things we're wasting our money on), because the bottom line is, activism for suicide prevention is the only way we're going to cut those costs. it is a personal issue to me, and monetizing it is almost offensive.

    i'd like to conclude this by posting the US suicide hotline number, for those of us who may be suffering or in a crisis. (frankly i'm astounded it hasn't already been posted. that's like suicide discussion 101. triggering is a serious issue; please don't overlook this again.)

    thank you, and goodnight.
  6. Hazmiter

    Hazmiter Active Member

    Its a very heavy topic to discuss, and there are many reasons, and causes as to why some take thier own lives.
    Amongst teenagers, its due to bullying, abuse, and other things besides.... ( very touchy subject to be sure)
    But with others, the reasons are unknown, case example my fathers next door neighbor, had a good job, happy family life, very well off, and was the best bloke you could know, very positive person.
    He hung himself last year, and no one knows why, he never showed outward signs nor did he say or do anything that may have had others try to help him or try to suss out the problem.
    Even today his wife doesn't know why he did it.

    Not so much an arguement/ debate on my behalf i know, but had to say my piece.

    The whole selfish act arguement is quite shaky as some times, the person who contemplates and acts upon that desire to end it all sees it as thier only hope of escape :(
    Maybe if their friends and family had asked, or they had spoken to some one it could be avoided.
  7. Search_Ops_TeamD

    Search_Ops_TeamD ShaggySmurf

    Ok, so suicide. Heavy topic, but important enough to talk about.
    My opinion: I won't say it's selfish (I'll get an infraction...), because, well, it's really not. As living beings, we have the right to pursue peacefulness, and if ending our life seems to be the only way to reach peace, than by all means, who's to stop us. All values aside, it's a form of solution, a way to end one's unbearable misery. Who's to tell you how to handle your problems? As long as you don't affect others directly (like taking out your anger on them; hurting your loved ones is not an example) you can approach the problem in any way. It's one thing to show someone alternate ways to approach the problem and it's another to criticize his/her choice of approach. Yes, it is an easy way out, some people may call it cowardly (don't assume it's my opinion), but understand that not everybody is strong enough to find an alternative. In the end, suicide is a choice, it's not forced by something onto a person (that's murder), even if that something is the reason for such a choice.
    I agree with this. I don't see how a personal choice like suicide would directly affect society outside of family and friends other than this way. So the sub-question would be maybe: Should we be spending this money like so? I say yes. This is why. I don't believe there is such a thing as an attempted suicide. You either go through with it or you don't. A person that really wants to commit suicide will find a way to make sure it gets done. The rest, or at least most of them, never really want to kill themselves. They're really asking for help. But why this way? Because of the same reasons why they hurt themselves, because they feel like the world doesn't care. So, we should care. It's our responsibility to help those in need. We need to stop thinking of ourselves as individuals and start living as a whole species. This is why suicide happens in the first place, individualism. Why do you think other species don't commit suicide?

    Now this is a completely different thing indeed, Moogles. PAS proponents make a good point. While terminally ill people do have the right AND WILL to end their own suffering, most lack the physical ability to get it done. Also, while doctors have a moral responsibility to keep patients alive, they must also respect their patient's choice and cannot apply a practice against that patient's will. This last point can also work against insurance companies that would otherwise take advantage of legalized PAS. So to make my opinion clear, I think it would be decent to be able to make the choice of ending our misery with assistance, if we can't get it done ourselves, under the circumstances of a terminal illness.
  8. Skydra

    Skydra Well-Known Member

    Ah, a very tough topic to be sure. I've recently found myself unsure on the point of the effect of suicide on others, and the question of whether suicide is selfish.

    I think the problem (and answer to the question, in a roundabout way) is that:
    It seems not to be right to place blame on suicide victims when they are sometimes subject to events out of their control. Blaming a clinically depressed person for committing suicide seems akin to blaming a hemophiliac for bleeding to death from a wound (assuming that each example has only one of these traits and not both, so our theoretical hemophiliac is not self-inflicting injury). Both have a biological problem that leads to possible injury, and neither has control over that problem, though there are medications or other treatment available that can assist with the malady but not cure it, at least not over a short amount of time.

    Moving away from that comparison, a person induced to suicide usually cannot fathom that people really care about them. Speaking anecdotally from some of my own experience and testimony from others, when considering suicide people tend to be under the assumption that people don't really care all that much, or that they will just forget about them once they are gone. This is almost always wrong, I believe, but sometimes these victims feel so isolated that it is liable to look, in their own minds, as though they are irrelevant.

    Now, is suicide really selfish? Well , according to dictionary.reference.com, it would be debatable. To people who attempt or succeed in suicide, they may feel that they are ridding the world of someone of their perceived worthlessness, and thus have concern for others in the action. The end result, however, is more liable to cause pain for others (which would be the logical conclusion if the victim were to consider it more closely, if they are able), so I feel this is still open to discussion.

    Back to my previous point, placing blame on the suicidal is more likely to cause them to feel worse, since they are often under a mental condition. We would be wiser to attempt to make them feel welcome, secure, and full of worth, since we would be the selfish ones to write off their dilemma as a selfish, stupid thing and then leave them sitting in their corner.

    Edit (something I forgot to add): In relation to its effect on others, as I mentioned in my first sentence, the only way I can think of to solve the problem and mitigate its effect on others is prevention by way of assistance. Again, make them feel accepted, but also encourage professional help (this is more complicated than just telling them to get help; they need to be convinced, not directed).
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  9. Steampunk

    Steampunk One Truth Prevails

    True, but the one thing that stood out to me was how much higher it was in men than women.

    This is a very good point. And yes those of us who are suffering from things like the aforementioned bipolar, may be able to sense when we are at greater risk. But sometimes it is not ourselves who notice the signs, it could be a friend or relative. Idk, just thinking out loud.

    I think I'd agree to this for the most part.

    Ok, here is my view of suicide most of the time.
    Yes I do think that the ones who commit suicide usually are not thinking about what the effect will have on others, and that, by definition, would be considered selfish. Now the real question is "Are they entitled to this act of selfishness?" And to that, I have no answer. Every case will be different, and some of the time they might think that by killing themselves they are doing the world a favor(And, who knows? they might.) but the reality most of the time is that there are still people who will be effected by the absence of the deceased.

    Thank you, I will add this to the first post.

    Even if that road may harm others? You make this statement sound as if its absolute, yet if one were to say it is, then that could be a dangerous line of thinking in other subjects.

    The one who has to cleam up the mess afterwards? Just thinking out loud.

    I can agree with that. I personally of the opinion that every trial is only temporary, so yes I would try to assist the person with trying to get a different solution.

    I agree with this, but I would like to add that this doesn't mean that we don't try to help them beforhand. We should still try to prevent these injuries in the first place, but when the injuries do happen, we should assist them then as well.

    The dangers of making this legal are:
    Physicians getting the idea that THEY can determine whether or not a patient should die.
    The main job of a physician is to keep the patient alive, and so this would be in exact opposition to this.
    And making it widely known would put pressure on those who maybe did not want to die at that time.

    Not saying that I am in complete dissagreement, but we need to examine both sides before deciding anything.

    I can see where you're coming from, but with suicide, it is ultimately the desicion of the patient.

    Yes, and the logical next question is "How do we help them to see that?"
    Well, treatment usually helps but there are people who nothing will help them. Maybe just give them time, i'm not sure.
  10. Eterna

    Eterna Well-Known Member

    If a person really wants to kill themselves they will. Who it effects is irrelevant as it is never considered by the person who wishes to take their own life, Personal wish fulfillment will always trump the feelings of others in serious situations such as this. It is human nature.
  11. Emolga767

    Emolga767 Sugar Glider Trainer

    In debate, I never impose a universal feeling or action upon a group of people; in this case, suicidal people. Solely from personal experience, the people who it will affect can be considered by the person--whether it be their family, friends, or a consistent customer of their workplace. It may or may not considered, but it certainly does enter the thoughts of some people.

    Personally, I think that PAS should be put on hold unless the doctor assesses that their patient has absolutely no hope to recover (i.e. brain damage, paralysis, etc.), because the patient may be going through a state of depression considering the mental and physical state they are in. I believe it should be the family's and physician's decision.

    Also, the rate of suicide is higher in men than women, but the rate of attempted suicide is much higher in women. Women tend to try sleeping pills and other unreliable methods in order to commit suicide, while men usually use firearms or other highly deadly methods. If these accessories were removed, they could certainly find another way, but at the same time, they may not want to step out of a certain range of methods that they would be more comfortable with.

    Suicide is not the most selfish thing someone could do; put me on the record for saying murder is the most selfish thing someone could do. They are unfairly taking someone else's life, one which they may adequately enjoy or even hate--it doesn't make a difference. Suicide is, by far, unselfish. If you had a piece of bread, it's your choice whether you want to eat it, give it to someone else, or just throw it away. People could live their lives to make themselves happy, others happy, or, if they decide that it's rotten, they can throw it away.

    Who's most likely to commit suicide? People who are depressed and lacking support from friends and family, in my experience. When I hear "She/he is just saying that she/he is going to commit suicide because she/he wants attention," I get sick. That's a cry for help, and they deserve to ask for help. Never ignore a cry for help.

    In all, suicide has a negative effect on those who are affiliated with the individual, but they will understand, and they will move on with their lives.
  12. Celestial Moth

    Celestial Moth Bug-Type Deity

    Suicide is often the final resort to a lot of peoples problems and or great internal pain..
    I often always hear about suicide related situations where their family(ect) are effected by it more than the person who killed their selfs...
    But how selfish, self obsessed,materialistic and inconsiderate do you have to be, to want someone to live a life of pure agony and unrelenting pain, just because you love
    them, you cant see yourself without them in your life or you think that it is a morally wrong thing to do...
    I don't dispute the fact that it will inevitably effect those around that individual in a negative way,
    but if a person is in an inescapable situation and they do feel that it is the right thing to do in their minds for what ever reason ( pain inflicted or otherwise)
    The people that supposedly "love" them, should be able to acknowledge the fact that maybe to them their lives were unbearable and it was the only option to ease the pain..And thus be happy for them.... Their are states worse than death....
  13. Mitzi

    Mitzi L'Etat c'est moi

    Suicide is just awful, and it's a terrible thing to even contemplate, but I'm sure some of us wonder what it'll be like when we're not here anymore. The catalysts for suicide will vary from person to person; young to old; straight to gay; white to black. Bullying, nowadays, tends to be a very big catalyst in terms of causes for suicide. I'm strongly against bullying as a whole, and I find all forms of it to be absolutely disgusting. That being said, I find it somewhat relieving that measures are being taken to put an end to bullying. On another note, to answer some of your questions.

    In all honesty, they probably would have still taken their lives regardless if they had access to these methods or not. People always find a way, as sad as that seems.

    It may be their life, but what kind of people would we be if we all just sat idly by while people committed suicide? People should care, regardless of who's life it is.

    Furthermore, the topic of physician-assisted suicide is a bit of a tough one. I don't think we should just have Jack Kevorkian make house calls to all of his patients, but then again, I don't want hundreds of thousands of clinics built all around the nation. If this were to be legal, then there needs to be very strict rules and regulations set up around it. Would I be for it? Both yes and no. With tight and straight-forward rules to follow, then there may be a chance for it to succeed. But otherwise I can only see it being abused by the general public.
  14. Sadib

    Sadib Time Lord Victorious

    I didn't know suicide was defined as the act of intentionally oneself. I guess saying that someone "accidental committed suicide" doesn't make any sense.

    I went to a suicide seminar and learned that women are twice as likely than men to attempt suicide, but men are twice as likely to successfully commit suicide.

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