Suicide as a Health Problem of Modern Society

Last September 10th, it was celebrated ‘The World Day For The Prevention Of Suicide’, the theme for this year was:

Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives.

World Health Organization confirms that we are speaking about one of the most troubling health problems which is estimated that about 800.000 people die by this cause yearly. The WHO says that suicide is preventable. Even so, every 40 seconds a person dies because of suicide and many more attempt for the same. Suicide occurs in all regions of the world and throughout the lifespan. Notably, among young people in the age range 15-29 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death globally.

Not fit doubt the way up to suicide thinks up along diverse ways, some of them essentially rational in which across speeches of philosophical nature, people conclude that life already does not deserve to be lived, then guided by the idea that everybody is owner of his own existence and accordingly with it, they decide to leave this world. There are several examples of this type of behaviour in highly recognised thinkers as Stefan Zweig, Sylvia Plath or Primo Levi who have taken their life away.

Another way of suicide is affliction both physical and emotional. On one hand the physical suffering should be associated with incurable diseases, in which the patient knows that the short remaining future will be plenty of pain and personal deterioration and suicide is only a jump on time to peace. On the other hand, emotional pain often happens in times when personal o social circumstances in which human beings are wrapped, seem not to have end and we feels unable to handle them longer, as the death of loved ones. This leads to the conviction in which it will not have a better tomorrow and then the better way of live is to die.

To understand suicide we have to take in consideration that there must exist socio-cultural factors that modulate the suicidal behaviour and in a few cases by means of public acceptance and others, rejection. We can say that it is a question of a strictly individual conduct since it does not only take place in groups of people who co-exist close by, but also those who have managed to do appointments for collective suicides through Internet, specially among young people.

Other times it also happens as a way of imitation as the wave of suicides that took place in Europe after the publication of ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe in the middle of the Romantic Era’

To anticipate a conduct is necessary to be anticipated to the same one, implementing the necessary elements to prevent it from hurting him as consummating suicide. We have to keep in mind all that questions and many more. We need to understand how and when the seed of suicide is plant and what we have to avoid that the water of hope in death and the fertilizer of loneliness make it ground strength.

  • Suicide leaves behind it a long trail of pain for those who have been unable to avoid the death of theirs loved ones. To know when someone is seriously thinking about suicide is not easy and sometimes we can perceive that easily because we can see pain of illness or the agany for the lose of someone, but other times it is impossible to know when somebody who we love is tired of living.
  • Victor Frankl, who was prisoner in a death camp in the Second World War wrote the book titled ‘Man’s Search of Meaning’. He said that he used to ask his patients why they were not committing suicide? In their answers he found their reasons for live, and these were his tools for work.
  • I believe that everyone has a lot of reasons for life, but sometimes those are stash by pain, hopelessness or other situations. Our job is to let the sun rise again in life.
  • I cordially invite you to have a look at the following report by the WHO, “Preventing Suicide: a Global Imperative”.

Dr. Ramón Rizo Gómez

Doctor in Psychology


 Research Associate & IRIANS’s Representative

for the Iberian Peninsula.

IRIANS- The Neuroscience Institute


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