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CrisisofLethality

Crisis of Lethality

On a worldwide basis, about 1 million people kill themselves every year.  Needful individuals in the western world consider suicide as the best solution to their life problems. Most official reports indicate that the real numbers of suicide attempts as well as injuries caused by suicide attempts are grossly underreported. Suicidal ideation and behavior raise complex moral, legal, ethical, and philosophical questions for the crisis intervention. The fact is that the worldwide suicide rate has not decreased very much in a very long time despite all prevention and treatment approaches. Many people think about suicide, some attempt it, and few commit it. In the Eastern culture, suicide may be seen as a way of removing dishonor, shame, and humiliation from oneself and one’s family

The Dynamics of Suicide

People often find themselves in a crisis. This situation may lead to suicide. When people face obstacles to important life goals and cannot find any solutions, they become in the state of crisis. Thus, many of them cannot find an appropriate solution and lose awareness in their mental and physical power. People can commit suicide when feeling overwhelmed and powerless. Many individuals can deal with different crises due to their life experience, but some of them cannot. They may have different reasons for this. People always have choices in their lives, but in the realm of crisis, this choice often turns out to be negative and destructive. James observes that any individual can fall victim to transient pathological symptoms. Different psychological theories relating to the dynamics of suicide should be taken in consideration.

According to Durkheim, suicide can be egoistic – deriving from feelings of depression, failure, and self-reproach. Another theoretical approach is altruistic suicide, which is carried out for the benefit of the other people and derives from one’s sense of failure. A third theoretical orientation, called anomic suicide, derives from one’s sense that life is meaningless. In the psychological domain, the hopelessness theory of suicidality emphasizes the developmental, emotional, and cognitive aspects of personal hopelessness, stress, depression, and vulnerability as well as the psychological processes culminating in the suicidal act. Statistically, in the context of psychopathology, it is estimated that 15 percent of individuals with major depression or bipolar disorder commit suicide each year.

Characteristics of People who Commit Suicide

Destructive behavior has many forms and leads to suicide or homicide. Shneidman identified ten common characteristics present in an individual when the act of suicide is accomplished. These characteristics may be classified according to six aspects:

·                     Situational, which comprises unendurable psychological pain and frustration;

·                     Motivational: cessation of consciousness;

·                     Affective: an individual feels hopelessness and helplessness;

·                     Cognitive: an individual sees his/her options as very narrowed;

·                     Relational: as a way out of one’s pain;

·                     Serial: when lifelong feelings of psychological pain, stress and perturbation accompany a person for a long time.

Shneidman admitted that each suicide is idiosyncratic and there are no absolutes or universals. Overreaching these characteristics common to all suicides is the individual’s sense of perturbation and degree of lethality. Perturbation in itself does not lead to suicide. Many individuals can be upset by events, people and things, but they get over the state of being upset. However, when perturbation is combined with how oriented toward death a person is, lethality level rises, and the person becomes more prone to suicide or homicide.

Similarities between Suicide and Homicide

The research asserts that suicide and homicide have much in common. Moreover, suicide is a kind of aggression as well as homicide. Individuals are prone to conduct aggressively because of self-destructive behavior. The frequency of murder/suicide in the American society emphasizes the similarities of motive, sense of hopelessness, opportunity, and means and lethality of method. However, it should be emphasized that not all kinds of suicide or suicidal persons are homicidal. There is a thin line between murder and suicide as an expressive act. Suicide is often intended to take the place of homicide and brand the intended victim as a person who is really responsible for the suicide happening. Given the right circumstances, the choice of homicide or suicide or both may tilt in either or both directions. Though suicide and homicide are different by nature, they have many similarities. Thus, only people with deviant behavior can commit them. Both suicide and homicide take lives of people. These are cruel acts that cannot have any excuses. Many individuals think about suicide or homicide, but never complete their intentions. Those who are psychologically strong would never commit a suicide or homicide even though they are upset or frustrated.

Nowadays, sociologists, psychologists and other professionals try to develop different programs that would help people with deviant behavior to capture their emotions and prevent them from a crisis of lethality. This issue is rather complicated and needs further development and new approaches to every single individual. Suicidal ideation and behavior raise complex moral, legal, ethical, and philosophical questions for the crisis intervention. Unfortunately, worldwide suicide rate has not decreased very much in a very long time despite all the prevention and treatment approaches.


I am a young, curious and creative person. I like reading, traveling, ride my bike, all kind of adventures,  take pictures of marvelous landscapes and write small posts in my blog. I always have something to say because I read a lot. The last articles I read were Philosophy of Special Education and Impact of Online education 


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