What makes people commit suicide?
I liked Zelda Holtman, Sarah Shelmerdine, Leslie London and Alan Flisher’s essay, "Suicide in a poor rural community in the Western Cape, South Africa: experiences of five suicide attempters and their families" from ^ Alan Flisher, et al. "Suicide In A Poor Rural Community In The Western Cape, South Africa: Experiences Of Five Suicide Attempters And Their Families." South African Journal Of Psychology 41.3 (2011): 300-309. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. because it discusses an interesting study in suicide. The experiment was done in South Africa, where conditions are abhorrent generally, and gives readers a glimpse of the struggles that the lower classes, particularly rural farmers, face. Particularly, I appreciate how the article contains information on common causes of suicide, and gives insight and possible remedies to the serious health situation.
I'm learning more about the reasons behind suicide right now, and in particular what I'm wondering about is: Why do people commit suicide? I was researching this question online, and this psychological study caught my attention because of how the title mentioned that there were multiple instances, 5 individuals and families, that had experienced desires for suicide. These people were all of the same social status, so right from the start, I could tell that there was not only a trend, but a connection between lifestyle and self-confidence.
The suicide survivors were either estranged from their parents or their relationships with their parents were poor and characterized by conflict.
^ Alan Flisher, et al. "Suicide In A Poor Rural Community In The Western Cape, South Africa: Experiences Of Five Suicide Attempters And Their Families." South African Journal Of Psychology 41.3 (2011): 300-309. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.
The quote I chose here is basically saying family troubles are a big contributor to suicide. I think this is logical because family is often the closest relationship of which people have, so when a person struggles with that, other problems probably would arise. Suicide would be one of the more extreme instances, but is still possible if bloodline difficulties are substantial. It makes me wonder about how people often undermine the value of family. Like anyone else, I like to complain about my parents from small things to big things, but I am proud to also say that without them, I would be nothing. My sister as well may be a jerk sometimes, but she is still a good influence on me. Furthermore, this could work the other way around as well, since parents shouldn’t forget their role with their children, and siblings should remember to care for each other.
Another sentence they wrote that stands out for me is: "Physical violence permeated the lives of all farm worker families where alcohol use was present.
" I think this is true because excessive alcohol use always causes bad things to happen. Almost every night on the news, there is at least one mention of a drunk driving incident or violence related to drinking, and that’s just the documented crime. So, in a place like South Africa, especially in impoverished areas, drinking could have an even greater negative impact: physical stress, mental stress, isolation, and even suicide.
A third sentence that I liked was: "Most participants cited difficult life circumstances as reasons for wanting to end their lives
" This stood out for me because it really sums up the main idea of the study; suicide comes to people who don’t think that their lives can improve.
I do substantially agree with the multiple authors’ above statement that a harsh life means a high chance for stress and suicide. One reason I say this is because while I never have considered suicide, I know how it feels to be in a “low” position, and it stinks. Therefore, if a person is consistently morose, it makes sense that things would only go downhill. Another reason I agree/disagree with the authors is because people like those in the study probably had little knowledge of things that could make them happy, so there would sensibly be a lack of motivation for them to keep living if they, quote on quote, “couldn’t see the light.”
What I appreciate about this writers’ work is how they keep everything scientific about a serious and controversial issue. I look forward to seeing what they write next, because their information was clear from the title to the conclusion. There was substantial support for each piece of their evidence through both quantitative and qualitative data, and multiple charts were included. Also, they seemed avid of bias, yet at the same time made it sound like they cared a lot about the topic of suicide.