Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Mental disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and substance abuse—including alcoholism and the use of benzodiazepines—are risk factors. Some suicides are impulsive acts due to stress, such as from financial difficulties, troubles with relationships, or bullying. Those who have previously attempted suicide are at a higher risk for future attempts. Effective suicide prevention efforts include limiting access to methods of suicide—such as firearms, drugs, and poisons; treating mental disorders and substance misuse; proper media reporting of suicide; and improving economic conditions. Even though crisis hotlines are common, there is little evidence for their effectiveness.
The most commonly used method of suicide varies between countries, and is partly related to the availability of effective means. Common methods of suicide include hanging, pesticide poisoning, and firearms. Suicides resulted in 828,000 global deaths in 2015, an increase from 712,000 deaths in 1990. This makes suicide the 10th leading cause of death worldwide.
Approximately 0.5-1.4% of people die by suicide, roughly 12 per 100,000 individuals per year. Three quarters of suicides globally occur in the low and middle income countries. Rates of completed suicides are generally higher among men than among women, ranging from 1.5 times as much in the developing world to 3.5 times in the developed world. Suicide is generally most common among those over the age of 70; however, in certain countries, those aged between 15 and 30 are at the highest risk. Europe had the highest rates of suicide by region in 2015. There are an estimated 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year. Non-fatal suicide attempts may lead to injury and long-term disabilities. In the Western world, attempts are more common among young people and among females.
Views on suicide have been influenced by broad existential themes such as religion, honor, and the meaning of life. The Abrahamic religions traditionally consider suicide as an offense towards God, due to the belief in the sanctity of life. During the samurai era in Japan, a form of suicide known as seppuku (harakiri) was respected as a means of making up for failure or as a form of protest. Sati, a practice outlawed by the British Raj, expected the Indian widow to kill herself on her husband's funeral fire, either willingly or under pressure from her family and society. Suicide and attempted suicide, while previously illegal, are no longer so in most Western countries. It remains a criminal offense in many countries. In the 20th and 21st centuries, suicide has been used on rare occasions as a form of protest, and kamikaze and suicide bombings have been used as a military or terrorist tactic.
|The Suicide by Édouard Manet 1877–1881|
|Usual onset||>70 and 15–30 years old|
|Causes||Hanging, pesticide poisoning, firearms|
|Risk factors||Depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, alcoholism, substance abuse|
|Prevention||Limiting access to methods of suicide, treating mental disorders and substance misuse, proper media reporting of suicide, improving economic conditions|
|Deaths||828,000 / 1.5% (2015)|
Suicide, from Latin suicidium, is "the act of taking one's own life". Attempted suicide or non-fatal suicidal behavior is self-injury with the desire to end one's life that does not result in death. Assisted suicide is when one individual helps another bring about their own death indirectly via providing either advice or the means to the end. This is in contrast to euthanasia, where another person takes a more active role in bringing about a person's death. Suicidal ideation is thoughts of ending one's life but not taking any active efforts to do so. In a murder-suicide (or homicide-suicide), the individual aims at taking the life of others at the same time. A special case of this is extended suicide, where the murder is motivated by seeing the murdered persons as an extension of their self.
The normal verb in scholarly research and journalism for the act of suicide is commit. Some advocacy groups recommend saying completed suicide, took his/her own life, died by suicide, or killed him/herself instead of committed suicide. Opponents of commit argue that it implies that suicide is criminal, sinful, or morally wrong.
Factors that affect the risk of suicide include mental disorders, drug misuse, psychological states, cultural, family and social situations, and genetics. Mental disorders and substance misuse frequently co-exist. Other risk factors include having previously attempted suicide, the ready availability of a means to take one's life, a family history of suicide, or the presence of traumatic brain injury. For example, suicide rates have been found to be greater in households with firearms than those without them.
Socio-economic problems such as unemployment, poverty, homelessness, and discrimination may trigger suicidal thoughts. About 15–40% of people leave a suicide note. War veterans have a higher risk of suicide due in part to higher rates of mental illness such as post traumatic stress disorder and physical health problems related to war. Genetics appears to account for between 38% and 55% of suicidal behaviors.
Mental illness is often present at the time of suicide with estimates ranging from 27% to more than 90%. In Asia, rates of mental disorders appear to be lower than in Western countries. Of those who have been admitted to a psychiatric unit, their lifetime risk of completed suicide is about 8.6%. Half of all people who die by suicide may have major depressive disorder; having this or one of the other mood disorders such as bipolar disorder increases the risk of suicide 20-fold. Other conditions implicated include schizophrenia (14%), personality disorders (8%), bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Others estimate that about half of people who complete suicide could be diagnosed with a personality disorder with borderline personality disorder being the most common. About 5% of people with schizophrenia die of suicide. Eating disorders are another high risk condition.
Among approximately 80% of completed suicides, the individual has seen a physician within the year before their death, including 45% within the prior month. Approximately 25–40% of those who completed suicide had contact with mental health services in the prior year. Antidepressants of the SSRI type appear to increase the frequency of suicide among children but do not change the risk among adults.
A previous history of suicide attempts is the most accurate predictor of completed suicide. Approximately 20% of suicides have had a previous attempt, and of those who have attempted suicide, 1% complete suicide within a year and more than 5% die by suicide within 10 years. Acts of self-harm are not usually suicide attempts and most who self-harm are not at high risk of suicide. Some who self-harm, however, do still end their life by suicide, and risk for self-harm and suicide may overlap.
Substance misuse is the second most common risk factor for suicide after major depression and bipolar disorder. Both chronic substance misuse as well as acute intoxication are associated. When combined with personal grief, such as bereavement, the risk is further increased. Substance misuse is also associated with mental health disorders.
Most people are under the influence of sedative-hypnotic drugs (such as alcohol or benzodiazepines) when they die by suicide with alcoholism present in between 15% and 61% of cases. Use of prescribed benzodiazepines is asscociated with an increased rate of attempted and completed suicide. The prosuicidal effects of benzodiazepines are suspected to be due to a psychiatric disturbance caused by side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Countries that have higher rates of alcohol use and a greater density of bars generally also have higher rates of suicide. About 2.2–3.4% of those who have been treated for alcoholism at some point in their life die by suicide. Alcoholics who attempt suicide are usually male, older, and have tried to take their own lives in the past. Between 3 and 35% of deaths among those who use heroin are due to suicide (approximately fourteenfold greater than those who do not use). In adolescents who misuse alcohol, neurological and psychological dysfunctions may contribute to the increased risk of suicide.
The misuse of cocaine and methamphetamine has a high correlation with suicide. In those who use cocaine the risk is greatest during the withdrawal phase. Those who used inhalants are also at significant risk with around 20% attempting suicide at some point and more than 65% considering it. Smoking cigarettes is associated with risk of suicide. There is little evidence as to why this association exists; however, it has been hypothesized that those who are predisposed to smoking are also predisposed to suicide, that smoking causes health problems which subsequently make people want to end their life, and that smoking affects brain chemistry causing a propensity for suicide. Cannabis, however, does not appear to independently increase the risk.
Childhood trauma is a risk factor for suicidality. Some may take their own lives to escape bullying or prejudice. A history of childhood sexual abuse and time spent in foster care are also risk factors. Sexual abuse is believed to contribute to approximately 20% of the overall risk.
Problem gambling is associated with increased suicidal ideation and attempts compared to the general population. Between 12 and 24% pathological gamblers attempt suicide. The rate of suicide among their spouses is three times greater than that of the general population. Other factors that increase the risk in problem gamblers include mental illness, alcohol and drug misuse.
There is an association between suicidality and physical health problems such as chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, cancer, kidney failure (requiring hemodialysis), HIV, and systemic lupus erythematosus. The diagnosis of cancer approximately doubles the subsequent frequency of suicide. The prevalence of increased suicidality persisted after adjusting for depressive illness and alcohol abuse. Among people with more than one medical condition the frequency was particularly high. In Japan, health problems are listed as the primary justification for suicide.
Sleep disturbances such as insomnia and sleep apnea are risk factors for depression and suicide. In some instances the sleep disturbances may be a risk factor independent of depression. A number of other medical conditions may present with symptoms similar to mood disorders, including hypothyroidism, Alzheimer's, brain tumors, systemic lupus erythematosus, and adverse effects from a number of medications (such as beta blockers and steroids).
A number of psychological states increase the risk of suicide including: hopelessness, loss of pleasure in life, depression and anxiousness. A poor ability to solve problems, the loss of abilities one used to have, and poor impulse control also play a role. In older adults the perception of being a burden to others is important. Suicide in which the reason is that the person feels that they are not part of society is known as egoistic suicide. Rates of suicide appear to decrease around Christmas. One study however found the risk may be greater for males on their birthday. In those who are admitted to hospital, agitation appears to be a risk.
Recent life stresses such as a loss of a family member or friend, loss of a job, or social isolation (such as living alone) increase the risk. Those who have never married are also at greater risk. Being religious may reduce one's risk of suicide. This has been attributed to the negative stance many religions take against suicide and to the greater connectedness religion may give. Muslims, among religious people, appear to have a lower rate of suicide; however the data supporting this is not strong. There does not appear to be a difference in rates of attempted suicide rates. Young women in the Middle East may have higher rates.
An evolutionary explanation for suicide is that it may improve inclusive fitness. This may occur if the person dying by suicide cannot have more children and takes resources away from relatives by staying alive. An objection is that deaths by healthy adolescents likely does not increase inclusive fitness. Adaptation to a very different ancestral environment may be maladaptive in the current one.
Poverty is associated with the risk of suicide. Increasing relative poverty compared to those around a person increases suicide risk. Over 200,000 farmers in India have died by suicide since 1997, partly due to issues of debt. In China suicide is three times as likely in rural regions as urban ones, partly, it is believed, due to financial difficulties in this area of the country.
The media, including the Internet, plays an important role. Certain depictions of suicide may increase its occurrence, with high-volume, prominent, repetitive coverage glorifying or romanticizing suicide having the most impact. When detailed descriptions of how to kill oneself by a specific means are portrayed, this method of suicide may increase in the population as a whole.
This trigger of suicide contagion or copycat suicide is known as the 'Werther effect', named after the protagonist in Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther who killed himself and then was emulated by many admirers of the book. This risk is greater in adolescents who may romanticize death. It appears that while news media has a significant effect; that of the entertainment media is equivocal. It is unclear if searching for information about suicide on the Internet relates to the risk of suicide. The opposite of the Werther effect is the proposed 'Papageno effect', in which coverage of effective coping mechanisms may have a protective effect. The term is based upon a character in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute—fearing the loss of a loved one, he had planned to kill himself until his friends helped him out. When media follows recommended reporting guidelines the risk of suicides can be decreased. Getting buy-in from industry, however, can be difficult, especially in the long term.
Rational suicide is the reasoned taking of one's own life, although some consider suicide as never rational. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are accepted practices in a number of countries among those who have a poor quality of life without the possibility of getting better. They are supported by the legal arguments for a right to die.
The act of taking one's life for the benefit of others is known as altruistic suicide. An example of this is an elder ending his or her life to leave greater amounts of food for the younger people in the community. Suicide in some Inuit cultures has been seen as an act of respect, courage, or wisdom.
A suicide attack is a political or religious action where an attacker carries out violence against others which they understand will result in their own death. Some suicide bombers are motivated by a desire to obtain martyrdoms or are religiously motivated. Kamikaze missions were carried out as a duty to a higher cause or moral obligation. Murder–suicide is an act of homicide followed within a week by suicide of the person who carried out the act.
Mass suicides are often performed under social pressure where members give up autonomy to a leader. Mass suicides can take place with as few as two people, often referred to as a suicide pact.
In extenuating situations where continuing to live would be intolerable, some people use suicide as a means of escape. Some inmates in Nazi concentration camps are known to have killed themselves by deliberately touching the electrified fences.
The leading method of suicide varies among countries. The leading methods in different regions include hanging, pesticide poisoning, and firearms. These differences are believed to be in part due to availability of the different methods. A review of 56 countries found that hanging was the most common method in most of the countries, accounting for 53% of the male suicides and 39% of the female suicides.
Worldwide, 30% of suicides are estimated to occur from pesticide poisoning, most of which occur in the developing world. The use of this method varies markedly from 4% in Europe to more than 50% in the Pacific region. It is also common in Latin America due to easy access within the farming populations. In many countries, drug overdoses account for approximately 60% of suicides among women and 30% among men. Many are unplanned and occur during an acute period of ambivalence. The death rate varies by method: firearms 80–90%, drowning 65–80%, hanging 60–85%, car exhaust 40–60%, jumping 35–60%, charcoal burning 40–50%, pesticides 60–75%, and medication overdose 1.5–4.0%. The most common attempted methods of suicide differ from the most common methods of completion; up to 85% of attempts are via drug overdose in the developed world.
In China, the consumption of pesticides is the most common method. In Japan, self-disembowelment known as seppuku (or hara-kiri) still occurs; however, hanging and jumping are the most common. Jumping to one's death is common in both Hong Kong and Singapore at 50% and 80% respectively. In Switzerland, firearms are the most frequent suicide method in young males, however this method has decreased relatively since guns have become less common. In the United States, 57% of suicides involve the use of firearms, with this method being somewhat more common in men than women. The next most common cause was hanging in males and self-poisoning in females. Together, hanging and poisoning constituted about 40% of U.S. suicides (as of 2005).
There is no known unifying underlying pathophysiology for either suicide or depression. It is however believed to result from an interplay of behavioral, socio-environmental and psychiatric factors.
Low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are both directly associated with suicide and indirectly associated through its role in major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and obsessive–compulsive disorder. Post-mortem studies have found reduced levels of BDNF in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, in those with and without psychiatric conditions. Serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter, is believed to be low in those who die by suicide. This is partly based on evidence of increased levels of 5-HT2A receptors found after death. Other evidence includes reduced levels of a breakdown product of serotonin, 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid, in the cerebral spinal fluid. Direct evidence is however hard to gather. Epigenetics, the study of changes in genetic expression in response to environmental factors which do not alter the underlying DNA, is also believed to play a role in determining suicide risk.
Suicide prevention is a term used for the collective efforts to reduce the incidence of suicide through preventative measures. Reducing access to certain methods, such as firearms or toxins such as opioids can reduce risk. Other measures include reducing access to charcoal (for burning) and adding barriers on bridges and subway platforms. Treatment of drug and alcohol addiction, depression, and those who have attempted suicide in the past may also be effective. Some have proposed reducing access to alcohol as a preventative strategy (such as reducing the number of bars). Although crisis hotlines are common there is little evidence to support or refute their effectiveness. In young adults who have recently thought about suicide, cognitive behavioral therapy appears to improve outcomes. Economic development through its ability to reduce poverty may be able to decrease suicide rates. Efforts to increase social connection, especially in elderly males, may be effective. The World Suicide Prevention Day is observed annually on September 10 with the support of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization. Preventing childhood trauma provides an opportunity for suicide prevention.
There is little data on the effects of screening the general population on the ultimate rate of suicide. Screening those who come to the emergency departments with injuries from self harm have been shown to help identify suicide ideation and suicide intention. Psychometric tests such as the Beck Depression Inventory or the Geriatric Depression Scale for older people are being used. As there is a high rate of people who test positive via these tools that are not at risk of suicide, there are concerns that screening may significantly increase mental health care resource utilization. Assessing those at high risk however is recommended. Asking about suicidality does not appear to increase the risk.
In those with mental health problems a number of treatments may reduce the risk of suicide. Those who are actively suicidal may be admitted to psychiatric care either voluntarily or involuntarily. Possessions that may be used to harm oneself are typically removed. Some clinicians get patients to sign suicide prevention contracts where they agree to not harm themselves if released. Evidence however does not support a significant effect from this practice. If a person is at low risk, outpatient mental health treatment may be arranged. Short-term hospitalization has not been found to be more effective than community care for improving outcomes in those with borderline personality disorder who are chronically suicidal.
There is tentative evidence that psychotherapy, specifically, dialectical behaviour therapy reduces suicidality in adolescents as well as in those with borderline personality disorder. It may also be useful in decreasing suicide attempts in adults at high risk. Evidence however has not found a decrease in completed suicides.
There is controversy around the benefit-versus-harm of antidepressants. In young persons, some antidepressants, such as SSRIs, appear to increase the risk of suicidality from 25 per 1000 to 40 per 1000. In older persons, however, they might decrease the risk. Lithium appears effective at lowering the risk in those with bipolar disorder and unipolar depression to nearly the same levels as the general population. Clozapine may decrease the thoughts of suicide in some people with schizophrenia. In the United States, health professionals are legally required to take reasonable steps to try to prevent suicide.
Approximately 0.5% to 1.4% of people die by suicide, a mortality rate of 11.6 per 100,000 persons per year. Suicide resulted in 842,000 deaths in 2013 up from 712,000 deaths in 1990. Rates of suicide have increased by 60% from the 1960s to 2012, with these increases seen primarily in the developing world. Globally, as of 2008/2009, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death. For every suicide that results in death there are between 10 and 40 attempted suicides.
Suicide rates differ significantly between countries and over time. As a percentage of deaths in 2008 it was: Africa 0.5%, South-East Asia 1.9%, Americas 1.2% and Europe 1.4%. Rates per 100,000 were: Australia 8.6, Canada 11.1, China 12.7, India 23.2, United Kingdom 7.6, United States 11.4 and South Korea 28.9. It was ranked as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States in 2016 with about 45,000 cases that year. Rates have increased in the United States in the last few years. About 650,000 people are seen in emergency departments yearly due to attempting suicide. The country's rate among men in their 50s rose by nearly half in the decade 1999–2010. Lithuania, Japan and Hungary have the highest rates. Around 75% of suicides occur in the developing world. The countries with the greatest absolute numbers of suicides are China and India, accounting for over half the total. In China, suicide is the 5th leading cause of death.
Suicide rate per 100,000 males (top/left) and female (bottom/right) (data from 1978–2008).
Globally as of 2012, death by suicide occurs about 1.8 times more often in males than females. In the Western world, males die three to four times more often by means of suicide than do females. This difference is even more pronounced in those over the age of 65, with tenfold more males than females dying by suicide. Suicide attempts and self-harm are between two and four times more frequent among females. Researchers have attributed the difference between attempted and completed suicides among the sexes to males using more lethal means to end their lives. However, separating intentional suicide attempts from non-suicidal self-harm is not currently done in the United States when gathering statistics at the national level.
China has one of the highest female suicide rates in the world and is the only country where it is higher than that of men (ratio of 0.9). In the Eastern Mediterranean, suicide rates are nearly equivalent between males and females. The highest rate of female suicide is found in South Korea at 22 per 100,000, with high rates in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific generally.
A number of reviews have found an increased risk of suicide among transgender, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Among transgender persons rates of attempted suicide are about 40% compared to a general population rate of 5%.
In many countries the rate of suicide is highest in the middle-aged or elderly. The absolute number of suicides however is greatest in those between 15 and 29 years old, due to the number of people in this age group. Worldwide, the average age of suicide is between age 30 and 49 for both men and women. This means that half of people who died by suicide were approximately age 40 or younger, and half were older.
In the United States the suicide death rate is greatest in Caucasian men older than 80 years, even though younger people more frequently attempt suicide. It is the second most common cause of death in adolescents and in young males is second only to accidental death. In young males in the developed world, it is the cause of nearly 30% of mortality. In the developing world rates are similar, but it makes up a smaller proportion of overall deaths due to higher rates of death from other types of trauma. In South-East Asia, in contrast to other areas of the world, deaths from suicide occur at a greater rate in young females than elderly females.
In ancient Athens, a person who committed suicide without the approval of the state was denied the honors of a normal burial. The person would be buried alone, on the outskirts of the city, without a headstone or marker. However, it was deemed to be an acceptable method to deal with military defeat. In Ancient Rome, while suicide was initially permitted, it was later deemed a crime against the state due to its economic costs. Aristotle condemned all forms of suicide while Plato was ambivalent. In Rome some reasons for suicide included volunteering death in a gladiator combat, guilt over murdering someone, to save the life of another, as a result of mourning, from shame from being raped, and as an escape from intolerable situations like physical suffering, military defeat, or criminal pursuit.
Suicide came to be regarded as a sin in Christian Europe and was condemned at the Council of Arles (452) as the work of the Devil. In the Middle Ages, the Church had drawn-out discussions as to when the desire for martyrdom was suicidal, as in the case of martyrs of Córdoba. Despite these disputes and occasional official rulings, Catholic doctrine was not entirely settled on the subject of suicide until the later 17th century. A criminal ordinance issued by Louis XIV of France in 1670 was extremely severe, even for the times: the dead person's body was drawn through the streets, face down, and then hung or thrown on a garbage heap. Additionally, all of the person's property was confiscated.
Attitudes towards suicide slowly began to shift during the Renaissance. John Donne's work Biathanatos, contained one of the first modern defences of suicide, bringing proof from the conduct of Biblical figures, such as Jesus, Samson and Saul, and presenting arguments on grounds of reason and nature to sanction suicide in certain circumstances.
The secularization of society that began during The Enlightenment questioned traditional religious attitudes toward suicide and brought a more modern perspective to the issue. David Hume denied that suicide was a crime as it affected no one and was potentially to the advantage of the individual. In his 1777 Essays on Suicide and the Immortality of the Soul he rhetorically asked, "Why should I prolong a miserable existence, because of some frivolous advantage which the public may perhaps receive from me?" A shift in public opinion at large can also be discerned; The Times in 1786 initiated a spirited debate on the motion "Is suicide an act of courage?".
By the 19th-century, the act of suicide had shifted from being viewed as caused by sin to being caused by insanity in Europe. Although suicide remained illegal during this period, it increasingly became the target of satirical comments, such as the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera The Mikado that satirized the idea of executing someone who had already killed himself.
By 1879, English law began to distinguish between suicide and homicide, although suicide still resulted in forfeiture of estate. In 1882, the deceased were permitted daylight burial in England and by the middle of the 20th century, suicide had become legal in much of the western world. The term suicide first emerged shortly before 1700 to replace expressions on self-death which were often characterized as a form of self-murder in the West.
In most Western countries, suicide is no longer a crime. It was, however, in most Western European countries from the Middle Ages until at least the 1800s. It remains a criminal offense in most Muslim-majority nations.
In Australia suicide is not a crime. It however is a crime to counsel, incite, or aid and abet another in attempting to die by suicide, and the law explicitly allows any person to use "such force as may reasonably be necessary" to prevent another from taking their own life. The Northern Territory of Australia briefly had legal physician-assisted suicide from 1996 to 1997.
No country in Europe currently considers suicide or attempted suicide to be a crime. England and Wales decriminalized suicide via the Suicide Act 1961 and the Republic of Ireland in 1993. The word "commit" was used in reference to its being illegal, however many organisations have stopped it because of the negative connotation.
In India, suicide used to be illegal and surviving family could face legal difficulties. The Indian government repealed this law in 2014. In Germany, active euthanasia is illegal and anyone present during suicide may be prosecuted for failure to render aid in an emergency. Switzerland has taken steps to legalize assisted suicide for the chronically mentally ill. The high court in Lausanne, Switzerland, in a 2006 ruling, granted an anonymous individual with longstanding psychiatric difficulties the right to end his own life.
In the United States, suicide is not illegal but may be associated with penalties for those who attempt it. Physician-assisted suicide is legal in the state of Washington for people with terminal diseases. In Oregon, people with terminal diseases may request medications to help end their life.
Canadians who have attempted suicide may be barred from entering the US. US laws allow border guards to deny access to people who have a mental illness, including those with previous suicide attempts.
In most forms of Christianity, suicide is considered a sin, based mainly on the writings of influential Christian thinkers of the Middle Ages, such as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, but suicide was not considered a sin under the Byzantine Christian code of Justinian, for instance. In Catholic doctrine, the argument is based on the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" (made applicable under the New Covenant by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew), as well as the idea that life is a gift given by God which should not be spurned, and that suicide is against the "natural order" and thus interferes with God's master plan for the world. However, it is believed that mental illness or grave fear of suffering diminishes the responsibility of the one completing suicide.
Judaism focuses on the importance of valuing this life, and as such, suicide is tantamount to denying God's goodness in the world. Despite this, under extreme circumstances when there has seemed no choice but to either be killed or forced to betray their religion, Jews have committed individual suicide or mass suicide (see Masada, First French persecution of the Jews, and York Castle for examples) and as a grim reminder there is even a prayer in the Jewish liturgy for "when the knife is at the throat", for those dying "to sanctify God's Name" (see Martyrdom). These acts have received mixed responses by Jewish authorities, regarded by some as examples of heroic martyrdom, while others state that it was wrong for them to take their own lives in anticipation of martyrdom.
Islamic religious views are against suicide. The Quran forbids it by stating "do not kill or destroy yourself". The hadiths also state individual suicide to be unlawful and a sin. Stigma is often associated with suicide in Islamic countries.
In Hinduism, suicide is generally frowned upon and is considered equally sinful as murdering another in contemporary Hindu society. Hindu Scriptures state that one who dies by suicide will become part of the spirit world, wandering earth until the time one would have otherwise died, had one not taken one's own life. However, Hinduism accepts a man's right to end one's life through the non-violent practice of fasting to death, termed Prayopavesa. But Prayopavesa is strictly restricted to people who have no desire or ambition left, and no responsibilities remaining in this life. Jainism has a similar practice named Santhara. Sati, or self-immolation by widows, was prevalent in Hindu society during the Middle Ages.
A number of questions are raised within the philosophy of suicide, included what constitutes suicide, whether or not suicide can be a rational choice, and the moral permissibility of suicide. Arguments as to acceptability of suicide in moral or social terms range from the position that the act is inherently immoral and unacceptable under any circumstances to a regard for suicide as a sacrosanct right of anyone who believes they have rationally and conscientiously come to the decision to end their own lives, even if they are young and healthy.
Opponents to suicide include Christian philosophers such as Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant and, arguably, John Stuart Mill – Mill's focus on the importance of liberty and autonomy meant that he rejected choices which would prevent a person from making future autonomous decisions. Others view suicide as a legitimate matter of personal choice. Supporters of this position maintain that no one should be forced to suffer against their will, particularly from conditions such as incurable disease, mental illness, and old age, with no possibility of improvement. They reject the belief that suicide is always irrational, arguing instead that it can be a valid last resort for those enduring major pain or trauma. A stronger stance would argue that people should be allowed to autonomously choose to die regardless of whether they are suffering. Notable supporters of this school of thought include Scottish empiricist David Hume and American bioethicist Jacob Appel.
Advocacy of suicide has occurred in many cultures and subcultures. The Japanese military during World War II encouraged and glorified kamikaze attacks, which were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific theater of World War II. Japanese society as a whole has been described as "suicide tolerant" (see Suicide in Japan).
Internet searches for information on suicide return webpages that 10-30% of the time encourage or facilitate suicide attempts. There is some concern that such sites may push those predisposed over the edge. Some people form suicide pacts online, either with pre-existing friends or people they have recently encountered in chat rooms or message boards. The Internet, however, may also help prevent suicide by providing a social group for those who are isolated.
Some landmarks have become known for high levels of suicide attempts. These include San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, Japan's Aokigahara Forest, England's Beachy Head and Toronto's Bloor Street Viaduct.
As of 2010, the Golden Gate Bridge has had more than 1,300 die by suicide by jumping since its construction in 1937. Many locations where suicide is common have constructed barriers to prevent it; this includes the Luminous Veil in Toronto, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne and Empire State Building in New York City. They appear to be generally effective.
An example of mass suicide is the 1978 Jonestown killings/suicide in which 909 members of the Peoples Temple, an American religious group led by Jim Jones, ended their lives by drinking grape Flavor Aid laced with cyanide and various prescription drugs.
Thousands of Japanese civilians took their own lives in the last days of the Battle of Saipan in 1944, some jumping from "Suicide Cliff" and "Banzai Cliff". The 1981 Irish hunger strikes, led by Bobby Sands, resulted in 10 deaths. The cause of death was recorded by the coroner as "starvation, self-imposed" rather than suicide; this was modified to simply "starvation" on the death certificates after protest from the dead strikers' families. During World War II, Erwin Rommel was found to have foreknowledge of the July 20 plot on Hitler's life; he was threatened with public trial, execution and reprisals on his family unless he took his own life.
As suicide requires a willful attempt to die, some feel it therefore cannot be said to occur in non-human animals. Suicidal behavior has been observed in salmonella seeking to overcome competing bacteria by triggering an immune system response against them. Suicidal defenses by workers are also noted in the Brazilian ant Forelius pusillus, where a small group of ants leaves the security of the nest after sealing the entrance from the outside each evening.
Pea aphids, when threatened by a ladybug, can explode themselves, scattering and protecting their brethren and sometimes even killing the ladybug. Some species of termites have soldiers that explode, covering their enemies with sticky goo.
There have been anecdotal reports of dogs, horses and dolphins killing themselves. There, however, has been little scientific study of animal suicide. Animal suicide is usually put down to romantic human interpretation and is not generally thought to be intentional. Some of the reasons animals are thought to unintentionally kill themselves include: psychological stress, infection by certain parasites or fungi, or disruption of a long-held social tie, such as the ending of a long association with an owner and thus not accepting food from another individual.
Other suicide prevention strategies that have been considered are crisis centres and hotlines, method control, and media education... There is minimal research on these strategies. Even though crisis centres and hotlines are used by suicidal youth, information about their impact on suicidal behaviour is lacking.
Studies of telephone and internet services usually have relatively low levels of evidence. (page 652)
Between 40% and 65% of individuals who commit suicide meet criteria for a personality disorder, with borderline personality disorder being the most commonly associated.
On 14 February 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora (near Awantipora) in the Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The attack resulted in the death of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and the attacker. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed. A Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist named Adil Ahmad Dar, a Kashmiri local, was identified as the attacker.Animal suicide
Animal suicide refers to any kind of self-destructive behavior displayed by various species of animals, resulting in their death. Although contradicting the natural progression of life and an animal's evolutionary instinct for survival, some situations may lead to an animal inducing their own death. Animal suicide in the defense of the group could be instantaneous or altruistic self-removal once an animal becomes diseased. There are anecdotal reports of grieving pets displaying such behaviour after the death of their owner, or monogamous animals refusing to feed after the death of their mate.
Some parasites manipulate the behavior of their host, causing them to expose themselves to greater risks of predation to enable the parasite to proceed to the next life-cycle stage. Some carpenter ants and termites use autothysis, producing a sticky secretion to trap colony marauders, and pea aphids will sometimes explode, protecting other pea aphids from ladybugs.Assisted suicide
Assisted suicide is suicide undertaken with the aid of another person. The term refers to physician-assisted suicide (PAS), which is suicide that is assisted by a physician or other healthcare provider. Once it is determined that the person's situation qualifies under the assisted suicide laws for that place, the physician's assistance is usually limited to writing a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs.
Usually, helping a person die by suicide is a crime. People who support legalizing assisted suicide want the people who assist in a voluntary suicide to be exempt from criminal prosecution for manslaughter or similar crimes. Assisted suicide is legal in some countries, under certain circumstances, including Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Colombia, Switzerland, and parts of the United States and Australia. In most of those countries, to qualify for legal assistance, people who want to use the assisted-suicide model to die must meet certain criteria, including having a terminal illness, proving they are of sound mind, voluntarily and repeatedly expressing their wish to die, and taking a specified, lethal dose of drugs themselves.Chris Benoit double-murder and suicide
The Chris Benoit double-murder and suicide refers to a three-day period between June 22 and June 24, 2007, when Chris Benoit, a 40-year-old veteran professional wrestler employed by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), killed his wife Nancy Benoit and suffocated their 7-year-old son Daniel before hanging himself. Autopsy results showed that Benoit's wife was murdered first as she was bound at the feet and wrists and died of asphyxiation on June 22. Nancy was found wrapped in a towel and with blood under her head, although Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard reported no other signs of a struggle.
The couple's son, Daniel Christopher Benoit, also died of asphyxia, apparently killed as he lay in bed on the morning of June 23. Then, on the evening of June 24, Benoit died by suicide in his weight room, when he used a weight
lifting machine to hang himself, breaking his own neck. He placed copies of the Bible alongside the bodies of his wife and son, as well as a third Bible on his weight lifting machine. Since Benoit's suicide, numerous explanations for his actions have been proposed, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy, steroid abuse, and a failing marriage. The incident led to numerous media accounts, and a federal investigation into steroid abuse in professional wrestling.Death of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was a German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and Führer ("Leader") of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. He killed himself by gunshot on 30 April 1945 in his Führerbunker in Berlin. Eva Braun, his wife of one day, committed suicide with him by taking cyanide. In accordance with Hitler's prior written and verbal instructions, that afternoon their remains were carried up the stairs through the bunker's emergency exit, doused in petrol, and set alight in the Reich Chancellery garden outside the bunker. Records in the Soviet archives show that their burnt remains were recovered and interred in successive locations until 1946. In 1970, they were again exhumed, cremated, and the ashes scattered.Accounts differ as to the cause of death; one version stated that he died by poison only and another view claimed he died by a self-inflicted gunshot while biting down on a cyanide capsule. Contemporary historians have rejected these accounts as being either Soviet propaganda or an attempted compromise in order to reconcile the different conclusions. One eyewitness stated that Hitler's corpse showed signs of having been shot through the mouth, but this has been proven unlikely. Dental remains found on Hitler's corpse were matched with his dental records in 1945. In 2009, American researchers performed DNA testing on a skull fragment that Soviet officials had long believed to be Hitler's. The DNA test and examination indicated that it belonged to a woman less than 40 years old.For political reasons, the Soviet Union presented various versions of Hitler's fate. In the years immediately after the war, the Soviets maintained that Hitler was not dead, but had fled and was being shielded by the former Western Allies.English Wikipedia
The English Wikipedia is the English-language edition of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Founded on 15 January 2001, it is the first edition of Wikipedia and, as of November 2017, has the most articles of any of the editions. As of February 2019, 12% of articles in all Wikipedias belong to the English-language edition. This share has gradually declined from more than 50 percent in 2003, due to the growth of Wikipedias in other languages. As of 20 February 2019, there are 5,809,172 articles on the site, having surpassed the 5 million mark on 1 November 2015. In October 2015, the combined text of the English Wikipedia's articles totalled 11.5 gigabytes when compressed.The Simple English Wikipedia is a variation in which most of the articles use only basic English vocabulary. There is also the Old English (Ænglisc/Anglo-Saxon) Wikipedia (angwiki). Community-produced news publications include The Signpost.Jonestown
The Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, better known by its informal name "Jonestown", was a remote settlement established by the Peoples Temple, an American cult under the leadership of reverend Jim Jones, in north Guyana. It became internationally known when, on November 18, 1978, a total of 918 people died in the settlement, at the nearby airstrip in Port Kaituma, and at a Temple-run building in Georgetown, Guyana's capital city. The name of the settlement became synonymous with the incidents at those locations.
In total, 909 individuals died in Jonestown, all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning, in an event termed "revolutionary suicide" by Jones and some members on an audio tape of the event and in prior discussions. The poisonings in Jonestown followed the murder of five others by Temple members at Port Kaituma, including United States Congressman Leo Ryan, an act that Jones ordered. Four other Temple members committed murder-suicide in Georgetown at Jones' command.
While some refer to the events in Jonestown as mass suicide, many others, including Jonestown survivors, regard them as mass murder. As many as 70 people may have been injected with poison, and a third of the victims (304) were minors. It was the largest such event in modern history and resulted in the largest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act until September 11, 2001.Kamikaze
Kamikaze (神風, [kamiꜜkaze]; "divine wind" or "spirit wind"), officially Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (特別攻撃隊, "Special Attack Unit"), were a part of the Japanese Special Attack Units of military aviators who initiated suicide attacks for the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy warships more effectively than possible with conventional air attacks. About 3,800 kamikaze pilots died during the war, and more than 7,000 naval personnel were killed by kamikaze attacks.Kamikaze aircraft were essentially pilot-guided explosive missiles, purpose-built or converted from conventional aircraft. Pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships in what was called a "body attack" in planes laden with some combination of explosives, bombs, and torpedoes. Accuracy was much higher than that of conventional attacks, and the payload and explosion larger; about 19% of kamikaze attacks were successful. A kamikaze could sustain damage that would disable a conventional attacker and still achieve its objective. The goal of crippling or destroying large numbers of Allied ships, particularly aircraft carriers, was considered by the Empire of Japan to be a just reason for sacrificing pilots and aircraft.
These attacks, which began in October 1944, followed several critical military defeats for the Japanese. They had long since lost aerial dominance as a result of having outdated aircraft and enduring the loss of experienced pilots. Japan suffered from a diminishing capacity for war and a rapidly declining industrial capacity relative to that of the Allies. Japan was also losing pilots faster than it could train their replacements. These combined factors, along with Japan's unwillingness to surrender, led to the use of kamikaze tactics as Allied forces advanced towards the Japanese home islands.
While the term kamikaze usually refers to the aerial strikes, it has also been applied to various other suicide attacks. The Japanese military also used or made plans for non-aerial Japanese Special Attack Units, including those involving submarines, human torpedoes, speedboats and divers.The tradition of death instead of defeat, capture and shame was deeply entrenched in Japanese military culture. One of the primary traditions in the samurai life and the Bushido code: loyalty and honour until death.Kurt Cobain
Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the guitarist and frontman of the rock band Nirvana. Cobain is remembered as one of the most iconic and influential rock musicians in the history of alternative music.
Born in Aberdeen, Washington, Cobain formed the band Nirvana with Krist Novoselic and Aaron Burckhard in 1987 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene which later became known as grunge. After signing with major label DGC Records, Nirvana found success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from their second album Nevermind (1991). Following the success of Nevermind, Nirvana was labelled "the flagship band" of Generation X, and Cobain was hailed as "the spokesman of a generation"; however, Cobain resented this, believing his message and artistic vision had been misinterpreted by the public, with his personal problems often subject to media attention.During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction and chronic health problems such as depression. He also struggled with the personal and professional pressures of fame, and his marriage to musician Courtney Love. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle by an electrician who had come to install a home security system; it was concluded Cobain died on April 5 at the age of 27 from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to his head.Cobain has been described as a "Generation X icon". He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl and Novoselic, in their first year of eligibility in 2014. In 2003, David Fricke of Rolling Stone ranked him the 12th greatest guitarist of all time. He was ranked 7th by MTV in the "22 Greatest Voices in Music". In 2006, he was placed 20th by Hit Parader on their list of the "100 Greatest Metal Singers of All Time".List of countries by suicide rate
The following are lists of countries by suicide rate according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other sources.
A country's rate is determined by its age-adjusted total rate (per 100,000 population) of deaths officially recorded as suicides in the most recent available year. The WHO statistics are based on the official reports from each respective country, therefore are no more accurate than the record-keeping in the specific country, and revisions (updates) are usually performed as well.About one person in 5,000–15,000 dies by suicide every year (1.4% of all deaths), with a reported global rate of 10.7 per 100,000 population in 2015 (was 11.6 in 2008).
In Western countries male and female rates of suicidal behaviors differ at a greater degree compared to those in the rest of the world.
Around 30% of global suicides are due to pesticide self-poisoning, most of which occur in rural agricultural areas in low- and middle-income countries consisting in about 80% world population; some of these pesticides are forbidden by United Nations (UN) conventions. In high-income countries consisting of the remaining 20% world population, the most common methods are firearms, hanging and other self-poisoning. Europe is the most suicidal region in the entire world, while the Eastern Mediterranean the least.A 2014 overview pointed at the economic crisis' years (2007-2008) as a period from which suicide rates surged globally. The study was about China's suicide rates which have been declining instead: in the 1990s China was among the countries with highest the suicide rates in the world (above 20 per 100,000), but by the global economic crisis they kept dropping as significantly (as they were by the end of 1990s) with the main force having been migration from rural to urban areas. The same years were also a turning point for reliability of data: before then, many countries had no globally recognized official rates, particularly African countries.Per recent WHO releases, social stigma, the taboo to openly discuss suicide, and low availability of data lead to poor data quality for both suicide and suicide attempts: "given the sensitivity of suicide – and the illegality of suicidal behaviour in some countries – it is likely that under-reporting and misclassification are greater problems for suicide than for most other causes of death."
In much of the world, suicide is stigmatized and condemned for religious or cultural reasons. In some countries, suicidal behaviour is a criminal offence punishable by law. Suicide is therefore often a secretive act surrounded by taboo, and may be unrecognized, misclassified or deliberately hidden in official records of death.Murder–suicide
A murder–suicide is an act in which an individual kills one or more people before killing themselves. The combination of murder and suicide can take various forms, often linked to the first form:
Murder linked with suicide of a mentally unstable person with a homicidal ideation;
Murder which entails suicide, such as suicide bombing or driving a car with one or more passenger(s) over a precipice;
Suicide after murder to escape state punishment(s);
Suicide after murder as a form of self-punishment due to guilt;
Suicide after (or before) murder by proxy;
Suicide after or during murder inflicted by others;
Murder to receive a death sentence willfully;
Joint suicide in the form of killing the other with consent, and then killing oneself;
Murder before suicide with the intent of preventing future pain and suffering of others including family members and oneself, such as a parent killing their children before ending their own life;Suicide-lawful killing has three conceivable forms:
To kill one's assailant through proportionate self-defense killing oneself in the process;
Lawful killing to prevent an individual from causing harm to others, in so doing killing oneself;
Lawful killing indirectly resulting in or contributing to suicide.Many spree killings have ended in suicide, such as in many school shootings. Some cases of religiously-motivated suicides may also involve murder. All categorization amounts to forming somewhat arbitrary distinctions where relating to intention in the case of psychosis, where the intention(s) is/are more likely than not to be irrational. Ascertaining the legal intention (mens rea) is inapplicable to cases properly categorized as insanity.Seppuku
Seppuku (Japanese: 切腹, "cutting [the] belly"), sometimes referred to as harakiri (腹切り, "abdomen/belly cutting", a native Japanese kun reading), is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. It was originally reserved for samurai, but was also practiced by other Japanese people later on to restore honor for themselves or for their family. A samurai practice, seppuku was used either voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies (and likely suffer torture) or as a form of capital punishment for samurai who had committed serious offenses, or performed because they had brought shame to themselves. The ceremonial disembowelment, which is usually part of a more elaborate ritual and performed in front of spectators, consists of plunging a short blade, traditionally a tantō, into the abdomen and drawing the blade from left to right, slicing the abdomen open. If the cut is performed deeply enough it can sever the descending aorta, causing massive blood loss inside the abdomen, which results in a rapid death by exsanguination.Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad is the name of a fictional supervillain team appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The first version of the Suicide Squad debuted in The Brave and the Bold #25 (September 1959) and the second and modern version, created by John Ostrander, debuted in Legends #3 (January 1987). One of the two teams saves the world from a threatening race of savages.
The modern incarnation of the Suicide Squad is Task Force X—a team of incarcerated supervillains who carry out secret missions in exchange for reduced prison sentences. The Suicide Squad's name alludes to the dangerous nature of their missions. The team is based out of Belle Reve Penitentiary under the directorship of Amanda Waller.
Various incarnations of the Suicide Squad have existed throughout the years as depicted in several self-titled comic book series, from its origins in the Silver Age, to its modern-day Post-Crisis reimagining, to the current version that was introduced in the 2016 DC Rebirth continuity reboot. The current incarnation of the team appears in the fifth volume of the Suicide Squad comic series, and the recurring members include Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Enchantress, Harley Quinn, Katana and Killer Croc.
The group has appeared in various adaptations, including television series and an eponymous 2016 feature film.Suicide Squad (film)
Suicide Squad is a 2016 American superhero film based on the DC Comics supervillain team of the same name, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the third installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The film is written and directed by David Ayer and stars an ensemble cast featuring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, and Cara Delevingne. In Suicide Squad, a secret government agency led by Amanda Waller recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions and save the world from a powerful threat, in exchange for reduced sentences.
By February 2009, a Suicide Squad film was in development at Warner Bros. Ayer signed on to write and direct in September 2014, and by October, the casting process had begun. Principal photography began in Toronto, Ontario on April 13, 2015, with additional filming in Chicago, Illinois, and ended in August that year.
Suicide Squad premiered in New York City on August 1, 2016, and was released in the United States in 2D, Real D 3D, IMAX and IMAX 3D on August 5, 2016. Following a strong debut that set new box office records, the film grossed over $746 million worldwide, making it the 10th highest-grossing film of 2016. It received generally negative reviews from critics, who criticized the plot, direction, editing and characters, though Robbie's performance received praise. The film was nominated for and won multiple awards across various categories, including an Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling at the 89th Academy Awards, making it the first film in the DCEU to win an Academy Award. A sequel, The Suicide Squad, is in development and is scheduled for release in 2021.Suicide attack
A suicide attack is any violent attack in which the attacker accepts their own death as a direct result of the method used to harm, damage or destroy the target. Suicide attacks have occurred throughout history, often as part of a military campaign such as the Japanese kamikaze pilots of World War II, and more recently as part of terrorist campaigns, such as the September 11 attacks.
While there were few, if any, successful suicide attacks anywhere in the world from the end of World War II until 1980, between 1981 and September 2015, a total of 4,814 suicide attacks occurred in over 40 countries, killing over 45,000 people. During this time the global rate of such attacks grew from an average of three a year in the 1980s, to about one a month in the 1990s, to almost one a week from 2001 to 2003, to approximately one a day from 2003 to 2015.Suicide attacks tend to be more deadly and destructive than other terror attacks because they give their perpetrators the ability to conceal weapons, make last-minute adjustments, and because they dispense with the need for remote or delayed detonation, escape plans or rescue teams. They constituted only 4% of all terrorist attacks around the world over one period (between 1981 and 2006), but caused 32% of all terrorism-related deaths (14,599). Ninety percent of those attacks occurred in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Overall, as of mid-2015 about three-quarters of all suicide attacks occurred in just three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.Suicide attacks have been described as a weapon of psychological warfare to instill fear in the target population, a strategy to eliminate or at least drastically diminish areas where the public feels safe, and the "fabric of trust that holds societies together", as well as demonstrate the lengths to which perpetrators will go to, to achieve their goals.The motivation of suicide attackers varies. Kamikaze acted under military orders and were motivated by obedience and nationalism. Before 2003, most attacks targeted forces occupying the attackers' homeland, according to analyst Robert Pape. Anthropologist Scott Atran states that since 2004 the overwhelming majority of bombers have been motivated by the ideology of Islamist martyrdom.Suicide by hanging
Suicide by hanging is the act of intentionally killing oneself via suspension from an anchor-point or ligature point (e.g. an overhead beam or hook) by a ligature or by jumping from a height with a noose around the neck.
Hanging is often considered to be a simple suicide method that does not require complicated techniques; however, a study of people who attempted suicide by hanging and lived suggests that this perception may not be accurate. It is one of the most commonly used suicide methods and has a high mortality rate; Gunnell et al. gives a figure of at least 70 percent. The materials required are easily available, and a wide range of ligatures can be used. Therefore, it is considered a difficult method to prevent. In the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, suicides by hanging are classified under the code X70: "Intentional self-harm by hanging, strangulation, and suffocation."Hanging is divided into suspension hanging and the much rarer drop hanging — this last can kill in various ways. Suicide attempters who survive either because the cord or ligature point breaks or because they are discovered and cut down, can face a range of serious injuries, including cerebral anoxia (which can lead to permanent brain damage), laryngeal fracture, cervical spine fracture, tracheal fracture, pharyngeal laceration, and carotid artery injury. Ron M. Brown writes that hanging has a "fairly imperspicuous and complicated symbolic history". There are commentaries on hanging in antiquity, and it has various cultural interpretations. Throughout history, numerous famous people have committed suicide by hanging.Suicide methods
A suicide method is any means by which a person completes suicide, purposely ending their life.Suicide of Kurt Cobain
On April 8, 1994, Kurt Cobain, the lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead at his home in Seattle, Washington. Forensic analysis at the time determined he had died by suicide three days earlier. The Seattle Police Department incident report states that "Kurt Cobain was found with a shotgun across his body, had a visible head wound and there was a suicide note discovered nearby." The King County Medical Examiner noted puncture wounds on the inside of both the right and left elbows. Prior to his death, Cobain had checked out of a drug rehabilitation facility and had been reported as suicidal by his wife Courtney Love.
The official ruling of suicide has been disputed by numerous sources. Tom Grant, a private investigator hired by Love to find Cobain after his departure from drug rehabilitation, believes that Cobain was murdered as the result of a conspiracy. Grant's theory has been analyzed and questioned by several books, television shows, films, and the 2015 docudrama Soaked in Bleach. Authors and filmmakers have also attempted to explain what might have happened during Cobain's final days, and what might have led him to suicide.