“We must illuminate the dark corners of taboo and stigma. We must silence the loud voices of ignorance.”— Adina Wrobleski.
In today’s political environment, it is extremely difficult to watch the evening news or read the morning newspaper without remembering terrorism and suicide bombers. Still, the social conspiracy of silence on suicide is very much alive and prosperous. No topic is more misunderstood, even today, than suicide. still one of the last taboos. The taboo on suicide is so great that some people do not say the word, some newspapers do not publish stories about it. And, too often, scientists have avoided it as a research topic. For example, I have checked EzineArticles and I found only one article about suicide in the list of complain and lost, another indication that the taboo is at work. As I have already hinted, the bottom line is that people will commit suicide and that playing ostrich does not diminish this reality in the least. “Suicide,” writes the English poet and critic A. Álvarez, “has permeated Western culture like a dye that cannot be washed away.” The Wild God: A Study of Suicide.
In Western culture, suicide has always been a taboo and an ecclesiastical prohibition, many religions consider the act of taking one’s life as a sin that will not allow an individual who committed suicide to be buried in it. “sanctified” ground. For example, in the early years of Christianity, St. Augustine (345-430 AD) declared that suicide was a mortal sin and a century later, the Christian Church prohibited the recitation of masses for the souls of those who died by suicide, and they were denied burial in sacred ground. The last recorded “profane” burial of a suicide in Britain occurred in 1823. Families will go to great lengths to conceal a suicide and there is tremendous shame associated with the act of suicide.
Suicide has occurred consistently throughout recorded history in all cultural and social settings. However, attitudes toward suicide changed greatly in different times, cultures, and societies. In ancient Greece and Rome, suicide was primarily considered an honorable or heroic form of death. Once again, it was noted that the mass suicide of Jews at Masada in 73 AD. It was an honorable act to avoid falling into the hands of the defeated Roman army. In Japan, the samurai ritual was coded for different suicide methods that lead to death before dishonor. Even today in Japan there is little stigma associated with suicide, which may explain Japan’s high suicide rates.
In the Hindu faith there is a taboo against suicide, especially among men. The concept of altruistic Suicide is acceptable, there is also an honorable tradition associated with the suicide of grieving women. For example, widows often commit suicide by cremating themselves to fulfill their true role as wives. Another example, surviving members of the Taino Indian tribe jumped off high cliffs in Puerto Rico to escape capture after Christopher Columbus’s men had already killed two-thirds of the tribe. Many Africans transported from Africa were known to take their own lives, rather than being enslaved in the so-called The new World.
Criminalized the act of suicide
Until the 1950s in Britain, people were sent to prison for attempting suicide. The Suicide Act of 1961 repealed the law that both actual suicides and suicide attempts were considered criminal acts. England and Wales were the last countries in Europe to decriminalize suicide. The criminalization of suicide is not as far-fetched as the word suicide itself has the implication of being a criminal act, literally meaning self-murder.
The power of the social taboo
Suicide it is a leading cause of death in the United States, in some cases exceeding deaths from motor vehicle accidents annually. Many states spend a great deal of money on safer roads, but little, if any, on suicide awareness and prevention.
Consider for a moment what the reaction of society would be if 35,000 airline passengers died in plane crashes each year in the United States. It can be safely assumed that there would be a political and social uprising that would demand that the airline industry make immediate safety improvements. In 2004, six students committed suicide by jumping from tall buildings on the campus of New York University; According to the NYU spokesperson, two students committed suicide in the same week. If six students were killed, in less than a year, on the campus of one of America’s leading universities, the public would demand accountability. And state officials would mount a full frontal attack on the problem. Tea mass media he would set up camp outside the university asking questions and interviewing everyone within range of his cameras and microphones. However, in both cases there were no demands for accountability or social outrage over the political interventions. In fact, if you lived outside of the New York City area, you may not have read or heard of these suicides. Yes, suicide is clearly a taboo subject on which society stands on tiptoe.
Lack of ability to cope: not a mental illness
Suicide attempts and suicidal ideas are usually a symptom that indicates that the individual is not coping very well. This inability to cope is often the result of some event or series of events that the person finds overwhelmingly traumatic gold distressing. In many cases, the events in question will pass, the impact can be mitigated, the overwhelming nature will gradually fade if the individual can make constructive decisions when the crisis is at its peak. In the vast majority of cases, a suicide attempt would choose differently if you weren’t greatly distressed and could objectively evaluate your options. Most suicidal people give warning signs in the hope of being rescued, because the main intention is to stop their emotional pain and not die.
Most people who commit suicide do not have a diagnosable mental illness. They are people like you and me who sometimes feel isolated, desperately unhappy, and alone. Suicide Thoughts and actions can be the result of stresses and losses in life that the person feels they cannot cope with and just want the pain to stop.
In a society where there is much stigma and ignorance Regarding mental illness, a person who feels suicidal may fear that others will think they are mad if they express how they feel and may be reluctant to ask for help in a crisis. People with a mental illness such as schizophrenia or clinical depression have significantly higher than average suicide rates, yet they are still in the minority of those who attempt it. For these people, having their disease correctly diagnosed may indicate that appropriate treatment can begin to address the problem.
For additional information on suicide facts and myths: http://www.crisislink.org