The causes of depression are many:
1. Mood: There is a profound disturbance of mood, which is one of the prevailing sadness and misery.
2. Cognition (To think deeply): There is an important disturbance of cognition, so that everything around them is interpreted dismally. Sufferers can believe they are hateful, worthless and, at the extreme, that they are already dead and responsible for the evils in the world.
3. Energy: There are very often tell-tale changes in mood and energy, in which the mood is especially low in the early morning hours, with relative lighting of misery in the afternoon.
4. Sleep: There is a disturbance of sleep, where it is quite usual for a person to be able to sleep almost as soon as going to bed, but with early waking, sometimes accompanied by quite enclosed changes of mood.
5. Appetite: There is a loss in appetite, and an apparently liked food turns to such, that you cannot bear the sight of it.
6. Stress: Stress at work, home, school etc can cause severe depression which can lead to suicide.
Isolation and detachment
One of the most common sentiments expressed by many of those who resort to suicidal behaviour is a sense of detachment from others. This is not so much physical isolation but refers more to a sense of moral insulation, where the individual has come to define his, or her, situation as so hopeless that others cannot help to put it right.
Substance misuse (Drugs and alcohol)
Addiction to drugs and alcohol, in this day and age, has become a major factor, which leads a person to suicide. In the past few months the media around the world have shown many cases of suicide due to drug use. Some have also predicted if drugs like cannabis was to be made legal, the death toll will increase due to this. The media have shown the devastating effects suicide has on the society around the world through drug use.
Loss of family or friends
One may feel isolated after the death or separation from family members or friends. Loss of a relative/friend causes immense grief, which may cause one to think about suicide. Some commit suicide thinking they will join the dead in the grave.
This many times has the same effect as the death of a loved one. Sometimes it may, make some feel life is not worth living.
One who is large debts, thinking he will never be able to pay-up and may resort to suicide, thinking he will no more have this burdensome responsibility on his head, leaving his next of kin this problem.
Sickness and disability
Severe sicknesses, which one cannot bear, can lead one to take his life. In many cases taking help from others in doing this act (Euthanasia).
(Above are only a few reasons why one may resort into taking his own life. Many others can be found through thorough research.)
Few events in life have the same impact on us as the suicide of a friend or a loved one. The loss of a loved one, from any cause, brings out intense grief and mourning. The response and emotions felt by the bereaved following suicide are very different to those felt after other types of deaths. The fact that a loved one’s death appears to involve an element of choice, raise painful questions which deaths from natural or accidental causes do not.
Bereavement by suicide is usually prolonged. The grief is characterised by agonising, questioning and the search for some explanation as to why the death of his loved one has happened. Bereavement in this way often encompasses strong feelings of abandonment and rejection.
The sense of shock and disbelief following suicide is very intense. The most common and disturbing aspect of grief after suicide is recurring images of death, even if it was not witnessed. The finding of the body can be a traumatic experience. Going over and over the very frightening and painful images of the death, and the feelings these create, is a normal process of grief.
The statistical domain
Newly bereaved people always ask ‘why?’ However bereavement through suicide often involves a prolonged search for a reason or explanation to tragedy. Most people bereaved by suicide usually come to accept that they will never know the reason why a loved one did what they did. In the search for answers, different members of the same family may have different ideas as to why he/she took their life, it could strain family relationships, especially if an element of blame is involved.
Below, I have included statistics, which I have obtained for many different sources, including The Samaritans (www.thesamaritans.org).
· The World Health Organisation estimates that every year approximately 1.1million people will die from suicide
· A global mortality rate of 17 per 100,000
· One death every 40 seconds from suicide
· In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 65% worldwide.
· Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death amongst those aged 14-44(both sexes)
· Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicide
· Although suicide rates have traditionally been highest amongst the elderly, rates among young people have been increasing to such a rate that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of all countries
· More people die from suicide than homicide in the USA, there were 1.5 times as many suicides as homicide
· Mental disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of all causes of suicide
· Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than women are. However , females are more likely to attempt suicide than males
· 2 suicides every day by young people in the UK and Republic of Ireland
· 80% of suicides by young men
· Suicide accounts for a fifth of all deaths of young people
· An estimated 24,000 adolescents self-harmed in 1998 – 3 every hour
· Alcohol and substance misuse are significant factors in youth suicide
· Contributory factors to youth suicide include unemployment, social isolation, recent inter personal life events and difficulties with parents, peers and partners
· 6,216 suicides in the UK, 439 suicides in the Republic of Ireland
· One suicide every 79 minutes in the UK and the Republic of Ireland
· More than two young people commit suicide every day in the UK
· Suicide figures are double the death toll from road traffic accidents
· Suicide is now the second most common cause of death in the UK for young people aged between 15-24
· People who make suicide attempts or threats are not just “attention seeking”, but are at the risk of harming themselves
· Most suicidal people are undecided about living or dying, and try beforehand to let others know how they are feeling, or give clues or warnings
· Somebody tries to take his own life every three minutes
· In any given week, at least 463,000 people have serious thoughts about suicide
· Every year around 2500 children or young people phone child-line about feeling suicidal
· Overdosing accounts for 50% of female suicides and 25% of male suicides
· Under 25 year olds account for 9.26% of all suicides in East Lancashire. Of which 2.3% are of Asian heritage
Statistics about suicide are difficult to collate, and many are inaccurate because of the sensitivity of the issue. According to some research suicide rates are 50%-60% higher than the official rate.
The deterrent factor
There are three areas where the law is relevant to suicide.
First, while attempting to commit suicide has not been illegal in Britain since 1961, it is still a criminal offence under the ‘Suicide Act 1961’ to help someone commit suicide. Second, health professionals who do not take reasonable precautions to safeguard a suicidal patient who then goes on to commit suicide may be sued for negligence in the civil courts. Third, in some cases, people felt to be at grave risk of harming themselves can be detained for their own safety under the ‘Mental Health Act 1983’ (England and Wales), 1984 (Scotland), or ‘Mental Health Order 1986’ (Northern Ireland).
Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) mentioned suicide many times, a few of these incidents are recorded in Muhammad Ibn Ismael’s, ‘Sahih Al-Bukhari’. In one incident narrated by Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak (RA): the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever intentionally swears falsely by a religion other than Islam, then he is what he has said, (e.g. if he says, ‘If such thing is not true then I am a Jew,’ he is really a Jew if he is a liar). And whoever commits suicide with a piece of iron, he will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell-fire.”
Narrated by Jundub: The Prophet (SAW) said, “A man was inflicted with wounds and he commited suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him.”
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA): The Prophet (SAW) said, “He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell-fire (forever), and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself, he shall keep stabbing himself in the Hell-fire (forever).”
From the sayings of Allah and his Prophet (SAW), we can see suicide is not accepted in Islam and we can also see through other sources, it is also prohibited in other religions.
If one is thinking of committing suicide he should think about his friends and family, then he should turn to Allah and ask for his help. Talking to the Scholars and others would also help. Confidential information is also available through your GP. Many centres also offer help for people in these troubled times.
May Allah save us from this sin and give us all guidance to the straight path. May Allah save us from all types of grief and give us all entrance into Paradise.