BR. SARATH THOMAS CHAMAKALAYIL
ETYMOLOGY OF SUICIDE
Suicide derived from the two
sui & caedere = "to kill
Suicide, also known as
completed suicide, is the "act
of taking one's own life"
HISTORY OF SUICIDE
In ancient Athens, a person who committed suicide
without the approval of the state was denied the
honours of a normal burial. The person would be buried
alone, on the outskirts of the city, without a headstone
• In Ancient Greece and Rome suicide was deemed to
be an acceptable method to deal with military defeat.
• Historically in the Christian
church, people who
were excommunicated and
those who died by suicide
were buried outside
• In 19th-century Europe the
act of suicide shifted from
being viewed as caused
by sin to being caused
RELIGIOUS VIEWS ABOUT SUICIDE
• 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.
• In Catholic doctrine, the argument is based on
the commandment "Thou shalt not kill"
• 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.
• JUDAISM: suicide is tantamount to
denying God's goodness in the
• HINDUISM: suicide is generally
frowned upon and is considered
equally sinful as murdering another
in contemporary Hindu society.
• Hindu scriptures state that one
who commits suicide will become
part of the spirit world, wandering
earth until the time one would
have otherwise died, had one not
• ISLAM: Suicide is PROHIBITED.
WHY SUICIDE IS TO BE SERIOUSLY DISCUSSED?
• Around 800,000 to a million people die by suicide every year
• It is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide. suicide is the
second leading cause of death among college students.
• It is also especially common among physicians, lawyers and
• Rates are higher in men than in women, with males three to four
times more likely to kill themselves than females.
• There are an estimated 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted
suicides every year. Attempts are more common in young people
• Suicide rate in Kerala is 24.8/lakh during 2010. The
latest figures from the National Crime Records
Bureau show that 8,431 people killed themselves
during 2011, the State accounting for 6.2 per cent
of the total number of suicides in the country.
• In Asia, most women suicide attempts are
happening in this small state Kerala.
• Of the half million people reported
to die of suicide worldwide every
year, 20% are Indians, for 17% of
• In a study published in The Lancet
in June 2012, the estimated
number of suicides in India in 2010
was about 187,000.
• A large proportion of adult suicide
deaths were found to occur
between the ages of 15 years and
29 years. There are about 250,000
suicide attempts in US each year.
Roughly one in eight of these
attempts are successful.
• It seems that great majority of suicides are linked
to depression, hopelessness, despair, alcohol and
drug disorders are correlated with an elevated
incidence of suicide.
• Studies reveal that in countries were Catholism
and Islam are strong; the rates of suicide tend to
lower than in countries where religious beliefs are
not so deeply held. H.KAREN, Psychology in
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUICIDE
1. People who talk about suicide don’t
actually commit suicide: people who talk about
suicide are high risk group, and their veiled threats
should not be ignored
2. Suicide usually
takes place with
little or no
warning: it is
estimated that 80% of
suicide attempts are
preceded by some kind
of warning. It may range
from clear threats to
3. People who attempt suicide are fully intent
on dying: it appears that only about 3.5% of
those who attempt suicide definitely want to
die. Others only want to send out a dramatic
signal. Suicides threats are often a last ditch cry
for help. They often see it as the only source of
4. People who are suicide remain so for ever: If
they could manage their crisis period, thoughts
of suicide may disappear entirely.
( W.WAYNE, Psychology Themes and Variations, p.596.597)
5. People who
threaten suicide are
attention: 75% of
had made previous
6. Only insane
people would take
their own lives: the
contemplation of the suicide
reflects a narrowing of the
range of options that people
think are available to them.
(A.S. RATHUS, Psychology,
7. Only depressed people commit
suicide: suicide is not limited to people with
depression. Poor physical health, serious illness,
substance abuse, loneliness, unemployment,
and even natural disasters may push many of
the people to suicide.
8. Thinking about suicide is rare: estimates
from various studies find that 10 to 80% of
the general public has thought about
committing suicide at least once in their
Warning signs of SUICIDE……….!!!
• Significant changes in eating and
• dramatic change in personality or
• decline in social performances
• drug or alcohol abuse
• obsession with death
• with drawl from friends and
• profound guilt or hopelessness
• giving away favourite
(D.SUE, Understanding Abnormal
Suicide is the most selfish, satanic thought
of human mind……our life is actually a real
blessing of God. Accept it …..as it is. And
as we are the social workers we can be
the shock absorbers of the society… so