Exploring Suicide Prevention and Its Impact: Insights from a Documentary
My overall response to this video is that it’s really informative and really digs into why people commit suicide and how it can be prevented. The video addresses the questions of: What kind of unhappiness leads to suicide? Many people face struggles in their lives, and as these struggles continue to grow, many people find that they have run out of coping mechanisms that can help them get through these struggles. It may only take one small act to send a person over the edge where they may contemplate or even commit suicide.
Understanding the Underlying Factors of Suicide
For some, it could be a breakup with a significant other, a loss of employment, an illness in the family, feeling unhappy or lonely, or feeling hopeless. For others, it might be because of failure and rejection they feel that they have caused. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Many of the people who commit suicide or try to attempt to commit suicide don’t want to die but just want the pain to stop. These people don’t see anything else; they just see the awful things happening to them. People who have suicidal thoughts are dealing with psychological pain, a bunch of negative emotions, loneliness, and guilt.
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One type of suicide described in the documentary is egoistic suicide, which occurs when a person commits suicide as a result of not feeling like they belong to society; they struggle to find a reason to live. People who commit egoistic suicide have weak or very little social bonds to their society. Another type of suicide described in the documentary was altruistic suicide, which occurs when a person sacrifices one’s life to save or benefit others. Both examples were seen with the woman named Christine in the documentary. Christine, who is a middle-aged woman, tried to end her life by eating a huge amount of prescription drugs. She discusses her life in an emergency room.
Christine explains how unbearable life is for her. She feels her husband doesn’t love her, can’t bear the thought of being left alone, and believes her 12-year-old son is better off without her and with someone else. Another type of suicide described in the documentary was anomic suicide, which is linked to disillusionment and disappointment. It is a condition where social and moral norms are confused, unclear, or simply not present. This was seen in the documentary when a suicide hotline volunteer revealed what she had learned on the job. People don’t treat each other very well, she says. ‘It’s disillusioning.’ The last type of suicide described in the documentary was fatalistic suicide, which occurs in oppressive societies, causing people to die rather than live within their society.
An example of this was the 12-year-old boy who hanged himself. Many people do not believe that suicides affect others around them. When one commits such an act, everyone is affected, such as family members, friends, teammates, and even neighbors. The pain that the victim leaves behind for his loved ones is sometimes unbearable for them. Many of these people who have lost a loved one have mixed emotions. Some feel sadness, while others feel anger. I feel that one of the hardest things a family member has to do is clean up at the end of the day after their loved one has committed suicide. This can be emotional, hard, and unpleasant for family members. They do this while they are still trying to process what has happened, how it has happened, and why it happened.
Prevention Strategies and Their Importance
Preventing suicide emerges as a major theme in the documentary. The documentary provides information about preventing suicide and treating mental illness. It is believed that we can prevent suicides by learning and acting on early warning signs. Depression is the major cause of suicidal thoughts and ideas. After a while, people become worn down and become less happy and lonelier. Depression can affect anyone; it doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, young, or old. It doesn’t look at your race, religion, or beliefs.
Depression is a medical condition that deals with the functioning of brain chemicals and emotions, and that is why it makes any person susceptible to it. Common causes for depression can include the death of a loved one or someone close, divorce, or loss of a home or job. Depression leads to people having pain, which causes them to have a displeasure from something that is important to the person suffering.
Suicide intervention is another theme in the documentary. The director of Suicide Intervention Training plays a really emotional 911 tape-recorded when a young girl finds her dead brother, who has shot himself in the head. He’s trying to prepare his Police Department’s 911 operators for the emotion and the horror they will face should they ever receive such a call. The director of the documentary takes his camera to different suicide intervention centers to show how many professionals are being prepared to prevent someone from committing suicide. Postvention is a response to help the healing of individuals from grief and stress and prevent suicide in people who have been exposed to suicide and are at high risk.
Examples of this are given throughout the documentary, but the one that stood out to me was Christine. I believe that the more people are educated about suicide, the warning signs, and how to prevent suicide, the more it might decrease the number of suicides in America.
- “The Suicidal Mind” by Edwin S. Shneidman
- “My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward: A Memoir” by Mark Lukach
- “Reasons to Stay Alive” by Matt Haig
- “Suicide: A Study in Sociology” by Emile Durkheim