Facts about Suicide

It is reported that suicide is the cause of death for about 30,000 people each year in the United States. Since many suicides are not reported as such, the actual number is likely much higher. Suicide goes unreported because of its stigma or because family members find it too painful to confront the truth.

  • In the United States. Nevada has the highest rate of suicide.
  • More suicides happen in the spring than any other time of the year.
  • The most lethal days of the week are Monday and Friday.
  • Rich people and poor people alike commit suicide. Suicide is an equal­ opportunity killer; and is chosen by people from every group imaginable. The most common victims are white males aged 65 and older.
  • More men than women kill themselves. but women are more likely to attempt suicide.
  • 6o% of people who commit suicide do so with guns.

Why people commit Suicide

There are many reasons why people kill themselves, and we seldom know why certain individuals choose this route. The following factors seem to play a role in many suicides, but none of them guarantee that a person will end his or her life. Often it is a combination of factors that seem to interact with a person's circumstances; the factors are unique for each person. Some of these factors include:

Clinical depression: This type of depression is much more than just a simple case of the blues; it is severe and debilitating. It may surprise you to know that people who suffer from depression are at the greatest risk for suicide after they have begun treatment and are beginning to feel better.

Alcoholism: and drug abuse are associated with a higher suicide rate because these substances impair judgment. Over half of all adolescent suicides and suicide attempts are associated with alcohol.

Mental illness: People who have certain disorders, such as schizophrenia, have a higher risk of suicide.

Physical illness: Including terminal illness and the illnesses common as people age, are often a factor that contributes to people who commit suicide.

Feeling hopeless is very common among people who commit suicide. Hopelessness may be part of clinical depression, or it may be the result of an illness or other dire circumstance.

Anger motivates some people to commit suicide. After a long, unhappy relationship and years of building anger; these people see their suicide as a dramatic way to send a message of retribution.

A sudden loss may precipitate suicide in some people. The shock and grief of an enormous loss of a person or job may drive a person to such an extreme.

Experiencing a scandal or extreme embarrassment leads some people to feel so trapped in their situation that they can think of no other way out

Why people commit Suicide

  • One expert says that 8 out of 10 people who kill themselves have given clear warnings that they were considering suicide.
  • Making a threat of suicide, e.g., “I wish I were dead,""I'm going to end it"
  • Expressing hopelessness, helplessness. or worthlessness
  • Having previous suicide attempts
  • Seeming depressed, moody. or angry
  • Having trouble at school or at work
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs
  • Taking risks
  • Withdrawing from other people
  • Behaving differently or oddly
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Loss of appetite
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Suddenly seeming happy after exhibiting several of the behaviors listed above.


Treatment can range from immediate hospitalization to weekly psychotherapy with a licensed mental health professional. It may also include antidepressant medication or treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

What to do if someone is suicidal

Take action immediately. Depending on the urgency of the situation, call your doctor; hospital, mental health center; suicide hotline, or police emergency number (911).