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by Archaeology Newsroom

Theories on suicide

In spite of its strictly personal character, suicide is a universal phenomenon observed in all periods of human history in every country and civilization. The issue is whether the attempted and committed suicides are expressions of one and the same phenomenon. Most studies reach the conclusion that most of the characteristics of attempted and committed suicides are identical. Therefore, we must accept the existence of a continuous spectrum of suicidal behavior, which starts from the suicidal ideation, is followed by a thought of manipulating the social environment and an attempt of relative gravity and terminates to a serious suisidal attempt that might be fatal. The study of suicidal behavior has contributed significant information on the risk factors leading to suicide. The typical characteristics of the individual who commits suicide are: male, over 45 years of age, widowed, divorcee or single, who lives alone or is socially withdrawn and who is also unemployed, idle or pensioner. Included in the late events of his life is a recent separation, a loss or unpleasant, depressing situations. He is mentally disordered, depressed, schizophrenic, alcoholic or a drug addict and often suffers from a chronic body disease (e.g. cancer, AIDS, epilepsy etc). As a rule he has a history of previous attempts, the violent or dangerous methods of which reveal a strong death desire. Finally, his family background is liable to suicide, depression or alcoholism. The timely identification of risk factors leading to suicide might contribute to the possible prevention of suicidal behavior, but not to the elimination of suicide.