University of Phoenix
Dr. Leslie Brougham
May 13, 2010
Suicide a Social Phenomenon
Suicide has quickly become a social phenomenon. As much as this is hidden from news reports and other public media, this phenomenon is a reality. Here are a few startling statistics from 2005: Suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death for all Americans; Homicide ranks 13th. More people die from suicide than from homicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24 year olds (1st = accidents, 2nd = homicide). Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 25-34 year olds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. More males die from suicide than females (4 male deaths by suicide for each female death by suicide). (Caruso, 2005) To obtain accurate numbers for 2010 and understand why this has become an epidemic, research must be conducted. Possible methods could include conducting focus groups and interviews of key professionals that have come in direct contact with suicide victims and suicidal people. Key professionals could include emergency room physicians and paramedics, psychologists and psychiatrics, and genetic scientists. Interviewing family members of suicide victims may not be as productive.
Emergency Room Physicians and Paramedics
This group could effectively contribute to research based on actual accounts of victims not just contemplating the action but actually taken the step to harm themselves. These professionals could possibly provide information from the victims prospective. If the victim survives or has last words, they may share their true feelings or explanations to the physician because of the nonbiased relationship; unlike sharing with a psychologist or family member. Thus, revealing a more truthful or accurate amount of information into reasoning or causes of such actions.
Paramedics actually have first knowledge of the scene in which they step into when picking the patients up from their homes or place of the suicide or suicide attempt. They can provide information about the person’s environment, reactions, and attitudes or comments from family members or neighbors. Oftentimes, if conscious, paramedics may talk to and comfort patients on the way to the hospital. This information could be crucial to understanding the emotional aspects of the actions. If the victim did not make it, maybe there was a suicide that could provide insight. Here are examples of suicide notes left at the scene of the suicide: Single female, age 21
My dearest Andrew,
It seems as if I have been spending all my life apologizing to you for things that happened whether they were my fault or not. I am enclosing your pin because I want you to think of what you took from me every time you see it. I don't want you to think I would kill myself over you because you're not worth any emotion at all. It is what you cost me that hurt and nothing can replace it. (Kleiner)
Married male, age 45
You win, I can't take it any longer, I know you have been waiting for this to happen. I hope it makes you very happy, this is not an easy thing to do, but I've got to the point where there is nothing to live for, a little bit of kindness from you would of made everything so different, but all that ever interested you was the dollar. It is pretty hard for me to do anything when you are so greedy even with this house you couldn't even be fair with that, well it's all yours now and you won't have to see the Lawyer anymore. I wish you would you give my personal things to Danny, you couldn't get much from selling them anyway, you still have my insurance, it isn't much but it will be enough to take care of my debts and still have a few bucks left. You always told me that I was the one that made Sharon take her life, in fact you said I killed her, but you know down deep in...