Four Theories of Suicide
The first key theory of suicide is the egoistic suicide theory. According to Davison and Neale, suicide is always likely to occur when an individual feels cut off from the mainstream society. Low social integration pushes individuals into the dungeon of loneliness, and they get to the point of being alone. Continuous incidences of isolation expose individuals to societal pressures, and lead to suicide. These people start to believe that the only way to escape such isolation is to die and leave the society.
The second theory is the altruistic suicide theory. This theory claims that suicide is likely to occur when individuals are too close and too intimate with each other within the society. Davison and Neale, affirm that there is usually a high level of social integration and a belief in the values and principles of the group with which these individuals are associated. According to this theory, people forget about their personal values and principles and subscribe to those of the group. In fact, they are always willing to do everything with regard to the interests of the group. Suicide bombers are the key examples of this kind of suicide.
The third theory is the anomic suicide theory. Anomic suicide occurs when there is a low degree of regulation, during the period, when a person experiences rapid change in life. This type of suicide happens in cases when an individual is exposed to massive stress and undesirable changes in his/her life. For instance, sudden bankruptcy is always likely to subject an individual to extreme stress, hence, pushing him/her to the limit of committing suicide. Davison and Neale inform that rapid changes in life and stress make life unbearable and force people to commit suicide. Overall, the theory emphasizes the need to have a regulatory mechanism that is likely to help individuals get out of stressful situations and cope with the daily changes in their life.
The fourth theory is the fatalistic suicide theory. This theory holds the view that individuals will commit suicide in cases, when their lives are under tight regulation. Different societies have varying rules that members have to follow. However, some societies tend to overregulate their members hence leading to suicide. For instance, slaves and servants are always under pressure to work and deliver particular services, which they might not always be able to provide. The failure to meet such requirements subjects them to unnecessary pressure and fatalistic suicide.
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Three Characteristics of People Likely to Commit Suicide
One of the most significant characteristics of people who are likely to commit suicide is that they try to get their affairs in order. Davison and Neale agree that a person who is about to commit suicide is working hard to bring his/her affairs in order through such acts as changing his/her will, or paying off any outstanding debts. Nevertheless, one might now show any signs that he/she is going to commit suicide. This characteristic signifies the view that one would always want to leave the world free of any commitment and debts to other people.
Another characteristic of people who are likely to commit suicide is prolonged depression or a sad mood. As it was noted earlier, individuals would be pushed to commit suicide because of the different circumstances they experience in their lives. Davison and Neale opine that in case of a job loss or other undesirable changes in life, the person would be depressed the entire day and would lack concentration in different affairs. Such individual is likely to always be in a thoughtful mood, but prefers to keep everything to himself/herself. People are not always likely to expose their troubles to other people, as they plot to commit suicide.
The third characteristic of people who are likely to commit suicide is the signs of planning to obtain a weapon or anything that could be used to facilitate suicide. There are cases, when these individuals decide to buy some weapon to facilitate their mission. In fact, some of them acquire poison to assist them in the attainment of their purpose of committing suicide. Again, they hide the purpose of purchasing a weapon because of the fear that other people might prevent them from completing their suicidal mission. This behavior is typical for the person who is about to commit suicide.
People who are not likely to commit suicide exhibit one significant characteristic. They show signs of non-depression and move on with their lives in the best possible way. Davison and Neale reiterate that these individuals are always willing to consult and seek guidance from other people in cases, when they feel that things are not going the direction they want. This simplifies everything for them, as they get effective solutions to their problems that might have led to suicidal thoughts.
Two Reasons why it is Difficult to Predict Suicide in Individual Cases
Firstly, it is difficult to predict suicide in individual cases because of the concealment of suicidal thoughts. Individuals conceal their suicidal thoughts making it difficult for anyone to predict. In most cases, they emphasize that everything is fine underlining their intention to move on after going through difficult moments. Davison and Neale state that individuals are always reluctant to open up about their suicidal intentions hence making it difficult for anyone to predict their intentions.
Secondly, it is difficult to predict because of the transient nature of suicidal thoughts among individuals. These thoughts are always short-term and might not be easily understood by others. They come to individuals in an instant and suicide might occur before other people get to understand the nature of these thoughts. Therefore, the short-term nature of suicidal thoughts affects its predictability.
Why is Suicide More Common among Males?
The rates of suicide are more common among males compared to females because of their inability to handle difficult situations in the most effective way. Davison and Neale are of the view that the society has built the masculine nature of men around aspects of strength, independence, and risk-taking behavior. This makes it difficult for them to share their problems and release their emotions through biological processes such as crying. Therefore, the only option for them to get over their problems is to always commit suicide, as women share their problems and cry them out of their hearts.