Going to Sleep Forever
By Zainab Khan

April 28th 2008
Suicides are the products of prolonged patient suffering and extreme emotional or economical crisis. With every victim, the reasons vary and so do the means that bring about such life ending deeds. Maybe the world and its people are failing in rekindling the beacon of hope, or maybe many lose the very will to fight for their lives. Reasons and means leading up to such devastations are just one part of the suicidal tragedies… where many families are ripped apart and many souls are forever damaged. There is also the fact that thousands of reported suicides, and a few thousands more that remain unreported, have increased the rate of suicides by 60% in the past 45 years worldwide. The following are a few findings by the WHO (World Health Organization) that should impose on us the rate at which many of our fellow beings are falling prey to their weaknesses.

• Every 40th second, one-person commits suicide.
• The Eastern Mediterranean Region and Central Asia republics have the lowest suicide rates.
• Nearly 30% of all suicides worldwide occur in India and China.
• Suicide rates have traditionally been highest amongst elderly males; rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of all countries.
• Suicides globally by age are as follows: 55% are aged between15 to 44 years and 45% are aged 45 years and over.
• Young people, age 15 to 24 account for 20% of male suicides, and 14% of female suicides. Suicide attempts are among the leading causes of hospital admissions in people under 35.
• Youth suicide is increasing at the greatest rate.
• Higher rates of suicides have been noticed in the age group of 15-34 years in all the countries.

Statistics of known causes behind suicides:
• Mental health disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of all cases of suicide.
• Between 30 and 70 percent of suicide victims suffer from major depression or bipolar disorder.
• It is estimated that 50% of suicides involve substance abuse. The rate of suicide in alcoholics is 3 to 4 times the average, and for narcotics users it is 5 times the average.
• Elderly people, particularly those with chronic illnesses, have the highest suicide rate of any other age group. An estimated 40% of all suicide victims are people over 60, and the majority is white males. After age 75, the rate is 3 times the average, and after age 80 the risk is 6 times the average.
• One third of people with schizophrenia (a psychotic disorder that is characterized by a twisted view of the real world, by a greatly reduced ability to carry out one’s daily tasks, and by abnormal ways of thinking, feeling and behaving) attempt suicide, and 5 to 10 percent eventually do so. The majority of these are young, unemployed males with no families.
In Canada, United States and Europe:
• In Canada and the United States, the ratio of male to female suicide is approximately 4:1. In 1997, 767 Canadian women and 2,914 men completed suicide in Canada. Male suicide rates have been at least three times higher than for females since the 1950s, with the difference increasing to four times higher by the late 1990s.
• The Center of Disease and prevention in the US have reported that males are four times more likely to die from suicide than are females. However, females are more likely to attempt suicide than are males.
• In Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, the highest suicide rates are reported for both men and women.
In Asian Countries:
• Among the South East Asia Region Member Countries, suicide rates vary from 8-50 per 100,000 populations per year. India and Sri Lanka record the highest number of suicide rates and occupy the 45th and 7th positions globally.
• A recent review of suicides in South East Asia revealed that nearly 10-30% of registrations in hospital emergency departments are due to attempted suicides.
• In Bangladesh, from an average of 600 suicides per month during 1972-1988, the number of suicides increased to 984 per month during 1992-1993.
These figures clearly show that not many people were courageous enough to see life till its own end. They must have had plights and abrasive histories tailing them but the point remains that each of us will be tested, tried and challenged. All of us are beautiful people and we simply shouldn’t ever attempt to brutalize our lives or make it harder, in an act of aggression or hatred towards one’s self. Because when looked closely, we have so many things to thank God for, the very first of which is our existence.


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