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Living with Illness ~ Suicide

Living with Illness ~ Suicide


Discover the Keys to Managing Your Health


Acute and Chronic illnesses and injury can adversely affect your physical, emotional, relational and spiritual well being. Taking control over your life is vital to gaining well being and living life to the fullest. With good preventive care, early intervention, and the many treatment options available, management of many illnesses can be successful and provide individuals with a quality of life that allows for continued living with dignity

Suicide. Suicide is the act of deliberately killing oneself. Risk factors for suicide include mental disorder (such as depression, personality disorder, alcohol dependence, or schizophrenia), and some physical illnesses, such as neurological disorders, cancer, and HIV infection. There are effective strategies and interventions for the prevention of suicide.

Retrieved from: World Health Organization.

Suicide is a tragic and potentially preventable public health problem. In 1996, the most recent year for which statistics are available, suicide was the 9th leading cause of death in the United States. Specifically, 10.8 out of every 100,000 persons died by suicide. The total number of suicides was approximately 31,000, or 1.3 percent of all deaths, which was about the same number of deaths as from AIDS. It was estimated that there were 500,000 suicide attempts. Taken together, the numbers of suicide deaths and attempts reflect the magnitude of the problem and the need for well-designed prevention efforts.

Suicidal behavior is complex. Some risk factors vary with age, gender and ethnic group and may even change over time. The risk factors for suicide frequently occur in combination. Research has shown that 90 percent of people who kill themselves have depression or another diagnosable mental or substance abuse disorder. In addition, research has shown that alterations in neurotransmitters such as serotonin are associated with the risk for suicide. Diminished levels have been found in patients with depression, impulsive disorders, a history of violent suicide attempts, and also in postmortem brains of suicide victims.

Adverse life events in combination with other strong risk factors, such as depression may lead to suicide. However, suicide and suicidal behavior are not normal responses to the stresses experienced by most people. Many people experience one or more risk factors and are not suicidal. Other risk factors include: prior suicide attempt; family history of mental or substance abuse disorder; family history of suicide; family violence, including physical or sexual abuse; firearms in the home; incarceration; and exposure to the suicidal behavior of others, including family members, peers, and/or via the media in news or

Source: Retrieved from

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