Types of suicide

According to Emile Durkheim’s (A Study in Sociology, New York, The Free Press, 1951) theory on suicide, he concluded that there are four different types of suicide.

Durkheim’s studies revolved around him trying to understand what makes a person actually commit suicide and what influences or factors may have led that person to that final decision or act.

Durkheim believed that various sociologically factors and influences were at work such as work pressure, financial, religious, marital to name just a few.

According to Durkheim, there are four types of suicide:

Egoistic suicide.

Altruistic suicide.

Anomic suicide.

Fatalistic suicide.

Egoistic suicide relates to the person being alone or an outsider and subsequently they see themselves alone within the world. This type of person has a low social interaction with others.

Altruistic suicide is when social group involvement is too high, expectation from a group is being met at a very high level such as a sacrifice for a cult or religion. Another example would be a Marta or a suicide bomber.

Anomic suicide relates to a low degree of regulation and this kind of suicide is carried out during periods of considerable stress and frustration. A good example would be great financial loss or when the financial market that person controls collapses with severe consequences for many involved.

Fatalistic suicide is when people are kept under tight regulation such as in Korea. Where there is extreme rule in order or high expectations set upon a person or peoples in which lead them to a sense of no self or individuality.

The bottom line is this.

In reality, people who actually commit the physical act of suicide, those who kill themselves often fall into 3 areas.

The first is depressive where one is feeling considerably sorry for oneself and it could be the result of a breakup from boyfriend or girlfriend or a divorce. In truth, that person will never actually commit suicide but will enter into negative suicidal thoughts and on some level this is possibly very cathartic or even helpful in contrast to their pain and extreme feelings of loss or rejection or towards other similar situations that may arise in their life.

This is the type of suicide that may happen but probably won’t and often doesn’t, but could.

The next state is also depressive and may be the result of extreme emotional turmoil often under the influence of alcohol and or drugs and mainly falls under the category of a cry for help and a need for serious attention for all the right reasons. (Not to be underestimated by the use of casual general terms).

This type of suicide could happen but probably won’t and often doesn’t and is mainly about a demonstration of severe emotional pain and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness with regard to that person’s situation.

Often that person’s situation has now become so intolerable they only see one way which is to either drink themselves senseless or drug themselves up and find themselves standing on the top of a buildings edge, a ledge, a bridge or a cliff and threatening to jump BUT more than likely won’t because it’s more about demonstrating showing others the severe pain and turmoil that persons is in than to actually end it all if this display of pain brings them help.

This usually results in other people expressing considerable urgency and grave concern over that person which is in effect what that person needs and can thankfully lead to some form of help and or therapy as a result.

The third type of suicide is exactly what it says it is. This person will commit suicide, they will kill themselves.

Often this type or state will result in the act of committing suicide and it will usually be with a clear and sober mind in the decision anyway, to take an overdose, to shoot oneself or jump to their death and is in many cases calmly chosen and decided upon in a clear way.

There are various videos around online which demonstrate the moments before a person committed suicide, when they actually committed suicide there is often shown a sense of calm and control without any indication of what they were about to do such as waiting at a railway station platform in a calm patient manner the same as all the other commuters and then just as the train approaches they jump in front of it.

Suicide has many reasons and causes and they are very complex and profound.

Each individual is unique in their own reasons why they commit suicide or talk about it or just think about it and in most cases it is usually the result of depression and depressed related symptoms that become so insurmountable and so intolerable that after years of therapies and treatments over many years they find themselves at a loss and decide that they cannot and will not continue with their current feelings and thoughts.

There’s also another out of the box category of people who commit suicide unexpectedly who prior to the act of committing suicide weren’t suffering from any depression and that an unexpected event in their life resulted in the decision to end it all, such as shameful guilt due to carrying out an illegal or deviant, dishonest act or behaviour.

Many people who had been found out or were about to be found out for certain illegal activities and the shame and horror that would bring to both them and their family members ended in them taking their own life.

If you or anyone you know has suicidal thoughts or tendencies the Samaritans are there to help.

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