Suicide: its causes and signs

Every year, approximately 1,600 people commit suicide in the Netherlands and 94,000 people attempt suicide, of which 9,200 end up in hospital. Figures that don’t lie. Most people who committed suicide went through a period of various problems before that time for which they ultimately saw no solution. They did not initially choose death directly, but the most extreme and effective way of ending their problems.

  • Signs preceding suicide
  • Farewell letter
  • Causes of suicide
  • Risk factors for suicide
  • Which method is often chosen for suicide?
  • Suicide due to a moment of mental derangement
  • Bereavement processing

Signs preceding suicide

In 75% of the people who died after suicide, the surviving relatives received signals directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, from their lost loved one. This means that most people who actually commit suicide give out signals in advance that we should take seriously. People who appear to be asking for attention should also be taken seriously. It is a cry for help for the problems they are having. Talking about it can change the person’s mind. Sometimes the problems are easier to solve than people thought. If that does not help, professional help should be sought.

Farewell letter

About a quarter of people who commit suicide leave a suicide note. Younger people often describe their anger or express their feelings of revenge, while older people often describe their concern about the surviving relatives. Sometimes it turns out that someone suffered from a psychological disorder.
Suicide is not a disease, but a behavior. There were often psychological problems involved.

Causes of suicide

  • Depression (50% of all cases)
  • Marital problems: unhappy or broken relationships
  • Arguing with the parents
  • The loss of a loved one
  • A medical condition associated with depression
  • Depression with fears, psychoses and delusions
  • Traumatic experience from the past
  • Schizophrenia
  • Auditory hallucinations (hearing voices)
  • Borderline disorder

Risk factors for suicide

  • Loss of a loved one
  • Constant depression
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Single
  • Debts
  • Experienced suicide in environment
  • Humiliation or disgrace
  • Previous attempts made
  • Domestic violence

Which method is often chosen for suicide?

The most commonly chosen method is an overdose of medications where paracetamol is commonly used or a combination of various antidepressants, poisoning or drowning.
Less often is chosen for violent attempts, such as hanging or the use of a weapon, probably because this irreversibly results in death.

Suicide due to a moment of mental derangement

There have been times when a man in an apartment decided to jump on an impulse. He survived his jump and went to therapy. He told his psychologist that he actually had no significant problems in life, but that he suddenly felt the urge to jump. A horrible moment of bewilderment.

Bereavement processing

Dealing with the death of a loved one who committed suicide is very complicated. Relatives struggle with questions about how they could have prevented it or feel guilty that they did not act differently to possibly stop it. The question why is also sometimes not clearly answered, which makes for difficult processing. Contact with fellow sufferers can help.