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Posted on September 15th, 2012, by

Dramatic changes in the society or tragic events in the life of society can have unpredictable results and affect the life of many people. At the same time, negative effects of socioeconomic crisis, terror attacks and other socially significant problems are often underestimated on the personal level, while, in actuality, they can lead to the dramatic increase of suicide rates. At any rate, serious social problems are important factors that can force people to commit a suicide. On the other hand, as a rule, social problems only enhance personal problems of an individual who has inclined to suicide. In such a situation, it is very important to define clearly the major factors increasing the risk of suicide and find out effective ways of the prevention of suicide.

First of all, it is important to underline the fact that suicides are widely spread in the USA and specialists (Linehan, 79) estimate that suicide is the eleventh leading cause in the USA, accounting for more than 32,000 deaths , while the overall rate is 10,9% suicide deaths per 100,000 people. In such a way, suicide as an important social problem can hardly be underestimated, because suicide clearly indicates to the inability of society to help an individual to overcome his/her psychological problems. At the same time, often it is the society or, to put it more precisely, relationships of an individual with other people that lead him/her to suicide.

At the same time, it is quite difficult to understand what actually makes a person to commit a suicide because suicidal behavior is complex and risk factors vary with age, gender, or ethnic group and may occur in a combination or change over time, Basically, specialists distinguish several risk factors which can provoke or lead an individual to suicide (Linehan, 81-83). Firstly, depression and other mental disorders, or a substance-abuse disorder, which may occur in a combination with other mental disorders increase the risk of suicide dramatically. More than 90% of people who commit suicide have these risk factors (Linehan, 81). Secondly, stressful life events, in a combination with other risk factors, such as depression can result in suicide, but suicide and suicidal behavior are not normal responses to stress that means that a mental disorders is the major factor contributing to suicide (Linehan, 82). Thirdly, family history of suicide or mental disorder is another risk factor since an individual can inherit suicidal inclinations from his/her parents and if some relatives have already committed suicides the individual can be inclined to suicidal behavior (Linehan, 82). Fourthly, family violence, including physical or sexual abuse, can also be a significant risk factor (Linehan, 83). Fifthly, the present of firearms in the home, the method used in more than half of suicides, increases the risk of suicide (Linehan, 83). In fact, it is possible to continue the list of risk factors, but the major factors are mental disorders and family history, which make a person inclined to a suicidal behavior, some stressful factors and availability of means to commit a suicide, such as firearms, are the major risk factors.

At the same time, specialists (Linehan, 84) have revealed the fact that men are more susceptible to the risk of suicide than women, since almost four times as many males as females die by suicide and it is the eighth leading cause of death for males and sixteenth for females. In such a way, the gender is an important factor that should be taken into consideration, while evaluating suicidal inclinations of an individual.

In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that the age is also significant, though people at all ages are susceptible to the risk of suicide.

However, it is necessary to point out that the risk of suicide increases at certain age. For instance, older Americans are at the particularly high risk of committing a suicide since the suicide rate among the older population in different ethnic groups can vary from 14,5% to 17,8% suicide deaths per 100,000.

By the way, the ethnicity is also a significant factor that differs depending on ethnic groups. To put it more precisely, specialists (Linehan, 86) have revealed the fact that the suicide rate is the highest among Non-Hispanic whites and reaches 12,9% per 100,000 and among Native Americans who have 12,4% suicide deaths per 100,000. At the same time, the lowest suicide rates were identified among Non-Hispanic blacks, 5,3% per 100,000, Asian and Pacific islanders, 5,8% per 100,000, and Hispanics, 5,9% per 100,000.

Obviously, the current situation in the US is quite disturbing because many Americans end their life by committing a suicide. In such a situation, specialists (Linehan, 88) recommend the introduction of special psychological programs, which could prevent people from committing a suicide or, at least, reduce the risk of suicide consistently. All these programs should be carefully tested before the introduction because the failure of psychotherapy can lead to negative outcomes and, what is more, it can potentially increase the risk of suicide.

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