Sociology Index


Suicide is the action or an act of intentionally killing oneself. Suicide is the act of terminating one's own life. Suicide may be a result of depression, desperation, ego, anomie, altruism or other situations. In the present world, suicide has also become a form of protest. 30% of all suicides worldwide occur in India and China. Suicides by farmers in India as on December 31, 2015 stood at 3,228.

Suicide is NEVER the answer, getting help is the answer. If you are suicidal, you will find help, hope, comfort, understanding, support, love, and extensive resources at

David Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) argued against Psychological Reductionism in his study of suicide by arguing, and demonstrating, that even after providing a psychological explanation for individual acts of suicide there was something still to account for: the difference in suicide rates between societies.

Why successful models commit suicide? Different types of Suicide include Altruistic Suicide, Egoistic Suicide, Anomic Suicide and Fatalistic Suicide. Medically assisted suicide or euthanasia is a controversial ethical issue involving people who are terminally ill. Kamikaze and suicide bombing have become military or terrorist tactic. (Books on Suicide).

Sati, a Hindu funeral practice where the widow commits suicide by immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre, is still prevalent in many parts of India, but goes unreported.

Firearms are the most common method for suicide (55% of suicides are committed with a firearm). So it is imperative that a suicidal person should not have access to a firearm.

Social suicide-rate can be explained only sociologically. At any given moment the moral constitution of society establishes the contingent of voluntary deaths. There is, therefore, for each people a collective force of a definite amount of energy, impelling men to self-destruction.

In America almost 30,000 people commit suicide every year, and 70% of those people give warning signs before taking their own life. Stop A Suicide Today! can teach you how to recognize the warning signs of suicide in family, friends, co-workers, and patients, and how to respond as you would do with any medical emergency. -

Befrienders Worldwide -
Befrienders centers work to reduce suicide worldwide with 31,000 volunteers in almost 40 countries.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, each year approximately one million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. By 2020, it is predicted that the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds.

In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 (male and female). Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than successful suicides.

Mental health disorders, particularly depression and substance abuse, are associated with more than 90% of all cases of suicide.

Maithri -
Maithri is a voluntary organisation working to provide confidential emotional support to distressed persons, who may be in danger of taking their own lives. Maithri's primary mission is to reduce deaths due to suicide in society. Services are available free of cost to any person who is undergoing emotional pain, whether suicidal or not.
More than one lakh persons (1,27,151) in India lost their lives by committing suicide during the year 2009. This indicates an increase of 1.7% over the previous year's figure (1,25,017). Majority of suicides occur among men and in younger age groups.

The European Suicide - A research project at the Department of Sociology, Stockholm University. Suicide mortality is investigated in an all European perspectives. On this site you'll find information on the status of Durkheim's theorie of suicide and Parsons' theory of action systems.

Are Socioeconomic Factors Valid Determinants of Suicide? Controlling for National Cultures of Suicide with Fixed-Effects Estimation - Eric Neumayer, London School of Economics and Political Science 
This article's analysis employs a range of economic and social explanatory variables based on economic as well as Durkheimian sociological theory in fixed-effects and random-effects estimation of age-standardized suicide rates in a large panel of up to 68 countries during the period 1980 to 1999. Economic and social factors affect cross-country differences in suicide rates in accordance with theory. The fixed-effects estimation results do not differ systematically from the random-effects results.

Suicide Ideation and Acculturation among Low Socioeconomic Status Mexican American Adolescents 
Katherine M. Rasmussen, Charles Negy, Ralph Carlson, JoAnn Mitchell Burns, University of Texas-Pan American 
The purpose of this study was to determine whether Mexican American adolescents' suicide ideation could be predicted from their acculturation levels. Although adolescents' acculturation levels did not correlate independently with suicide ideation scores, acculturation did significantly (and positively) predict suicide ideation when combined with depressive symptoms and low self-esteem.

A Primer on Rational Suicide and Other Forms of Hastened Death 
James L. Werth, Jr., American Psychological Association AIDS Policy Congressional Fellow,
Daniel J. Holdwick, Jr., St. Lawrence University 
An overview of the major mental health issues involved in the debate over rational suicide and other forms of hastened death. Covers the arguments for including counseling psychologists and other mental health professionals in discussions about hastened death. Provides direction for those counseling psychologists who are working with persons who may be rational in their decisions to hasten death.

Physician-Assisted Suicide 
Lois Snyder, JD; Daniel P. Sulmasy, OFM, MD, PhD, for the Ethics and Human Rights Committee, American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine, 7 August 2001, Volume 135 Issue 3, Pages 209-216
Medical professional codes have long prohibited physician involvement in assisting a patient's suicide. Despite ethical and legal prohibitions, calls for the liberalization of this ban have grown. In addressing such a issue, physicians, policymakers, and society must fully consider the needs of patients, the vulnerability of particular patient groups, issues of trust and professionalism, and the complexities of end-of-life health care. Physician-assisted suicide is prominent among the issues that define our professional norms and codes of ethics. 
The American College of Physicians and American Society of Internal Medicine does not support the legalization of physician-assisted suicide. The routine practice of physician-assisted suicide raises serious ethical and other concerns. Legalization would undermine the patient–physician relationship and the trust necessary to sustain it; alter the medical profession's role in society; and endanger the value our society places on life, especially on the lives of disabled, incompetent, and vulnerable individuals.

Durkheim linked anomic suicide to disillusionment and disappointment.

Durkheim distinguished between egoistic, anomic, altruistic, and fatalistic suicide, broad classifications that reflect then-prevailing theories of human behavior.

Durkheim viewed egoistic suicide as a consequence of the deterioration of social and familial bonds.

The term 'altruism' was used by Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) to describe a suicide committed for the benefit of others or for the community: this would include self-sacrifice for military objectives in wartime.

The condition of slavery may make an individual feel that the only way to find escape is suicide. This would be fatalistic suicide because the individual considers himself condemned by fate or doomed to be a slave. A fatalistic situation calling for a fatalistic suicide as a solution or escape.

The category of fatalistic suicide was constructed mainly for purposes of symmetry, as contrasted with egoistic suicide, and because it would undercut his central claims about the role of modern urban life as increasing the incidence of suicide, Durkheim could never seriously examine the possibility that social integration could result in suicide. 

Fatalistic suicide served as a descriptor for suicides in traditional societies, because Durkheim was faced with the issue that even in societies with abundant social capital, individuals nevertheless killed themselves.

Causes for suicide in India In 2014
Suicides due to bankruptcy or indebtedness - 2,308
Marriage related suicides - 6,773
Dowry related suicides - 2,261
Suicides because of failure in examination - 2,403
Suicides because of family problems - 28,602
Suicides because of Illness - 23,746
Suicides due to other prolonged illness - 15,419
Suicides due to insanity/mental illness - 7,104
Suicides because of drug abuse/addiction - 3,647
Suicides due to love affairs - 4,168
Suicides because of Poverty - 1,699
Suicides because of unemployment - 2,207.