What is suicide and why does it happen?
A suicide is an act of self-harm intended to result in death. Some suicides may be seem sudden and impulsive, but most seem to be the result of a process that happens over many weeks, months, or even years. This is one reason that we refer to suicide as being completed because it is the outcome of a process of psychological debilitation rather than a decision. The process involves severe stress and a serious personal crisis. Risk increases as the crisis, or the individual’s perception of it, worsens. Feelings of control and self-esteem deteriorate. Shame and guilt may lead to self-alienation and isolation. Suicidal individuals also experience chemical imbalances. Most notably a depletion of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that inhibits self-harm. Acute suicidality diminishes choice. The individual’s options are to endure or end utter agony. Suicide is completed when the psychological pain is so unbearable that death is seen as the only relief. See “What Everyone Needs to Know About Suicide (and shouldn’t be afraid to ask)”.