Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Suicide | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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News of the rising rate of suicide fills the newspapers, and this has led me to think long and hard about the gravity of this deed which is committed by around one million people worldwide every year; this includes intellectuals, scientists, and the rich as well as the ignorant, the destitute, and the poor. This is a phenomenon that is seen in all countries and regions of the world, even if the rate of suicide – naturally – differs from one society to the other and from one culture to another, according to the cultural view on this issue.

Most psychologists believe that one of the most important causes of suicide is feelings of loneliness and isolation, and a loss of contact with others. In such circumstances, an individual begins to feel cut-off from others, however if we look at the reality of this age, we see that man is surrounded by a concrete jungle, and we recognize how isolated, lonely, and alienated man truly is. In these cities the lines of communication have floundered, not to mention the fact that family members are less close than before, even with those living in the same home.

In dealing with life, people are split into two different types; one is similar to the camel that walks a thousand steps without showing any sign of exhaustion before suddenly falling to its knees and dying. The other type is similar to the horse that tires gradually, but is aware of its capabilities and the moment that may lead to death. Most of those who commit suicide belong to the first type, and they do not stop from time to time in order to relieve the pressure on themselves, break their isolation, and become accustomed to accepting others. Taking a look at suicide notes we see that the majority of suicides lay the responsibility of their fate upon others, holding others accountable for their loneliness, worry, and fear.

In the scientific arena, efforts are being made these days to pre-empt suicide attempts by attempting to identify and determine individuals who have a predisposition to committing such an act, in order to help them avoid this fate through a religious, psychological, and medical framework. However all we can do at the present time – until science reaches its objective [of pre-empting suicide] – is work hard to open the lines of social communication and restore the family spirit which was lost over the years. This is a call to remove the barriers and obstacles that keep people isolated from one another.