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What Is Suicide According to Retterstol Social reaction to Suicide - Essay Example

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Retterstol argues that suicide is somewhat the most personal act that any individual can perform. Few of these acts have deep roots in human and social conditions. He notes that no other act on earth has such great consequences for oneself…
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What Is Suicide According to Retterstol Social reaction to Suicide
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What Is Suicide According to Retterstol Social reaction to Suicide

Download file to see previous pages... He notes that no other act on earth has such great consequences for oneself. In this regard, he suggests that suicide affects the person who takes his life, and subsequently affects the individual’s immediate circle, local community as well as the wider community (Joiner 2007 p.13-24). The subject is of interest to divergent categories such as psychologists, doctors, social workers, sociologists, nurses, clergymen, lawyers, the police, teachers, writers, politicians as well as philosophers. It is also of interest to ordinary citizens who get affected when an individual takes his life. At one time or the other, people have heard of an individual who has committed or attempted suicide. This may be through the media, or family member or a relative. It may be expected that an individual at difficult and intolerable moments in their lives may find it prudent to commit suicide (Retterstol 1993 p.1). Suicidal thoughts, attempts and threats are common human phenomenon and happen across all cultures. It is thus a human phenomenon and does not take place among animals. Retterstol (1993 p.1) notes that in Norway, about 650 people die annually through suicide according to a statistic from Central Bureau of Statistics. He also notes that this is just an estimate since some other suicidal deaths pass unrecorded due to uncertainty regarding cause of death. The national Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) also reports that in 2000, suicide ranked eleventh leading cause of deaths in America, and ranks third leading cause of for persons aged between 15 and 24 years (Joiner& Rudd, 2002). The report also reveals that about 10.6 for every 100,000 people in America and Canada die because of suicide (Joiner& Rudd, 2002). In the United States alone, the report reveals that over 30,000 people die of suicide annually, which translates to about 86 persons daily, with about 1900 persons attempting suicide. Suicide is thus the act of killing oneself with intent. Retterstol (1993 p.2) define attempted suicide as a conscious and voluntary act which an individual has undertaken with intent of injuring himself and which the person had no intention of surviving the act, but the attempt and injury has not led to intended death. It is the self-initiated, life-threatening act, which fails to result into death (Marcus 1996 p6-19). It is argued that a majority of people do not chose do die by committing suicide. Instead, it happens when pain exceeds the resources available to manage the pain. A number of causes have been identified which include mental disorders resulting from bipolar, unipolar, drug abuse, alcoholism and schizophrenia. Other people take their lives due to financial problems and problems resulting from interpersonal relations. This definition implies that suicide is intentional and done out of free will, which coroners believe as opposed to the deceased intention. This paper will discuss the statement that suicide is more a matter of what the coroner thinks than what the dead person intended in cultural perspective. Durkheim and Simption (1951 p15) note that an individual’s life is in most cases governed by customs and habits and this is why he calls suicide altruistic since it results from the fact that an individual takes his life because of higher commandments, which may be religious scarifies, or political allegiance. This type of suicide Durkheim and Simption argue still exist in the modern society. They also suggest that altruistic and egoistic suicide is symptomic in a way in which a person is structured in the society: that is whether adequately or inadequately. Durkheim and Simption however, point out another form of suicide, which result from lack of regulations of a person in the society (Durkheim 2006 p.26-44). This they call anomic suicide, which they note, is a chronic state in the economy. The needs ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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