Suicide is a subject that is not openly talked about in society. The act of taking one’s life of their own causing death results directly or indirectly act of the victim themselves which they know the consequences of. According to Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC 1960), the attempt to die by suicide was a criminal offense, however, the Indian parliament in MCHA 2017 has implied the change of word for mental illness into severe stress that has been drafted in 2016. Furthermore, Malaysia has criminalized the act of suicide under section 309 of the Penal Code. Having suicidal thoughts itself is considered a mental illness, hence why medications have been given to the diagnosed patients such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, antianxiety, and especially clozapine which has been approved by the FDA in order to reduce suicidal thoughts in a person. The act of taking one’s life on their own is still an interdiction within the society even though it has happened for many years.
The consequence out of depression is a catalyst to suicide because of different perspectives of others. The reason a person suffers from depression may open their thoughts about suicide when they face extreme hopelessness. This is because a person believes that their loved ones do not have array adequate support and resilience to get them out of their specific illness. This feeling grows intensely that the individual starts to believe that they would be better off without their family and friends. Therefore, it convinces them that there is nothing good in the future. Depression can also distort a person’s way of thinking. It allows the individual to focus on their failures and disappointments. This will exaggerate the negative thoughts of one and feel there is no way out. The person will start to seem increasingly isolated and will be unable to place their wrong ideas of suicide from reality. As a result, these thoughts can make every problem even the small ones seem too much for them to handle. Lastly, the person will face having a beyond passing depressed mood also known as major depression. This illness needs to be treated as it involves a long-lasting sad mood. It involves thoughts about death, low energy, and changes in appetite and sleep. Therefore, suicide is one of the consequences of depression.
Next, suicide is also condemned by many religions because it is considered a sin. From the Buddhism perspective, suicide violates its Buddhism moral precept which is to abstain from taking one’s life. An individual’s past influences their future in this life or the hereafter is also known as karma. The person who commits suicide may be reborn in a sorrowful realm due to negative final thoughts and the past negative deeds of a person will make them live in Samsara which is the cycle of birth and death. Next, according to Islamic understandings, the fate of a person who dies by suicide is equally dreadful. Suicide is forbidden as stated in the Holy Quran Surah 4 Verses 29 and 30, “do not kill or destroy yourself “. Those who have committed suicide will receive eternal punishment in the burning hell and will continue to inflict pain according to the method of suicide.
Moreover, social stigma against suicidal ideation and help-seeking is a significant barrier to prevention. According to Goffman, stigma is defined as being discredited by society and condemned to an undesirable social status. Stigma surrounding mental illnesses and suicidality has been documented as an immediate and profound barrier to help-seeking behavior. Research shows that mental illness stigma reduces a patient’s want for help. Besides that, it internalizes a person’s attitude and beliefs held by the public which includes emotional, cognitive, and behavioral forms. For example, self-stigma is a process by which a person with mental illness internalizes stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs held by the public. People who see themselves as a burden may believe they are to be shunned by others. Stigma is also associated with violations of personal freedom for people trying to access mental health services. Consumers have identified forced therapies or treatment or infantilizing interactions with the staff, dehumanizing procedures at the institution, and the lack of respect for privacy when being interviewed. Cultural beliefs also affect a person’s behavior. Schomerus et al posited a national variation in cultural beliefs about mental illnesses and stigma. Many countries also reported increased yet varied, risks of suicide behaviors among adolescents. Identified stressors include family structures, difficulties acculturating to a host’s country cultural and religious traditions, language barriers, and particularly socioeconomics status which can become potential combinations. Thus, social stigma is the main cause of the barrier in help-seeking.
Furthermore, the issues on bullying that can lead to suicide tend to be overlooked by the authority in order to protect their reputation. Suicide resulting from bullying is a third leading death amongst young people. A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying and 10 to 14-year-old girls may be at higher risk of suicide, according to the study. The statistics reported by ABC News show that nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of getting bullied. Excessive problems by bullying also cause suicides amongst the people. Some schools have more serious problems with bullying and suicide-related to it. It can also be related to the tendency of students who are exposed to suicide thus leading themselves to do it. Kids who are already at risk for suicide due to depression or other mental illnesses are bullied which results in disastrous cases. Nearly one-quarter of tenth graders who are reported being bullied also are reported for attempting suicide in the past 12 months, according to Washington State Healthy Youth Survey, almost half of the 12th graders are reported sad and hopeless every day. Therefore, bullying can be one of the reasons for suicide cases to rise among people.
In addition, signs of cowardice are seen in today’s generation in dealing with suicide compared to the older generation. Low self-esteem is one of the reasons why they think this way because they tend to think all the negative thoughts about themselves due to the things their friends have said. Their friend’s words will always linger in their minds and wonder what they should do to make themselves feel more accepted as their desire to be accepted in society is important. They will constantly wonder why this is happening to them and in conclusion, they tend to opt for an alternative that ends their life so they won’t have to go through all the hurtful and judgemental opinions that degrade them. This will take a huge toll on them as the affected individual will tend to compare themselves to other people and will always have the thought that they are not good enough. They will compare themselves through people on social media or in real life as well. By doing this, really affects their self-esteem and will cause it to deteriorate further. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to defend the argument that there may be a ‘right to die by appealing or utilitarian logic. In articulating what he calls a bioethics ‘family-centered approach, philosopher John Hardwig (1996, 1997) argued that sometimes the burdens a person places on others, particularly family members or loved ones are large enough to have a duty to die to relieve them of these burdens by continuing to live. Therefore, Hardwig’s argument seems to turn not to the overall cost-benefit balance resulting from a person living or dying, but to the fairness of the burdens a person imposes on others by continuing to live. Another sign of cowardice is that they run from their fears, this is due to the fact that they do not get enough moral support from their parents. For example, when they are upset or have something on their mind which is bothering them and would like to open up to their parents, their parents might come up with excuses saying that they are busy or some might just choose not to listen as they think that their child is just trying to seek for attention. Not only that but some television programs condone suicide, they often portray suicide as the main idea of the show, and some teens may misinterpret the idea and think that they are encouraging them to take up their lives. Another reason is that the individual might have done something wrong in their past and they are guilty of it, it may or may not have been an accident but no matter what they will surely feel guilty as it will take a huge toll on them and they will constantly blame themselves for letting something like that happen. They might have also committed a sin that they are not proud of and would have to live with the guilt forever and sometimes they think the only way to accept that guilt is by ending their own life as well.
In addition to suicide being a subject of taboo, this generation overlooks the betrayal of parents towards their child hence risking the rate of suicide. The approach to the issue of the permissibility of suicide does not ask whether others may interfere with suicidal behavior, but whether we have a right of freedom to suicide, whether suicide infringes any moral duties on others. Those who argue that suicide can breach our duties to others generally argue that suicide can either harm particular others like family and friends or damage society as a whole. There is no question that a family member or loved one’s suicide causes a variety of negative economic and psychological effects. In addition to the usual sadness, a vast set of emotions is faced by suicide ‘survivors”. Suicide also leads to rage, loneliness, and awareness of vulnerability in those left behind. Indeed, the sense that suicide is an essentially selfish act dominates many popular perceptions of suicide (Fedden 1938, 209). Parents often shun their children out and neglect them as they assume that their child is facing no insecurities whatsoever.` The lack of awareness that parents give to their children about suicide is devastating. Parents do not seem to take an initiative to warn their children that suicide is never the answer.
Therefore, suicide can be described as a denial of the distinctive ‘role responsibilities’ which relate to partners, relatives, caregivers, and loved ones, this does not endorse a complete prohibition of suicide, as some suicides will not leave victims, and the nature of those harms is likely to vary so that the deeper the relationship, the more damaging the suicide will be and the more likely it will be morally wrong. At most, the argument that suicide is a harm to family and to loved ones establishes that it is sometimes wrong (Cholbi 2011, 62–64).
In conclusion, as suggested by the above discussion, suicide has been and continues to be a rich area of theoretical study. The culture still overlooks suicide somewhat. This is somewhat unfortunate as today’s suicide remains a taboo subject. Suicide is not only worthy of theoretical study on its own but it is a source of insight for various philosophical subdisciplines such as moral psychology, ethical theory, social and political philosophy, the metaphysics of personhood, and action theory. Suicide is also a field in which theoretical concerns overlap with scientific research interests. The collective efforts of philosophers and others continue to illuminate one of the most enigmatic of human behaviors.