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Suicide rates of the world and why people kill themselves

May 11, 2007

According to WHO statistics, one person commits suicide every 40 seconds. Suicide rates all over the world have increased by 5- 62% in the last two decades. Hardly any country is immune to this disease. Whats disturbing is that more young people are killing themselves than ever before.

Which countries are the worst off where suicide is concerned? Given below is the suicide map of the world:

For analysis purposes, I have divided the countries into four groups, depending on their suicide rates. I have compared their suicide rates to their happiness index to see if there is a relationship. I am not an expert, just a layman who is intensely interested in the subject so do forgive me if I am wrong in my analysis. I have also taken the statistics to be true mostly (there may be problems in the research). I welcome any one of you to add their thoughts.

Group 1 (High suicide rate): Europe and major parts of Asia seem to have a high suicide rate. In fact Russia and other countries which were part of the erstwhile Soviet Union, like Lithuania (42 suicides per 100,000), Russia (38), Belarus (35) and Kazakhstan (28] and Ukraine (26) have high suicide rates. Now, all these countries are young countries. Hungary (27) has a long history of occupation by Soviet troops.

Why do so many people in these countries kill themselves?
Well, generally speaking, people commit suicide because they feel there is no other solution, no hope left. The reasons could either be financial or personal (relationship problem, low self-esteem etc,) or due to a mood disorder. A lack of purpose in life also adds to a feeling of hopelessness.

In these countries however, economics has to play a major part as the economic life here has not stablized, these are new countries. The fact that in these countries 5-6 men commit suicide as compared to 1 woman (a very high ratio), proves that economic hopelessness is a major reason. Ofcourse, these are older statistics (2002-03), and now that these countries are part of the Europeon Union, life will improve and I think the suicide rates will fall.

Group 2 (a medium high suicide rate): Countries like Belgium (21), Finland (20) Switzerland (18), Austria (18] France (17.6), S. Korea (17.9) and Japan (23.8] too have a fairly high rate of suicide. It gets more complicated here. About 2-3 men here kill themselves as compared to 1 woman. As these are well-to-do countries, economics alone cannot play a part. It makes sense to think that is the personal and social aspect that causes people to kill themselves. Feelings of loneliness and depression for example. A family or personal crises. High levels of competition in society and expectations from oneself and society which are not met.

Japan, although an eastern nation, is similar to the west and the countries in its group when it comes to the proportion of men killing themselves as compared to women (many eastern societies have a higher proportion of women killing themselves, but not in Japan). Japan is a male dominated society but still, this is so. From what I have heard, Japanese men do not abandon their women (a major reason for women to commit suicide) and it is probably one of the reasons why Japanese women do not kill themselves in large numbers (like in some Asian countries). But Japanese men are under high pressure to perform, both academically and economically. There is a high level of competition in Japanese society, right from childhood. This could be a major cause of depression if one doesn’t measure up.

S. Korea is similar to Japan when it comes to the number of men committing suicide as compared to women, and it’s probably for the same reasons – high competition in society. It is interesting to note that suicide rates in this country have increased to 24.7 from its earlier 17.9 per 100.000 people and this means that S. Korea should actually be in Group 1. Suicide rates in S. Korea have increased the fastest as compared to any other country, according to a report by OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). And its acknowledged that the causes for this dramatic increase is the high level of competition in Korean society. Suicide rate is around 17 per 100,000 just amongst young South Koreans!

Group 3 (a medium suicide rate): Countries such as Denmark (13.6), Germany (13.5), China (13.9), Sweden (13.4), Australia (12.7), Canada (11.9), India (10.7), the US (11) and Singapore ( 9.5) fall somewhere in the middle where the suicide rate is concerned.

In Denmark, Germany and Sweden – about 2-3 men kill themselves as compared to one woman and this is similar to Group 2. But in countries like Australia, Canada and the US – about 3-4 men kill themselves as compared to 1 woman. Can’t seem to fathom the reason for the difference, but I feel it that more men committing suicide seems to point to financial reasons and a high level of economic competition in society. So though people in these countries are well off, there could be high pressures to perform.

China has a reverse ratio, the only country in the world where more women kill themselves than men! The rate for men is 13 (per 100,000) and that for women 14.8. Though these statistics are just for select areas (data for the whole of China is not available) it appears as if Chinese women are more miserable than their counterparts in other parts of the world. Ofcourse most societies, specially eastern societies, are male dominated, and this could be a reason for the higher rate of suicide by women. Abandonment, sexual violence, lack of growth opportunities, lack of access to health care are also reasons. In India and Singapore, the ratio is less than 2:1, with half the suicides being that of women. This does not speak well of the mental well being of the women in these countries.

Group 4 (Low suicide rate): Countries like Spain (8.2), Italy (7.1), UK (6.9), Israel (6.3), Argentina (6.4), Brazil (4.1), Thailand (4), Iran (2), Kuwait, (2) Egypt and Jordan (0) have a very low suicide rate. It appears as if the suicide rate is low or almost non existent in Muslim countries. Well, Islam forbids suicide, so it could explain the figures. But I think a zero rate of suicide is indeed odd. There are always mentally ill people in every population and a high proportion of depressed people and those who suffer from mood related disorders commit suicide. If Islam does not allow suicide it is likely that families could be hiding the actual facts.

Countries like Spain, Italy, UK, Israel, Argentina and Brazil do indeed seem happy countries if one goes by the suicide statistics. And where the difference between the men and women are concerned, here like the rest of the world, a lot more men commit suicide as compared to women (about 3-4 to 1) . In Thailand it is about 2-3 men to 1 woman.

Update 1: Just wanted to add that attempted suicide rates are usually 10-20 times higher than completed suicide rates. And more women attempt suicide than men.

Update 2: The latest (2008) suicide statistics from WHO are given here.

Update 3: An article on an Indian Psychiatry site has suggested that the suicide rate given for India not accurate and the actual rate is at least five times higher. This is thought to be so because suicide data from police records is not considered accurate as families of suicide victims usually do not want to report it as a suicide. In India there are many taboos associated with postmortems for religious reasons, and it is to avoid postmortems that people often do not report suicide. As suicide is a crime, it becomes a police case as well and this too makes families uncomfortable. The stigma attached to a police investigation is something families want to avoid. If this is true and indeed the suicide rate is five times higher, then India would fall into the high suicide rate category.

Happiness Index
Can one can safely assume that countries with the lowest suicide rates have the greatest number of happy people? Not really. Ofcourse, the dates of the suicide survey and the happiness survey differs by a few years, the happiness index was taken in 2006, the suicide survey a few years earlier. But I don’t think this makes that much of a difference. I think that the suicide rate has nothing to do with the general level of happiness. I will explain this. Again for the purpose of this analysis I am assuming that the happiness index is accurate. If there is anyone who does not believe it, either they can direct me to a more accurate one or don’t read beyond this point.

Group 1 countries (highest suicide rates) do have the fewest number of happy people. Only 2 percent of Russians are happy, and no one from Belarus or Ukraine is happy. About 10 per cent of Lithunians are happy.

But countries from Group 2, which have a fairly high suicide rate, have a high percentage of happy people! Like Belgium (86 per cent), Finland (83), Switzerland (89), Austria (81), France (84) and Japan (72). What does this mean? I think it that it means that most people who commit suicide in these countries are those who buckle under socio-cultural and relationship problems and are a small section of society. It is known that more than 80 per cent of those who commit suicide are those who suffer from mental illness, and often suffer from an inability to cope. In other words, a certain section of the population that is prone to depression and mood disorders (always in a minority) falls prey to suicide.

About countries in Group 3 (medium suicide rate), only China and India seem to fit. About half of the Chinese are happy and about 40 per cent of Indians. On the other hand an overwhelming number of people from countries such as Denmark (91 per cent), Sweden (91), Australia (90), Canada (75) and the United States (84) are happy, belying their suicide rate.

Are more people happy in countries in Group 4, with its low suicide rates? Well, there was no data from the Muslim countries, but the majority of those in the other countries seem happy. Not a high number really – 68 percent of those in Spain, 64 per cent of those in Italy, and 59 percent of those in Brazil and Argentina. Obviously, these people may not consider themselves happy, but not are certainly not depressed enough to feel like killing themselves. The U.K, which has a low suicide rate has a high number of happy people.

Being poor does not necessarily make people feel sad. In fact often it can provide people with a strong sense of purpose to try and achieve their goals. The struggle may mean that they are not happy, but they do have something to look forward to, a belief in themselves, or perhaps a sense of fatalism which makes them accept their fate.

I’ll end with a quote from this Sciencedaily article which explains what makes people happy:

A nation’s level of happiness was most closely associated with health levels (correlation of .62), followed by wealth (.52), and then provision of education (.51). The three predictor variables of health, wealth and education were also very closely associated with each other, illustrating the interdependence of these factors…people in countries with good healthcare, a higher GDP per capita, and access to education were much more likely to report being happy…

Note: Do keep in mind that the above analysis is based on statistics, which for the purpose of this article I have assumed to be true. As in all kinds of statistics, there are bound to be flaws, and so there will be with these statistics. Do keep that in mind while reading, because this analysis is based on the statistics and does not reflect my personal viewpoint.

Related Reading: Why Indians commit suicide
Some ways to help people cope with depression
The right time to see a psychiatrist
One reason for suicide – social rejection
Participation in reality shows can trigger depression and even suicide
Euthanesia may be illegal, but people want it to be made legal

180 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2007 8:59 am

    This is so sad. I had no idea suicide rates were so high. I know of one person who committed suicide, but I didn’t know him well. To think so many people have just lost total hope is very disturbing. Especially because some decide to kill other people before killing themselves.

    • boanerges permalink
      June 12, 2009 7:37 am

      I am from Brazil and i never heard of anybody ever comiting suicide .
      When i moved to USA in 1986 i was amazed by the wealthy of this country, still amazes me and i discover more about this country that in 1930″s was in such trouble to become this land of wealthy and opportunity for everybody independent of race, ethnicity, religion,etc..
      The level of comfort we have in this country is unsurpassed, great salary cheap merchandize, a land of consumerism.
      But then i discovered that young people were commiting suicide in alarming numbers, i asked why????? everybody should be grateful for all that this land has to offer not kill themselves, it took some time i found out the reason , it was not mental illness but mental illness induced by the indiscriminated use of medicines, mainly the ANTIDEPRESSANTS , i had a background in SCIENCES and i have the medical books, they are clear about suicide tendencies when using certain substances(controlled), anyway the use or abuse of these controlled substances or the lack of supervision by the medical community overprescribing of controlled substances like if they were CANDIES certainly i believe they are the culprit for this large number of SUICIDES, i have seen in dismay kids in a cocktail of drugs each one with a side effect i felt so sorry for them because i know soon or late they will take their lives , no surprise there . The last suicide i heard in USA they guy was on ANTIDEPRESSANTS he was young 20″s strong blondie blue eyes very handsome guy, absolutelly devastating but his family abandoned him because he was also drug addict.
      That”s why in BRAZIL the placebo country if we want to call it because none of these antidepressants and other controlled substances are involved i never seen or heard of suicide and i have been there in contact to thousands of people, even the poorest people don’t kill themselves.

      • Arne Rasmussen permalink
        August 2, 2009 4:41 am

        Hallo my friend!
        I am a Danish guy who live in Brasil. Denmark has one of the higest number of suiside! Why?
        Because the most people are extremely happy but a little part is unhappy.
        If one of those dare to say he/she is not happy everyboddy become vary angry at that person.
        I can promise you that something is very wrong in Denmark!

        Arne Rasmussen

        • Hamlet permalink
          November 27, 2011 4:49 am

          Something is rotten in the State of Denmark.
          – Shakespeare

          No harm intended by this quote, your story just reminded me of the play 🙂

      • Daniel permalink
        August 8, 2009 9:31 am

        Suicide is a product of society. Cultural values have a profound influence in behavior. The only correlation I can gather from given statistics, is that nations that cater or have a propensity to a lack of community, solidarity, friendship, tend to fruit a very unhappy citizenry.

        In the most recent happy economics report (2009), the U.S ranks amongst the most unhappy countries along with other african nations. It is no wonder why the most outrageous stories of homicide and suicide are born in America. Of course, similar stories can be found in eastern European countries such as Russia where homicide finds itself as the leading ranker in the planet.

        What you tend to find amongst these nations are the cultural values which the cherish. Highly competitive, individualistic, and self centered citizens naturally tend to create pathological currents. Add to that the illusory expectations that are demanded of their citizens by society, and as a result you get a disturbed individuals lacking of any connection to community, friendship and societal relationships.

      • Lourdes permalink
        August 29, 2010 3:37 pm


        You are an utter ninny! I didn’t abuse drugs, I came from a rich family. I workout 6 days @ 30min, now I only eat natural foods, and I am disease free, but I still have severe depression! I can’t cure it with medicines because I have tried and I wanted to jump off a bridge. The only reason why I didn’t is because the Bible tells us not to tempt thy Lord … so I am fighting this ugly war naturally! Bite me you idiot! This condition is a curse from God because I did not follow the Ten Commandments years ago, but in time I know God will cure my depression. It’s almost like you do half the time for everyday that you failed to keep the commandments. People need to wake up this creation stuff is real…

        • serge permalink
          January 29, 2012 7:41 am

          If you think God is so great why don’t you join him right now. He probably has a seat for someone who works out and shit. Get real, what do any of your arguments have to do with not killing yourself?
          So God is keeping you alive?
          Who are you going to blame when you die?

          God does not curse people en general, and if God would curse do you realy think he has it out for you? Get real. Not because you didn’t abuse drugs, you still did them. By doing so you violated the temple God told you your body is.

          Get real. Heck this post is so old maybe you actualy fell of a bridge. Or God pushed you of.

      • Dr.Pramod Chandran permalink
        October 24, 2010 2:55 pm

        Dear boanerges,

        I believe you may have found a cause to suicide in many cases regarding the anti depressants.I am a Homoeopathy Physician in Kerala in India.The kerala suicide statistics are quite funny- 25 per 100,000 against a a national avaerage of 11 per 100,000 in India.(Kerala is a small state in India).Kerala also has the strange position of achieving health indicator levels at par with most developed countries even though the percapita income is less.Kerala also is the biggest market for Medicines in India .

        I beleive we Keralites also take a lot of unwanted medication which could be having an deleterious effect on our minds!

      • anon permalink
        July 3, 2011 8:15 am

        I totally agree with you. I think that in the west, at some point there will be reform in the treatment of depression and mental illness, and over prescription of medication will not be the norm. It is unfortunate and I have often wondered why so many people in western countries suffer from depression, yet in countries that do not have as much wealth people are not as prone to depression.

        • Confused Anon permalink
          July 15, 2011 1:06 pm

          A chronically depressed friend of mine is improving steadily with antidepressants. The science behind them is sound and scientists are all about finding correlations like this.

          Are you sure you don’t have your cause and effect reversed? You would of course find a lot of suicides involving antidepressants. The victims were trying to cure themselves.

          I would submit “loss of purpose” and easy childhoods/hard adult lives as substitute causes.

          • November 28, 2011 4:26 am

            If you find that a lot of suicides were on anti-depressants, you have the answer.
            They ain’t working.
            Mental health also depends very much on nutrition. People’s diets are pathetic. Pre-prepared or fast foods with shocking levels of chemical additives, sugary drinks, fatty foods, overeating, you name it. That alone can cause depression and no anti-depressant is strong enough to deal with the effects.
            Doctors and the pharmaceutical industry do not encourage people to improve their diets to deal with depression (and many other problems), because then they would shoot themselves in the foot.
            In any case, most people prefer to pop a pill than to change their lifestyle. The pharmaceutical industry has them right where it wants them to be.

  2. Vinegar permalink
    June 13, 2007 12:27 pm

    Can’t give you any links, but in a sociology class I took we were told that actually women are far more likely than men to TRY and commit suicide, but men succeed more often. Women usually choose poison, cutting wrists, or other ‘softer’ methods that don’t always work, or that work slowly, while men are more likely to use a gun or some other quick, violent method.

    Several news reports on Chinese women and suicide also mentioned that because so many were in rural areas, the women had access to fast-poisoning pesticides, and limited access to medical facilities that could treat pesticide poisoning.

  3. June 13, 2007 1:05 pm

    you are right vinegar, women do try to kill themselves more often than men. you are probably right abt chinese women as well.
    however, to some extent, i feel that those who are determined to kill themselves – do. i am not a psychologist, and I guess one needs to properly delve into the psychology of people who try to kill themselves as opposed to those who finally do. it could be that women are emotional and make impulsive decisions and thus choose the wrong and ineffectual methods, or maybe they are crying out for help…its too complicated really. I have in fact tried to find out more about this but couldn’t find any authentic source.
    Also its known that women due to their life in many countries can become isolated and thus depressed. So do failed attempts to suicide mean simply depression? Certainly more women are depressed than men…
    but when it comes to actual suicide, its men who do it far more often than women.

  4. ashley permalink
    September 11, 2007 6:01 am

    I am doing my psycology term paper on suicide(instructer picked it) and I found this page to be very helpful and insiteful thanks to all!!! I want to find out more not only for my paper due in 4 weeks but because im am going in to the medical feild and i will most likely be encountered with attemts many times in my new job. I think it it very sad when know one thinks there is no where to turn there is so much help out there one can seek. A friend of mine lost her husband after 25 years and she is all alone there was a time when she to wantes to kill her self. Thanks again!!

    • March 20, 2010 5:07 pm

      i feel sorry for all of your low knowledge. by 2020 suicide may be one of the top killers of the world it is now the tenth highest killer in the world. i think that that brazilian guy has a point. family breakdown, support breakdown from friends, poverty and selfishness
      would be the main causes for suicide. in china alot of women kill
      themselves after they marry as their husbands beat them and emotionally
      hurt them. alot of them dont get divorces against their way of life
      so the only way out is to kill oneself. the medical way of the
      world now is that doctors just dont care. they either dont have the
      time to spend with each person or the general attitude of todays society is just i dont care as long
      as im okay and this is so true and you cant deny it. people generally
      dont care acutally alot of them dont believe in god either. when we die the ones that dont care now will suffer the consequences. its a
      large price to pay for this short life. to spend an eternity of hell in return for a short period of selfishneess and not caring. well good luck to them and i pray for their souls. which is going to be alot of souls

      • preston permalink
        November 17, 2010 12:10 pm

        An eternity? Like forever? You brain washed people need to wake up… Fear of eternal damnation is a ridiculously petty tool to use against people… If there is a CONSCIOUS God, that type of purity would not damn human beings forever… It or he or she would be incapable of it… We are all… trying in our own way…

        Those who cause incredible pain, granted may and should experience some discomfort in the after life… a difficult transition shall we say, but enough of this “Be good or you’ll go to hell bullshit

      • dray permalink
        August 1, 2011 3:21 pm

        I believe in God and have done bible college and am right now suicidal, I have cried out to God many times,seems a bit unfair by a just God to damn me and others due to a sickness,do cancer patients get the same judgement.What if you had to face this trial would you do any better?
        I will never leave you or forsake you,yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,thy rod and stalf protect me.
        For me it is early life abuse and negitive family experience.The lack of fitting in to my community,isolation from friends through social anxiety. Defiantly no community or anyone to relate to.I have heaps of material stuff,two houses.Australia is empty to me!

        • Arc permalink
          September 7, 2011 12:26 am

          When you went to Bible college, did they ever tell you that He loves you? dray, the whole point of christianity is that you can know God for yourself, that you don’t need a pastor to tell you the will of God for your life, nor do you need to confess your sins to a priest or an accountability partner. I don’t know how to say it without getting emotional. God loves you. There’s nothing you have to live up to, no standard of expectation to meet for him. I am going through a Bible college and right now I am doing an internship at a church in south Carolina. Two of my friends were kicked out of there internship placement because the leader sat down in front of the church after a sermon and called out peoples names, who were there and not there, telling the congregation that these people are not going to heaven and they are not saved, and my two friends got called into the office and berated for not raising there hands during worship time they had enough. My best friend stood her to the face and told her, “You are not God, you do not judge the hearts of men, I don’t care who you are.” Dray, theres only one person that communicates between you and God, Jesus Christ, those other people dont have the scars to prove there love for you and there not worth listening to.
          ~Stand Strong

  5. mukhtar mubarez permalink
    October 7, 2007 12:34 am

    you made a relly big effert in finding that, the muslim countries have low or no suicide rate at all. you concluded that because islam forbids them from comitting suicide that they hide the figure. But the truth is i m a muslim living in the united states and i have heard of muslims commiting suicide or trying to in saudi arabia, but the number is really small that it cant even be heard of. But the truth why muslims dont committe is something that only muslims know. And the truth is we dont need to.we believe that god created us to worship him only. All the things that make people committe suicide are forbidin in our religon for example drinking and using drugs. other things like loneliness are not a problem because we are always conected to god 24/7, by praying 5 times a day. and saying little prayers in everything that we do from eating to driving.
    thank you

    • Sadig Hussain permalink
      August 22, 2012 10:25 pm

      Monkery, to seclude one self for the purpose of only worshipping god, is forbidden in Islam(at least for a long period of time) btw.. it’s true sucide and any form of hurting oneself(drinking, drugs, cutting, etc) is forbidden and thus leads to LESS people committing sucide, however saying middle east= exact embodiment of Islam is a huge misconception, which I doubt many people will take the time to actually look at. There are countless religious as well as none religious(by religious I am regarding those who actually follow the rules of Islam, not claim to be muslim in order to meet an alterior motive) people. There happens to be violence in the middle east, thinking this reflects Islam is a misconception. We all have brains, thinking people in the middle east for whatever reason have a different brain weither it’s positive or negative is false, it’s actually basically the same. The human brain does help your body adapt to your environment, if your surrounded by war you become violent, there same as would occur anywhere, human instinct. People commit sucide everywhere, even in middle east, all of these numbers are questionable. Just felt like venting,
      Thanks for reading 😛

      Science+ religion coexist 🙂

  6. October 15, 2007 4:29 pm

    there would be no suicides if there were no bullys like goverments letting trashy drug dealers ply there trade
    time for action and get rid of this cancer in our society
    regards bill

  7. October 15, 2007 5:13 pm

    Bill, it’s sad isn’t it that today’s modern life has brought with it’s own evils? In days of yore it was war and disease that we had to be careful of, but in today’s world it’s suicide and psychosis that we have to battle. Drugs, stress…all of it is contributing.

  8. Edward permalink
    October 19, 2007 3:58 am

    Suicide comes from in certian perspectives either as a defining moment where the citizen decided either through self conclusion and or social conditions that the ‘state’ or society if you will has not fullfilled its supposed end of responsibilities on social, economic and political ends of its ‘contract’ or ‘social contract’ with the person in question as put forward by early sociology founders of that science, and therefore the only choice left where one can not leave the ‘state’ is to end ones own life.

    One can look at murder rates versis other death counting systems and there are always disparities between them. What truly defines a suicide versis natural, which is all subjective and conditioned by inherit social norms of the region.

    The Bottom line is we all die. Some as defined by social control, and own mental afflictions ‘make a choice’. about when and how. Somehow someway some people view it as the period at the end of their last sentence.

    I read somewhere i think SCI AM.. whichit put best… Its “a really bad choice on a really bad day.”

    In my opinion Suicide Bombers are in the same catagory though some groups try to separate them.

    They can argue that all day long. But bottom line is the above statement still applies, … it’s a really bad choice on a really bad day.

    I wish i could have said the right words or done the right thing(s) to convince someone very dear to me that they would be and are missed by myself and others and things weren’t that bad or that they ever stay that way.

    That day still sends chills down my spine and the horror can’t get any more personal.

    “wish you were here”


  9. hektiksoldier permalink
    November 3, 2007 10:22 pm

    it maybe odd that muslims have the lowest rate of suicide or itmaybe mean its a sign that islam is the truth whatever it is or even sheer coincidence at the end of the day if it can stop people from committing suicide its got to be good hey maybee the whole world should revert back to islam and this blog wouldnt exist and mental illness and suicide cn be cured thats my 2cents worth on the matter

  10. raju (malaysia) permalink
    November 4, 2007 10:18 am

    hektiksoldier….u are funny saying we kafirs need to become muslims….. i wont become one even if u give me a billion dollars….
    and I find your statement offensive.

    • Hana165 permalink
      April 24, 2009 6:35 pm

      However, Islam does not teach to force someone to accept Islam or to be a Muslim. The Qur’an says that there is no compulsion in religion. For Truth stands straight.

      • jai permalink
        January 23, 2011 12:10 am

        i think someone thought this from childhood. come out of boundries of ur birth. i belong to a country where 80% of people following islam are convert of other religion . can any religion be so inspiring without any compulsion and greed. think…………… hehe one thing more. its clear that u know ur religion very well ….how much u know about other religions…..just for interest….education…

  11. November 4, 2007 10:41 am

    @raju :

    I too was offended by the comment but remember a comment reveals the commentator. it reveals his bigotry!

  12. November 4, 2007 12:21 pm

    Nita: On that comment, I cannot help but advance two possible hypotheses (a light hearted note, not that I expect that to be perceived by every reader with a sense of humour bypass):

    1. People following Islam are so un-free that they cannot even take their own lives

    2. They are suicided-out after all the terror attacks

    As I said, light hearted note. If I were writing for Jay Leno, these would make the show! 🙂

  13. November 4, 2007 12:30 pm


    Jay Leno would become the target of fundamentalists. 🙂
    On a more serious note, I would say that terrorists have conveniently twisted Islam to to bypass the rules of their religion and still find salvation!

  14. hektiksoldier permalink
    November 6, 2007 6:18 pm

    u guys are funny man i was being sarcastic wat relgion u decide to follow is ur perogative an at ur discretion In no way did I try offend any of you internet loserz at all wat i was pointing out that maybee all ur negative images and beliefs of islam can start to kerb an u might realise somethin good might come out of the religion people kill them selves becuase they hate there lives now if muslims hate there lives which is based around there religion Im sure they would do the same and saying that they dont even have the right to take there own lives is nonsense we all know its not hard to find a peice of rope and do a loop come on man I thought more of you guys obviously I am speaking to a bunch of idiots if you decide to reply make sure its worthwhile me replying and as for the comment where muslims have no choices in there lives lol thats ridiculous it is us westerners who have no choice think about it a muslim is willing to take there own life n the cause of there religon and there country wat the fuk are u willing to do 4 america lol thought so man u probably wouldnt give way on the road to a kid crossing lmao by the way i do have a choice in wat i do an say thats why i drive a car probably worth more than ur houses we are the ones who live by rules go over to the middle east and see how people live they are in war and living happy smiling and getting on with life here in the states u cant do shit without rules and you say we live in freedom what is your definition of freedom this question is to everyone on here hey can b the new topic “define freedom”

    • Sara permalink
      December 11, 2009 11:40 pm

      great comment,
      absolutly loved it!!!

    • March 20, 2010 5:27 pm

      you really do have a really good point. there is far to many rules at the minute and it also is getting worse. maybe its to do with
      greed control and power, and then we have war which seems to be the
      only weapon left for those who have poverty or no control to try and
      gain their freedom back. war will always be around and it seems
      to be human nature, it sparks very easily from something as small
      as an arguement. but seriously all those in deep war you are right
      they are smiling while we are complaining

  15. raaen permalink
    November 28, 2007 4:07 am

    i am doing a research on teen suicide………….does anyone no were i can find a graph that shows the increase of how many more teens are ding than before?

  16. just fo this once permalink
    December 4, 2007 7:04 pm

    Freedom for me angry boy (hektiksoldier) is to be able to take your own life if you want, without taking some one else with you that is

  17. Brother permalink
    December 6, 2007 1:25 am

    hektiksoldier; that was deep and agree with you totaly. New topic should be “define freedom”.

    Respekt & Peace.

  18. December 10, 2007 11:46 pm

    >>Well, people commit suicide because they feel there is no other solution, no hope left.>>
    I don’t think so. One female doctor committed suicide in Tirupati because she had doubt that her husband was maintaining illegal relationships with other women. If her husband really had illegal affairs, she can desert him and live independent life. Why should she end life for her idiotic husband? She had alternative other than tolerating and committing suicide. Tolerating illegal affairs of life partners or ending life for such affairs is really foolish.

    • boanerges permalink
      June 12, 2009 7:33 pm

      Yes that was foolish, kind of passive agression but still foolish.

  19. December 11, 2007 9:50 am

    @Proletarian Revolutionary:

    You may think it’s foolish, she didn’t. Everyone is different.

  20. December 11, 2007 4:42 pm

    I don’t think that these statistics on suicide rates are true. All suicide cases are not complained or registered in police stations. Some people spend much for gambling, drinking, prostitution and other addictions. After losing much of money, they become desperate and lose hope on life and commit suicides. In such cases, family members do not complain to police because no other person is responsible for the suicide and the suicide is totally the fault of the dead person. Suicide statistics that are counted according to cases registered in police stations cannot be 100% reliable.

  21. December 11, 2007 6:02 pm

    @Proletarian Revolutionary:

    you are correct ofcourse and this is specially so in countries where suicide is socially frowned upon.

  22. February 7, 2008 2:33 am

    mukhtar mubarez, I think that this is an interesting thought, that people who are connected to God are less likely to committ suicide. Those people who are connected to a high presence may feel less lonliness (like you said) and typically religions affirm a great purpose for each individual—which, in general–takes weight of one to define and invidivual purpose.

    Meditation, in general, also helps calm the mind.

    • Tony Frost permalink
      April 30, 2009 5:04 pm

      Also, there is more ‘social glue’ for religious people. Attending a church of any type, all involves people getting together, asking after each other.
      Combine this with a God (existence is irrelevant), who will provide spiritual/physical food is enough to keep people going.

      • boanerges permalink
        June 14, 2009 1:28 am

        Planet earth one of the planets school in the galaxy Milk Way, and there are more over there, HUBBLE TELESCOPE can give you a glimpse of the vastitude of the Universe, they put hubble telescope pointing to just one point of skies and SURPRISE there were billions of GALAXIES, SO FROM OUR HUMBLE PERSPECTIVE IN THIS TINY PLANET called EARTH WE CONTEMPLATE our own limitations , so to think we know GOD it is jokeable , we are limited in ours lizard mamalians bodies, very limited , maybe it is easy to understand DOG which is GOD backwards and them for the DOGS WE ARE GODS. So stop commiting crimes in the name of God or for the organized religions or you will pay the price(KARMA), here on this planet(or in one of billions throughout the material Universe) that it can be very nasty and painful believe me or not.

    • amit permalink
      May 10, 2009 3:21 pm


      if you are connected to god that gives you inner strength to face all situation. Suicide is after all running from challenges. Connecting with god gives strength.

      Another that i have on very high rate of duicide death in south india is probably because of excessive alchohol abuse in those socities.

  23. Ravi permalink
    March 21, 2008 8:17 pm

    It would be interesting to see the suicide rate of women in india against men. I think that would explain the cause of suicides in our country.

  24. March 22, 2008 9:22 am

    ravi, i have mentioned it in the post, about half as many women kill themselves as compared to men. however the causes as to why women kill themselves and men kill themselves are very different. women tend to kill themselves more for domestic reasons and men for more worldly reasons. but this is a gross generalisation ofcourse, considering that mental illness, underreporting etc are factors as well.

  25. Chase permalink
    April 14, 2008 3:42 pm

    Have you concidered the fact that societies all across the world have become increasingly individualistic in your explination of why suicide rates are so high and still climbing? Suicide rates were not even thought of just a handful of generations ago when everything was done together and you actually had to rely on other people to get things accomplished. What people ultimately desire and require is that community with other people our grandparents had. This kind of community is not just a group of friends that has a get-together every other weekend or something, but rather intimate relationships with a few others who will be there to walk with them through life’s ups and downs. Being open and vulnerable is scary but necessary despite what the culture of today is telling us.

    • Tony Frost permalink
      April 30, 2009 5:19 pm

      Yes, I agree. I’m disturbed that grandparents are dumped into homes, hidden away from society like something to be ashamed of. Generations ago, these elders had an important role in many different ways, especially imparting life’s knowledge (not to mention endless hard-boiled sweets!).

      On the other end of the scale, are children who are dumped into nurseries while the parents work all hours. What does this say about us?

  26. Adi permalink
    May 1, 2008 2:06 pm

    Hi Nita
    Happend upon your blog when looking for suicide rates world wide after reading an article about increased suicide rates in the past month in Japan with people killing themselves with poisonous fumes and endangering in the process the life of others who don’t wish to join them in the afterworld at all.

    Your article was very good, very informative. My compliments. I read a few of the comments which gave additional information and well, personal comments that from a scientific point of view were not helpfull at all.

    I decided to give you two or three points that in case you should be interested further in the subject, you may want to look into.

    A) Suicide and Muslim countries – aside from looking at the issue of the influence of religion, one has to look at three additional factors –
    1) Sometimes people who have sicknesses, or are hopeless, let themselves be recruited as suicide bombers. So while they commit suicide all right, because they kill other people along, they are not classified as people who commit suicide, but I met a few years ago someone from a univeristy who made a research on the personality of people who were suicide bombers and that person discovered that for instance in some cases they were already suffering from sicknesses that couldn’t be healed, or that they were outsiders in their communities and by becoming a “martyr” they could not only be accepted, finish their suffering, but also ensure the acceptance and income of their families for the future.
    2) Families usually are big and the social network funtions, so the issue of absolute loneliness and desperation is rather slim
    3) War Zones – when you live in a place where you risk to get killed at any time by your oponents, why kill yourself, chances are, someone else will do the job for you sooner or later anyway.
    4) Poverty – too busy to try to ensure your survival. People are exhausted after all they have to do to get food on their table. They collapse to rest. No time for your head to fill it with thoughts of dying really, as you are too busy to try to live (or as they say ” Too rich to die and too poor to live”)

    B) Israel – The reasons for the low suicide rate here are basically the same as in Muslim countries:
    1) Jewish religion explicitely forbids taking your own life. In addition, it tells very explicetly that your job is to make the best of this life down on earth here. Saving life has a very high place in Jewish religion. It is for instance the only valuable reason to break the strict rules of observing the Shabbat.
    2) War Zone point stated above
    3) Family ties and social networks (added by a society in which everyone is entitled to put his/her nose in other people’s business – you’d wish sometimes they would leave you alone for what ever)
    4) The Holocaust point – Jewish people lost 6 million of their own to the Nazis. So every human being is counted as a precious gift. Taking your life, lets say, would mean that you are actually spitting in the face of someone who tried and didn’t make it through a concentration camp. Can’t do such a thing. Unless you suffer really from mental sickness.

    C) South America:
    1) Political and economic instability: people are poor and rich in very quick succession, as such, not that much important is taken at economic success as a measurement of one’s personal value. You are NOT what you earn, you are WHO and HOW you are. Social ties are not explicit dependent on your riches. You do have other circles in which you move, yes, but your friends don’t drop you if you loose your work.
    2) Pride – culturally you are taught from small to take what ever shit (sorry for the language) life hands out to you and try to make the best of it. Life is seeing as a challange, so you have to surmount the challanges and deal with them. Giving up is not really considered a valuable option. You also don’t expect – like in Europe – that the State solves your problems, as you already know the State is bad. You have to solve them yourselves. But this is very good against depression.
    As my mother, who was born there said “when you work hard, you don’t have time to think of bullshit”. My father on the other side had this theory about weather. He said that he found out that where it is cold, people look miserable, even if they had a much better lot in life. Where the sun shone, people were much happier, no matter that they really didn’t have much to go by”. Indeed, it was medically proven that the sun light is needed to dissolve depression. Take a look that the southern hemisphere in your map is much better out in terms of suicide numbers, then the northern one.

    D) Africa:
    While no numbers are available there, my guess would be that they have the following points going for them
    1) Hard work to ensure survival
    2) Wars
    3) Dangerous sicknesses and miserable health systems killing people off without them much having to try to kill themselves if they really want.
    4) Better social networks as they are those that help people to survive in dire circumstances.

    Indeed, while the idea of looking into the Happiness rate connected to the suicide rate, the fact is, it isn’t the riches that make people being better off, it is other human connections combined with enough challanges to keep you entertained for the rest of your life.
    I think that this is the main reason why teenage suicide is so rampant in the world. Young kids already get everything from their parents, so what do they have to work, build and live for in their own lives? That causes desperation. I mean, would you want to look ahead at a life of constant TV programs and MP3, 4, and computer games where you talk to people only via chat rooms, and on mobile phones, even if they live just next door?

    • March 20, 2010 5:36 pm

      indeed i must move to spain where the sun always shine. there is defin
      atly something behind the sad disorder. i remember walking down the
      street in barcelona strangers saying hola guapa, they are so sociable
      and hospitable. here in dublin they darent even look each other in
      the eye when walking in a busy city street id say its the same in london is it?

  27. Jim permalink
    May 7, 2008 5:29 am

    I think Chase has pointed out a major key factor here.
    One that to be honest, could be the true root to suicide.
    We by our very natures are social beings, but in todays world we have never been more connected and yet disconnected from each other.
    Take this blog for example. Anyone can stumble apon it like I just did….but there is no human connectivity wich explains the responses that are very angry and could be taken as a hostile attack apon others.

    I for one would gladly trade anything to have a community that my grandparents/great – grandparents had.

  28. May 7, 2008 12:21 pm

    Jim, in India we have these communities. We have strong bonds not just with relatives, but also friends and neighbours. It means giving up a lot of our privacy and one’s time but here we don’t think of it as an intrusion of privacy or giving up time. China and other eastern societies are similar. And the reasons for suicide in these countries is different.
    Also talking of the blog we have a great community here but this is an old post and no one from the community on this blog comes here anymore…only those from search engines do. Also I find it very difficult to respond to comments on older posts as it is very exhausting due to a constant stream of comments. I do it rarely.
    You are welcome to join our community. Comments on recent posts is what can get you responses and connectivity. Also as people become familiar with your name, they will start talking to you. Building up relationships takes time.
    Thanks for visiting Jim and I hope you drop in again.

  29. May 9, 2008 4:07 am

    i never tried to kill myself i only cute but now i dont i only did that to get ride of the pain of everyone one was doin to me but i am over it and hopeing that i will never do that again

  30. Pbunyon permalink
    May 13, 2008 7:48 am

    Folks, get a grip. Nothing has to make sense when you only think of yourself. You may find ways to use religion, or money, or social pressures to reason out suicide statistics, but as long as people are dedicated to self, the tolls will never go down.
    As for Muslims, those who say they are better off in nearly any stats have forgotten serious inplications of being one. I mean, what good is it to say that your religion somehow has less suicide when the whole sees atrocities committed daily by Muslims suicide attacks. Good grief. Once again, self becomes the monster. Honestly M’s there’s other things to think about.
    As for the US of A and similar societies, the reason every man that I know of who has committed suicide, save one, did it because of the home situation. I see this often. Marriage has become a lie and the courts aid and abet the spouse who more often than not gets the kids even if she is the source of all the problems. The house, maybe the car, lots of the income, then the kids too. Heck, I have known many to consider it and three who actually killed themselves because their whole reason for living was ripped away by the courts relying on false witness etc. Don’t believe it? Research divorced men statistics.

  31. Some Kid permalink
    May 15, 2008 10:30 pm

    I don’t care

  32. I Feel Better Now permalink
    May 30, 2008 9:02 am

    I was feeling depressed yesterday but now I feel better. I was reading this for statistics but saw how deeply this phenomenon touches every one of us on earth. We as people should look at other forms of life and learn from it.
    1. In the animal kingdom I know of not one creature that kills or torments or terrorizes another creature for profit or pleasure.
    2. Even without the power of reasoning the animal kingdom never complains or protests against members of its own or any other species.

    They simply all get along, survive and are only competitive when it comes to hunting for food and protecting their young.

    I must act more like a dolphin with purely good intentions.

    • March 20, 2010 5:40 pm

      monkeys fight each other for territory and therefor food same as
      we fight each other for profit, but im not saying we are like
      monkeys its just you said no animal fights each other for profit

      i saw it on discovery a monkey almost killing another

  33. passingby permalink
    June 19, 2008 10:11 am

    i have been living in thailand for 2-3 years(Group 4 – Low suicide rate country)
    but now i am living in japan (Group 2 -a medium high suicide rate) for 5-6 years already.

    I can tell a big big diffrence between this 2 country.

    In japan, people always have a negative idea about their life and another people life.
    Everything in daily conversation is pessimistic set of thinking. general life style here? It basically has no life. everyone look/act like a robot.

    Up until now japans has been having more than 30,000 suicide cases continuing for 10years already.

    I don’t get why foreigner out side japan look at this country as a mind-peaceful living country. It is a lot of pressure in everything we are doing. Gaijin living here seem to have a very difference view from foreigner outside japan.
    (why I am still here? My j-wife won’t leave her country! That why I stuck here!!!)

    On the other hand, Thailand in general, people is poorer. It seemingly got a lot more social problem than japan. you know..HIV, weather, their sloppy government…etc
    But people over there seem to be a lot happier, a lot more hope, a lot more life!
    If something bad happen to them, let say the tsunami, people will talk about how many people survive from the incident. It is not how many people got kill, people will talk about how they are going to build their house, not how their house was destroy!!!

  34. attila_hun_gry permalink
    June 25, 2008 11:23 pm

    from my socio class – Durkheim’s study on suicides in which he looked at urban based suicides and rural based suicides. This had a startling conclusion. Worth checking….wikipedia would have a great article. No need for me to rehash it here.

    I am quite familiar with a south asian country since I reside here at the moment – the rural sector – farmers commit suicide when crops fail – or when the markets go against them. The access to poisons such as pesticides exacerbates the problem. The teen suicide rate here is mainly driven by failure to get into university – but this is declining with more liberalisation in the education sector. I think as the work force becomes more competitive and become more debt ridden – this will be the begining of a new suicide trend driven by debt. I’m hoping my assesment is wrong. Anyway I usually analyse financial derivatives – so hopefully my analysis is incorrect.

    But it is intriguing. The question of why? Why are some nations having stable suicide rates in the first place – what does that mean from a human context?

    So just looking at the factors and the theories in socio – each country brings a different set of parameters to the table. So I wouldn’t for instance compare this asian country with say Lithuania. Maybe I will compare the rural suicides vs the urban suicides and economic trends. Maybe some countries are reporting it better…

    What I’m saying is the numbers have to be broken down a bit more. The middle-east states (despite the recurrent turbulence) and some countries rich in commodities/farm produce in the interim will see an economic rise. Some nations will grow too rapidly and see dispairty of wealth widening – will this affect the male ego of the ones left behind? etc etc.

    One of my hobbies is reading military histories – and nothing interests me more than famous last stands – like the battle of Themorphylae – when King Leonidas faced down a massive multi-nation force of Xerxes of Persia with his spartans, thebans and thespites.

    Aren’t some battles in world war II – pure suicidial missions? See Doolittle raid over Tokyo for just one example.

    How can we subvert our minds to live by thoughts of death and glory. Weird.

    Finally it boils down to thought – the very essence of which can set into motion new inventions or create deep seated mainfestations of Beouwulf’s grendel in our minds.

    I’m planning to spend the happy hour at the bar – thank you very much.

  35. Jayalakshmi permalink
    July 1, 2008 12:05 pm

    Nice post.

    One doubt that crossed my mind though. The statistics about India may not be accurate. Most of the time, the suicide is not reported due to stigma. Our society is very good at sweeping truth under the carpet in the name of family honour.

    Suicide prevention is a serious topic and one only wishes that people are ‘ok with consulting a therapist/psychologist.’

  36. ashwin permalink
    July 2, 2008 12:15 pm

    The author of this article seems to be indicating that the high suicide rates in western nations is due to a “certain section of the population that is prone to depression and mood disorders (always in a minority) falls prey to suicide” (as quoted in the above article). The chances of culture influencing suicide rates is not given much thought. Supposedly because these nations score very high on the happiness index.

    Well people who commit suicide are a minority but for every sucessful suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide and a huge number of people getting depressed. Suicide rates are the best indicator of a nation’s ability to handle stress, resist depession and be positive in the face of adversity. Stating that suicide is because of mood disorder and society has nothing to do with it is simply absurd. If high suicide rates in western countries are because of “mood disorders of a minority” then why are these countries having so many more people with “mood disorders” than other nations??? Shouldn’t somebody investigate this ??? Surprisingly nobody blames the high suicide rate of women in India on “mood disorders” of Indian women. Everybody accepts that Indian society has customs that make the lives of women miserable(Eg. dowry, female infanticide etc). So why aren’t conditions in western society even considered as a possible cause for high suicide rates ???

    As for the happiness index, this is an attempt to infer the happiness of millions of people based on a survey of a handful of people.also every survey has a possibilty of being biased.This bias is not possible with suicide rates taken from registered police records). Anyway a survey that asks people how happy they are can only indicate how satisfied people are with their lives and the amount of stress people face. This survey cannot indicate levels of depression and ability to handle stress in a populaton because it is not likely that depressed people take such surveys. Now all the countries that score high on the happiness index have more wealth, less poverty, less unemployment and better job security. The people of these nations work for fewer hours than people in the third world(except for japan, usa and s.korea). These factors are directly responsible for more satisfaction and less stress in people’s lives. It is very difficult to see a person in poverty being satisfied with their lives. This explains the high score of rich nations on the happiness index. When more people are satisfied with their lives it should reduce depression and suicide, at least in theory. Surprisingly the suicide rates are among the highest in nations that score highest on the happiness index.. Some people here say that poverty and war reduce a person’s ability to consider suicide as they have “other things to worry about” . This is not possible because the stress of poverty and war push people towards alcoholism, drug abuse and social violence. All these factors are linked to suicide. Obviously the person who says that poverty prevents suicide has not experienced poverty.

    So when rich nations who don’t face many of the problems that poor nations face have much higher suicide rates one should investigate if there is something wrong with the culture of these nations that is responsible for people being depressed and high suicide rates.

    I really wish you had quoted my full paragraph instead of just a line. It really irritates me when people take my words out of context. This is what I had written before the line you quoted:

    I think it that it means that most people who commit suicide in these countries are those who buckle under socio-cultural and relationship problems…they are a small section of society. It is known that more than 80 per cent of those who commit suicide are those who suffer from mental illness, have an inability to cope.

    Frankly to say that I think that society has “society has nothing to do with” suicide is an absurd conclusion you have drawn. I have said nothing of the kind.

    Also, I find this sentence of yours quite absurd:

    Suicide rates are the best indicator of a nation’s ability to handle stress, resist depession and be positive in the face of adversity.

    I don’t agree with this statement at all. Also while I do agree that extreme poverty has a role to play in happiness, it is not the critical factor. And that bit I said about mental illness is not an opinion. It is a medical fact. And the next time you write a comment, I would appreciate it if do not misunderstand my post. Thanks. Also please read the disclaimer on the side bar. I am not an expert and certainly do not have any medical qualitification. I am but a lay person and those are my opinion (based on the research I did) and I stand my them. – Nita.

  37. Joe permalink
    August 9, 2008 1:39 am

    It might be interest but in a bad way for my case: I go through times where I do and there are times when I don’t want to commit suicide. It comes in a wave… and it’s all about my love for someone who doesn’t know that I love that person.

    It makes me want to pull a gun out in school and shoot myself in front of that very person, too, but good thing I say, “I wouldn’t own a gun because I don’t trust myself with one.”

    But then there’s my medication… but I don’t plan on ODing either although I’ve tried to like twice… never worked because I didn’t take enough or something.

    Joe, I think wanting to kill yourself to get the attention of your loved one is very counterproductive. It doesn’t make that person feel guilty at all (if you want that, in any case, that’s selfish) and it doesn’t make that person respect you either. Sorry if you think I am being harsh, but if even if you do have a medical condition, I think there is no point having this as a reason to kill oneself – Nita.

    • Ghost permalink
      March 28, 2011 10:12 pm

      If you truly loved that person, you wouldn’t be trying to ruin their life by making them feel like your blood is on their hands.

  38. Daniel permalink
    September 15, 2008 7:22 pm


    I stumbled upon your analysis. I live in a country with a fairly high suicide rate (Croatia, about 20 suicides per 100,000) and must say that your analysis is not 100% correct. In fact, there’s substantial difference in rate of suicides INSIDE Croatia – parts next to Hungary have the highest rate! And not many Hungarians live here. And there’s no history of Russian rule here. If you think about general Communist oppresion, it was strongest in completely other regions. Also Slovenia has a high rate (it’s is just west from Croatia, and borders Hungary). Austria is also nearby. Nobody would describe Austria as “very competitive” (it’s a rather relaxed country).

    It’s more likely a cultural, or even genetic trait.

    Most suicides get reported here in the press. Average report is something like:

    “A.N. (age 76) from a small village Y hanged himself yesterday… he was living alone and recently was of bad health”

  39. Observer permalink
    October 21, 2008 10:21 pm

    Muslims live this earthly life to worship God. To them it’s a test of patience, maintaining good morals, invoking God in all aspects of their lives, and look forward for a heavenly reward. This low life means nothing if we really think about it compared to what God would provide us in heaven if we pobey his commands. Why would anyone subtitute heavenly, clean and Godly giving to this low earthly life? Nothing in this life is worth killing oneself for. As far as muslims committing acts of violence through suicides, those acts were brought upon them by frustration and injustice due to wars waged by the west on muslim countries to capture and steal their land and resources (such as the case in Iraq and Palestine). those acts of suicide among muslims were unheard of until recently because of the continuing victimization of muslims by western armies. everyone has the right to fight back with whatever means are available and those means happen to be suicide attacks in these countries which lack the military might and weapons available for western countries.

  40. James permalink
    December 14, 2008 11:00 am

    Almost all of the credible polling data and research about suicide shows that there is a direct relation to religion. The more people that are religious in a country the lower the suicide rate. It also has nothing to do with the type of religion. Some of the very Catholic and Christian countries in South America have as low or lower suicide rates than the predominantly Muslim countries. One other thing to consider is these countries are also the least likely to keep accurate records.

    • kadesha permalink
      November 9, 2010 9:11 am

      christianity, judaism and islam do not allow suicide!!

      I have read and studied the Bible, The Quran, Greek Mythology, Judaism, Buddhism, and Atheism. and personally i thought it would strengthen my religion, but it made me aware to everyones religion, so i just live by the motto “TREAT EVERYONE HOW YOU WISH TO BE TREATED”

      it dosent matter what religion u are, just like james said

      love the comment!!

  41. mike permalink
    January 7, 2009 8:45 am

    The number 40 /second seems very high. as matter of fact it would be 14,400 per Hour (40x60x60), it means 345,600 per day (14,400×24) and it would be 126,144,000 people per year (345,600×365) , is this statistic accurate?
    That is all I am asking my self.

    • your name permalink
      July 5, 2011 7:32 pm

      no you have that reveresed–it’s one person every 40 seconds not 40 persons every single second. the figures are closer to 2,000 persons worldwide per day and 200 persons in the USA per day or about 4 persons per state per day commit suicide.

  42. terry permalink
    January 20, 2009 9:37 am

    i use to see the word suicide but it didn’t have a face till my wife started having severe depression. we saw drs. she tried rxs, my wife fought it for 4 years and finally took her life. her faith in God was strong till the end. the thought that christians don’t commit suicide is totally wrong. this is a disease, and it took my soulmate, my best friend my lover, my wife. she brought out the best in me now i’m all alone in this home we built. i miss her everyday. now suicide has a face.

    • spirithappy permalink
      February 24, 2009 9:54 pm

      I am so sorry to hear about your wife. I am also a christian and yes christians do suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts. We use Spirit and Science on my site to help stop suicidal thoughts. The combination is working well to heal many. God be with you,SpiritHappy

  43. spirithappy permalink
    February 24, 2009 9:51 pm

    We study happiness and Suicide/Depression on our site and it is clear that science and faith can combine to heal depression and suicial thoughts.We do it on our site.
    Often people forget that Faith is an important factor in the well balance of a person. Medication can be very helpful but the person is still out of balance.

  44. Leofranc Holford-Strevens permalink
    April 10, 2009 10:47 pm

    Hungary, I believe, had a high suicide rate in the late nineteenth century, when the country had a very high degree of autonomy within what since 1867 had been the Austro-Hungarian Empire. To be sure the country was larger than it is now (it included Croatia, Slovakia, Transylvania, now Romanian, and the Burgenland, now Austrian), which complicates statistics; but at least the Soviet occupation can be discounted.

  45. Larry White permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:05 pm

    I have an ex-girlfriend that keep telling she goingto kill herself. She abuses prescrition drugs
    and some what go to AA and NA. However she has stop going. She has aniexty attacks and she is goin to a professional pychologiost and have seen a therpist. I do not thinks she has been honest with either. She also ways callin g and to my face she goinh to kill herselg and call me all the time. Fee strongly she will.

  46. Andy permalink
    November 4, 2009 8:19 pm

    Why have suicide rates climbed?

    1. I have read comments about the rise in antidepressants as being a major cause which can lead to major mood swings. This doesn’t address why so many more people are taking the antidepressants in the first place.
    2. Religion playing a role in preventing suicide. Yes, this is true. Religion can help people deal with the added pressures they face in society, but it doesn’t change the fact that there are more pressures.

    It seems to me that most countries have put economic indeces over everything else. In other words, growth of a country’s GDP is more important than other factors such as stable jobs, keeping focused on what’s important in life, consumer societies, an ever increasing skill set required to compete for the jobs that are available.
    Society has chosen to set up the economics, with the passage of GATT and the WTO to uproot the foundations of our security. In the third world, million if not billions of people have been affected by the changing of farming techiniques brought in from the West. The West has been gutted of its manufacturing base as well as almost all other jobs from computer/IT, automotive, steel, pharmaceutical, etc. The system is designed to export jobs from the West to improve the bottom line and the stock price. In the poorer countries, massive migration to the cities by the poor caused from the changes toward western farming techniques (less labor is needed) farming and the imports of cheap government subsidized produce from the West has left a large, unskilled and poor labor force in the major cities throughout the third world. The rich in the West benefit from an unlimited cheap labor force in the third world countries and the rich in the East benefit from getting the manufacturing industry, but workers don’t benefit from those jobs, just the rich do.
    We have our priorities all wrong. The purpose of an economy is to benefit the people, not to just grow at all costs. When you take away all stability of having and keeping a job in all countries, you have a system that is flawed and one of the consequences is depression and suicide. In the West, we have moved further and further away from religion as a source to give us meaning, relying on no higher power to give us direction or meaning in life. We have also moved further away from community, how many people actually know their neighbors? When we in the West rely on our job, relationships and friedships to fulfill these needs, often the result is being let down. Jobs aren’t stable anymore at all, unless you work for the government or health care. Relying on other people is never stable either. Relationships often end, friendships often end.

    You are left with a society that is by its design difficult. It requires a certain level of intelligence, discipline, drive and people skills to navigate successfully. Many people aren’t able to successfully do this. The suicide rates aren’t surprising, the are predictable and expected and will continue as long as we choose as a society to run it the way we do.

  47. December 2, 2009 11:06 am

    I am a JSCCP clinical psychologist and JFP psychotherapist working in Japan for over 20 years. I would like to put forward a perspective on some of the main reasons behind the unacceptably high suicide numbers Japan and so will limit my comments to what I know about here in Japan.

    Mental health professionals in Japan have long known that the reason for the unnecessarily high suicide rate in Japan is due to unemployment, bankruptcies, and the increasing levels of stress on businessmen and other salaried workers who have suffered enormous hardship in Japan since the bursting of the stock market bubble here that peaked around 1997. Until that year Japan had annual suicide of rate figures between 22,000 and 24,000 each year. Following the bursting of the stock market and the long term economic downturn that has followed here since the suicide rate in 1998 increased by around 35% and since 1998 the number of people killing themselves each year in Japan has consistently remained well over 30,000 each and every year to the present day.

    The current worldwide recession is of course impacting Japan too, so unless the new administration initiates very proactive and well funded local and nationwide suicide prevention programs and other mental health care initiatives, including tackling the widespread problem of clinical depression suffered by so many of the general population, it is very difficult to foresee the previous government’s stated target to reduce the suicide rate to around 23,000 by the year 2016 as being achievable. On the contrary the numbers, and the human suffering and the depression and misery that the people who become part of these numbers, have to endure may well stay at the current levels that have persistently been the case here for the last ten years. It could even get worse unless even more is done to prevent this terrible loss of life.

    The current numbers licensed psychiatrists (around 13,000), Japan Society of Certified Clinical Psychologists clinical psychologists (19,830 as of 2009), and Psychiatric Social Workers (39,108 as of 2009) must indeed be increased. In order for professional mental health counseling and psychotherapy services to be covered for depression and other mental illnesses by public health insurance it would seem advisable that positive action is taken to resume and complete the negotiations on how to achieve national licensing for clinical psychologists in Japan through the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and not just the Ministry of Education as is the current situation. These discussions were ongoing between all concerned mental health professional authorities that in the ongoing select committee and ministerial levels that were ongoing during the Koizumi administration. With the current economic recession adding even more hardship and stress in the lives its citizens, now would seem to be a prime opportunity for the responsible Japanese to take a pro-active approach to finally providing government approval for national licensing for clinical psychologists who provide mental health care counseling and psychotherapy services to the people of Japan.

    During these last ten years of these relentlessly high annual suicide rate numbers the English media seems in the main to have done little more than have someone goes through the files and do a story on the so-called suicide forest or internet suicide clubs and copycat suicides (whether cheap heating fuel like charcoal briquettes or even cheaper household cleaning chemicals) without focusing on the bigger picture and need for effective action and solutions.

    Economic hardship, bankruptcies and unemployment have been the main cause of suicide in Japan over the last 10 years, as the well detailed reports behind the suicide rate numbers that have been issued every year until now by the National Police Agency in Japan show only to clearly if any journalist is prepared to learn Japanese or get a bilingual researcher to do the research to get to the real heart of the tragic story of the long term and unnecessarily high suicide rate problem in Japan.

    I would also like to suggest that as many Japanese people have very high reading skills in English that any articles dealing with suicide in Japan could usefully provide contact details for hotlines and support services for people who are depressed and feeling suicidal.

    Some useful telephone numbers and links for residents of Tokyo and Japan who speak Japanese and/or Engish and are feeling depressed or suicidal and need to get in touch with a mental health professional qualified in Japan:

    Inochi no Denwa (Lifeline Telephone Service):
    Japan: 0120-738-556
    Tokyo: 3264 4343

    AMDA International Medical Information Center:

    All the best from Tokyo!

    Andrew Grimes JCCCP, JCP
    Tokyo Counseling Services:

  48. gega permalink
    December 5, 2009 5:29 pm

    whats the point in suicide when one day one will die naturali
    why hurry lets injoy it

  49. Sara permalink
    December 11, 2009 11:58 pm

    Notice that in the muslim countries almost no one commits suicide, muslims have a connection with god that is so strong, so deep which naturally prevents them from ever harming them selves, islam teaches ppl that they are important n that they are worthy….that life is always going to be full of problems…and that your always going to face ups and downs, we know that god is always with us, we have inner peace,
    and for those people who are taking about those terrosits, there is no such thing in islam called harming others….islam trully is a peaceful religion, those terrosits might be muslim by name but not by heart….and there actions have nothing to do with there religion, why is that when you see a christian or indian killer or murderer nobody connects his actions to his religion….does being a christian or indian make someone a killer???…noo, dont think so, so dont do the same with islam, ppls bad actions have nothing to do with their religion….
    n trust me….islam is a beautiful beautiful religion, do some research, read our holy book(quran)…study our religion…dont just listen to the media or other ppls talk…
    so before you ever jujde islam….please do some research…..deep research…n dont just read any book, go to a local mosque and ask about it…

    • Veronica permalink
      January 30, 2010 8:21 am

      I think all kinds of religions are peaceful. I myself am Catholic, but have many Muslim and Jewish friends, and what I have learned from all the religions I have come in contact with, is that all religions teach basically the same thing, but in different ways.
      I truly believe that GOD, the one I believe in, would not be the kind loving father that I love, if he decided to leave parts of the world without salvation.

      By this I mean, I am catholic because I was born in a Catholic country. A woman born in Israel might be raised to Jewish, as a woman in Pakistan to Muslim. If we all believe that our respective Gods are all loving, and all powerful, why can’t we believe that God is also versatile, that he reveals himself to different cultures according to what different cultures need.

      Just as if two different people read the Bible, and will get different interpretations of what they read based on their history and what they need at a certain moment, it is the same book, but different people understand different things.

      For example, many religious people condemn the homosexuals, but if you read the Bible, are you really without sin to be able to throw the first stone? That is my interpretation, but believe you me I have had many discussions on this subject, because different people understand different things.

      Cristianism has subdivided into many churches, exactly because of the many interpretations, and well, all things considered, the competition had done them good, all religions have something to be embarrassed about, and have had people misuse it to other means, but the churches are made by the people, and people make mistakes, and get carried away by power, by hate, and by grudges against innocent people.

      But at the core, all religions praise practically the same thing, love, respect, and devotion.

  50. Arne Rasmussen permalink
    December 12, 2009 4:31 pm

    Muslims also make suicide. What about the suicide bombers, and what about those who fly into the building in New York 11 of December?
    No it is not always because of drugs that people make suicide. I tried to kill myself in 1976 because I had no place to live, and we talk about Denmark. One of the richest countries in the world! Many people that time had to wait more than 10 years before it is their time to rent an apartment. In the year 2003 I became sick. I lost my job and my home. Now I live in Brazil and I have never bean happier!
    Denmark is one big waiting room, and many things is not working well even we pay the highest tax in the world.

  51. nilufer permalink
    December 28, 2009 8:32 am

    My theory:
    Neither economic, nor political reasons alone could be held responsible for suicides. Mostly, it is lack of faith -regardless of affiliation with any religion- and/or mental illness. However, I do feel that lack of sunshine may play a role as well. In sunny countries, suicide rates seem much lower, regardless standard of life statistics.
    As per Muslims: I believe that Islam is indeed a very strong anti-suicide-faith. Catholics have also a low suicide rate, by statistics.
    Among Orthodox Jews, suicide is rare as well, interestingly.
    Regarding “Moslem suicide bombers” and such: The subject is purely political and relates to “jihad”, whereas its Western/Christian equivalence is “military operations”. “Jihad” does therefore not equal suicide in its conventional sense.

    Faith, in my view, goes beyond organized religion of any kind.
    By the way, I think, we all are here to understand our Creator, our interactions with it, and earn promotion to a better “next life”.
    Thoughts of suicide are deceptions from negative energies. My prescription to those who experience such smyptoms: stop everything, lay down, close your eyes, and seek direct and honest communication with your Creator. Be patient. Listen. The rest will unfold.


    PS: I read the Bible, The Holy Quran, Greek Mythology, Buddhism, and Atheism. I suggest everybody reads them, for the sake of understanding. A synthesis is not necessary. Extract for yourself what you agree with. The language of faith goes far beyond books.

  52. Maria in Laveen permalink
    January 5, 2010 10:57 am

    My brother killed himself a year ago. We never expected it. He will never know how devasting his decision was, nor how much he meant to me. If you know someone who is lost, please reach out to them. People who do this do not see another way out, all hope is lost. And I know that every person who decides to this, has a loved one who cares.

  53. sal permalink
    January 17, 2010 10:52 am

    i’m 20, muslim, who always think about suicide and it began since i was 10, but i didn’t do it because Islam forbids suicide and the punishment for it is; eternal hell.

    i first hate it why God make such rule. but sooner, it makes me discover opportunities and drive to move in life and for hereafter while my suicide thoughts are lessen. though now i still have depressions sometimes due to that negative mental habit i’ve develop since i was little, but it got less and less especially after i get close to God starting from age 17 and keep my 5 times prayer a day consistently, obey God and leave what He forbids, which help to build stronger self control in me

    now that i’m closer to Allah, i feel more of the fear to kill myself no matter how much i think of it. music, family, friends, discussion and motivational talk just don’t help to relieve the depressions except for few seconds before the pain in me gets worse.but through prayers and some remembrance to Allah, it takes away all the bad pressures in me as if my space is all cleared up from fog that now i can breathe well… of course i should keep that effort continuous or else i would fall again

    if not for those, i think i would have stuck in mental ward or just..suicide.

    • kadesha permalink
      November 9, 2010 8:51 am

      the one unforgivable thing in islam that god does not forgive is “shirk” association with gods.
      it doesnt mention suicide, so yea.

      I have read and studied the Bible, The Quran, Greek Mythology, Judaism, Buddhism, and Atheism.
      and personally i thought it would strengthen my religion, but it made me aware to everyones religion, so i just live by the motto “TREAT EVERYONE HOW YOU WISH TO BE TREATED”

  54. Bedel permalink
    January 23, 2010 10:39 pm

    HI. reality is reality. there is nothing we call ‘if’ you used in this topic “If Islam does not allow suicide it is likely that families could be hiding the actual facts”.
    what is real in the muslim community is that suicide rate is very low and even we can say it doesn’t exist. the solution for this problem is to understand the secret bieng in this life.
    Bedel Abdi

    • mint permalink
      November 13, 2011 4:08 am

      Its not “low” – it is hidden. Like everything is hidden. Enormous incest and sexual abuse rate (over 80%) is hidden in Muslim society. High murder rate is hidden. High crime rate is hidden. High homosexual rate (over 46% of men report having gay relations) is hidden.

      Because something is hidden doesn’t mean it does not exist. Its just a society where human truths are not allowed to be seen or heard of. Of course people will keep quiet about them.

  55. Veronica permalink
    January 30, 2010 7:56 am

    I am from Latin America, and I am living in Switzerland, which has one of the highest rates of suicide in Europe. Because of the military service (3 weeks a year til they turn 32) here in Switzerland, men are supposed to keep their guns at home throughout the year. The fact that the men keep their guns at home increases the suicide rates in Switzerland above the rates of all the neighboring countries.
    After a close friend committed suicide with his military gun here, I started trying to analyze the cultural reason behind all the suicides, and through various discussions with many latin women living here, I came to the conclusion that most European people try to act strong. Being a latin woman, whenever I need to vent, I have enough friends to talk to, and I don’t feel the need to pretend that my life is perfect, on the contrary, I talk to many people, and get advice.
    My husband, being swiss is always amazed at how many (swiss and german) people open up to me, and sometimes even end up sobbing on my shoulders, his friends and family included. And a huge problem is that most people here don’t talk about their problems, and once I start, people tend to open up about their problems too.
    For example one of many, a woman who is pregnant, will not tell anyone (except her husband) that she is pregnant until the second trimester, where there are less chances of a miscarriage. In a Swiss and a German perspective, if you do lose the baby, you will not only have to deal with the loss, but also with the pity of others. But if that does happen, you are also left to deal with it alone, and are maybe aware of the statistics, but no one you can relate to.
    A latin woman will automatically be on the phone with her mother, who in turn will tell everyone else, that her daughter is expecting a child. And well if you do have a miscarriage, well, first of all, you find support in your friends and family who knew, they try to console you with other cases of people you know who are going through the same thing, and yes, the pity may be somewhat annoying, but you have a support system behind you.
    I have seen myself changing, trying to adapt to the swiss culture, and trying to hold myself back, and not spill every funny detail about my life, because that is not expected here. But I have noticed, that the fact that I spend so much time with the Swiss and German, who try not to talk about personal problems, leaves me sometimes drowning in a glass of water, where a really insignificant problem seems huge, because after a while I start assuming everyone else has a perfect life, and I am the only one who has problems..
    So sorry if I kinda used this as personal therapy, but talking about problems, actually verbalizing and the freedom to express what is wrong with you with the people around you, might actually be a cultural factor to consider in suicide.

  56. To Be Or Not To Be permalink
    February 22, 2010 7:53 am

    Ok folks……I read all your comments, took me a while but I managed. First my condolences to Terry and Maria in Laveen. To lose someone you so deeply love to suicide is a terrible thing no doubt.
    Don’t agree with you Andy. I have intelligence, above average, I have discipline, drive and exceptional people’s skills and my life seems to be going nowhere. I am college educated and have applied to hundreds of different jobs over the years and no luck. I have children, so when thoughts of suicide come into my head, I try to push them out, but that can be a whole different story once my children are adults.
    My days simply melt together, my life hasn’t started yet they way I want it to be. I resent anyone saying I have a mental disorder or chemical imbalance. I am simply not happy with my life and I have tried to change it, by talk and action…but still everything is the bloody same. I don’t believe something is wrong with me, but I do believe that society is not fair, it is set up for the “kiss asses” of the world , who help inflate the egos of CEO’s of corporations, to get ahead. I know of managers who have very comfortable jobs who have less education than I do. What a joke. And I’m not talking about a family business either. Sara, please don’t get me started on religion. It has been THE main cause of war throughout man’s history. In Canada a Muslim taxi driver strangled his daughter cause she refused to wear a traditional headpiece. He murdered his daughter ONLY because of his religion. It was even called an ” honour killing” amongst his community. Sick son of a bitch he and all who think he was right to do this. Of course if ANYBODY prays 5 times a day, almost 20,000 times a year, he/she will be totally into their religion. It’s called brainwashing. One must consume any religion in moderation like anything else in life, don’t let religion consume you.
    Sal you make me smile. You have your God to believe in like so many others. But what about science? Do we know without a doubt amongst all these billions upon billions of stars we are the only “intelligent” beings in existence? Or did God create so many other beings in whose likeliness we know not of ?? We are created in his image, but whose image are those other creatures created in…mmmm……I wonder. But you have faith in Him Sal, but I need faith in something more tangible, it was “me”…but over the years I see “me” not going anywhere.
    Almost but not quite Adi. Suicide is, quoted by Scientific American ,”Really bad choice on really bad day” sounds catchy and almost captures what I feel. Problem is, it’s not “one” day. The culmination of many bad days, many disappointments, let downs and failed attempts. You can’t keep moving the finish line….sooner or later you must draw the line somewhere and if you make it great, if not, well you will live a lonely and/or unhappy life or some may even end their misery.
    Veronica I disagree with the ” what is wrong with you” statement. Like I stated before society is created by those in high places. It no longer is the survival of the strongest. All it takes is to know someone or belong to a visible “minority” or what I like to call “reverse” discrimination. Any kind of discrimination is wrong, so here is a thought come time to hire someone for a new position. Don’t ask for name of person on application, or what years they finished school, or even names of school , cause if Daddy can afford to put you in private school, guess what…you got the job over those public school kids. Only when person is told to come down for interview then more information should be given. That way it evens things up more, of course if applicants were solely picked by some test, and highest score got the job….well I guess I’m dreaming now.
    Now Adi, hmmmm…interesting component you mentioned due to suicide rates. I think it was sunny weather you said. You know I tend to believe that, even when I am truly down. Like now just thinking of the warm sun on my face, like today, makes me feel better of course it doesn’t change anything, it still helps a tiny bit. So maybe I should just get up and move, on my own or with family to a warmer climate….I’ve heard good things about Costa Rica…..mmmmm

    • Veronica permalink
      March 15, 2010 3:28 pm

      Well, To be or not to be, I have to agree with you, about the private schools, and everything, I went to a private school, and to a private university. Then married a Swiss, a student, and came to live here, leaving behind my life with maids and drivers to be working for 2 years for less than minimum wage to maintain my swiss student husband. And you know why I did that? Because I don’t want to be daddy’s little girl once I go back home, and start working there. Giving up my whole standard of life back home was hard, harder though, was being used to being someone back at home, and then being worse than a nobody here, being a foreigner. Switzerland is more open about racism as Germany. I even came home crying some times, not because of my boss, but because of my coworkers. But you know what? I come from a poor country, I have seen people dying of hunger. I have seen people who have nothing, wanting to share a cup of coffee with you. And what I have learned, is that I get to decide. I have been living here for 5 years now, in a small old apartment, and cleaning, and dealing with a lot of comments, and probably the hardest time of my life. But guess what? I have decided to be happy. I have decided to tell my problems as jokes… the other day my husband and I were driving back home and it was -10°C and our car window froze open.. we laughed all the way home, thinking of headlines of how we would win the Darwin Awards for stupid way of dying frozen. When this happened, I was tired, I told my husband not to open the window, he did it anyway, I could’ve fought with him, all the way home, I CHOSE not to. It wasn’t the end of the world, yeah, we froze all the way home, but we had a blast thinking up all the headlines. I know this is sometimes not possible, but instead of looking up at the people that have it much better, take a look down. Take a look at someone who works for pennies in a factory in a country similar to Costa Rica, take some time to consider their future. Maybe you should think about actually going to Costa Rica, or Nicaragua next to it, and going to help some poor people, and once you do, you will realize how blessed you are. The fact that you have internet, and can write, and have enough time on your hands to write in this blog.. you are part of the elite. Enjoy it! And if you can’t, then don’t put down all those people that tell you you might have an imbalance, what if you do? Would you not rather know and if it is true.. get medicines for it, and try to be happy? Try helping other people, whenever I am sad, this just fills me with satisfaction. I will pray for you.

  57. Dude permalink
    March 14, 2010 10:23 pm

    To the comment about Denmark being so happy… they are probably on the list because they have too much pressure to be “happy” (happiest nation in the world), and so don’t feel enough freedom to address the pain.

  58. March 20, 2010 8:44 pm

    It is very, very interesting that the highest suicide rates are in eastern Europe. I really didn’t expect that, but at the same time I’m not surprised at all. I’m from eastern Europe. Perhaps the recent Academy Award nominated short film will give you some clues. It’s called “Rabbits in Berlin”. Here is the link:

  59. Wade permalink
    April 14, 2010 3:55 pm

    I think suicide in places like NA despite there wealth is like the article writer has said, the pressure to be successful is high in devloped nations. It is distressing trying to achive greatness when there is only so much room for it. As a young adult living in Canada I know far to much about how helpless you can feel trying to fight your way to the top of societies pecking order, I don’t feel suicidal but I can understand why people of lower economic status and young people in devloped nations are more liable to end there lives out of frustration about there lack of achievements, fear of change/competition and feelings of no self-worth. Here in Canada it always feels like if you don’t grow up to be some sort of successful individual people will have a low opinion of you as a person.

    I can see how this can work diffrent in nations that are not fully devloped (but not absolutly poor) as people there are more open and less judgemental towards people that are not of higher status in society. When a large majority of society is of a low/poverty economic bracket there is less feelings of pressure and helplessness as people don’t feel alone in there struggles. In lots of poor nations living in a street, a shack or tiny apartment still isn’t easy but is generally an acceptable way of life for most people. But in devloped nations people of low economic status tend to be reticulated and treated very poorly by the general population.

    In Asian though especially Japan & Korea the pressure to perform is extremly high. Parents, schools and employers are very demanding and if you fail to achive people are very quick to treat you poorly, it aslo doens’t help that the cost of living is very high and basic service jobs are hardly even enough to afford you healthy living arrangements. Also suicide was a big part of ancient Japanese culture which I think causes lots of issues with suicide in Japan.

    I think former soviet block nations are having a huge issue with suicide right now is because of the failure to adapt to the new economic enviroment. In former communist nations things like work and education were not just a privilege but a right and has caused lots of diffculties for people trying to adjust to this change.

    Men probably out number women in suicide for a few reasons. The expectation of men are still higher then women, men themselves have a natural craving for power and dominance which likely causes lots of personal issues if they feel like they don’t have any; they are more likely to swallow there feelings and tend to be taught from a young age that it is emasculating to express share feelings which leaves them at a higher risk of holding everything in tell they explode and do something drastic where women are more likely to seek help from professionals/family and friends; also I think men are more liable to act violently or inflict great deals of pain amoung themselves then women. As for the higher suicide rate of women in China to men, I think these has a lot of to with the one child policy and that many families in China treating there daughters poorly because they wanted a boy to continue the family, this issue has been discussed exstensivly in the media and they tend to conclude this is a huge problem in Chinese culture.

    All in all, just like the writer of this article, I’m not a psychologist but this is my own personal interpratations of the major causes of suicide in parts of the world.

  60. xvpfflsx permalink
    April 17, 2010 9:44 pm

    Suicide rate is around 17 per 100,000 just amongst young South Koreans!
    Because of why young south Korean has high rate of suicide is STUDY!

    In Korean culture study is most important thing.
    Korean high school start at 7:00am and finish at 10:00pm.
    Also students go to academy after school until 12:00 or 1:00am.
    AND after 12th grade they have really important exam to go to college like SAT, BUT that exam has just once each year. So If U got a bad score than U have to study again for a exam!

    It is like SAT but fuking harder than SAT and Korean people think this exam is most important in korean cultural life.
    Because most Korean people see the college where they graduate. If people haven’t gone college people think they are really stupid or was one of high school gang member(not a gang but bad group in school).

    So that is why many young koreans get high stress.

    I was born in S korea and have been lived in US since 2008.
    I can tell students who were born in US are really happier than S Korea.

  61. Emily permalink
    April 19, 2010 9:09 pm

    You know tht students in Europe and Asia attend school anywhere from 190 to 240 days a year, usually until 5. Tho they have higher test scores this could be a reason why the suicide rates are higher also!

  62. Angelique permalink
    April 27, 2010 6:02 pm

    This is really helpful information I’m doing a school project on suicide rates in the U.S. and why people may do it.

  63. Ann permalink
    May 1, 2010 1:34 am

    Black people do not commit suicide.

  64. Robin permalink
    May 3, 2010 5:22 am

    As a suicide educator I would have to say that the leading countries have a marked lack of SUNLIGHT seasonal affected disorder (SAD) is a major mood destabilizer as well as the lack of vitamin D. I am saying that this is a contributing factor in the Group 1 Countries…

  65. Venla Tuominen permalink
    May 11, 2010 9:40 pm

    I can’t vouch for other countries, but I think the high Finnish suicide rate results from the melancholic Finnish culture. When you read “You’ve been in Finland too long when you see an entire classroom dressed in black and no longer wonder who died” and laugh at the joke, it’s pretty sad.

    If you listen to Finnish music you soon come to realize that the most popular Finnish music is dark and depressing. Nightwish – End of All Hope, Poet and the Pendulum (begins with “The end, the song writer’s dead”), Dead to the World. HIM – Join me in Death (this title is not a joke), Death is in Love with Us, When Love and Death Embrace. 69 Eyes – Devils, Gothic Girl (“She’s close to come to her dying”), Kiss Me Undead. Those are just a few examples.

    Compare that to the US culture (the only other one I can attest) – not melancholic, when an entire classroom wears black it’s because someone’s grandmother died, and the popular bands are . . . well . . . I don’t listen to crappy American music, but I do know they don’t glorify death and vampirism like Finnish ones do.

    This is just a theory of mine. I don’t know anything about the cultures of other countries with high suicide rates, but I imagine an obsession with death might influence it.

  66. christine permalink
    May 16, 2010 10:35 pm

    I want to commit suicide and I think it is because I don’t feel in control of my life and I don’t know how to “get” in control of my life. I don’t seem to make decisions rather I simply allow others to decide everything for me as if it isn’t my life at all but someone else’s to do with what they want. I can’t or rather won’t take responsibility for my life and start trying to live it according to what I want or believe. This makes me feel guilty and bad – although all I do, I only do for or according to other’s wishes. I feel weak. I am weak. I feel a sinner. I am a sinner. I feel like I am messing everything up and every action is taking me further from what I would want or would want to be and that the longer I live, the more sin I commit and the worse a person I become. I hate myself. I loathe my weakness. I feel I will lose my soul shortly. I want to live according to my soul and not according to my ego but I am weak and afraid and I can’t seem to manage this. There is nothing wrong with my life materially but everything wrong with my personality and brain. I have no self-discipline. I probably need help but don’t know where to start. I just want to be good and strong and courageous and loving and helpful and altruistic and not all wrong.

    • Sara permalink
      May 17, 2010 11:28 pm

      i can tell from ur comment that ur a really good person, and have such an honest heart….
      i can tell your true…….honestly, change dosnet come fast so thats the first thing u need to understand, i really really wish i can help and ill try cus in a way i can relate to wat u feel, but i do understand wat ur going through, so heres this website, please dont think its any ordinary website…..i swear, it has changed my life and many others completly, its u can check out the section of ” all articles” ( and u can start your inner healing from there…

      honey i wish u the best, and i trully hope from god that u find ur way :)….

      please know that there are many others who feel like you, and i have been through some of the things that u are going through now, and i have healed, but of course :)…it took me loadza time….
      start from this website, and belive me it will change ur life…..



    • mint permalink
      November 13, 2011 3:51 am

      There’s probably nothing wrong with your discipline. Going to the gym under the guidance of a trainer could gradually develop discipline which also creates discipline in other areas of life.

      I think you have become obsessed in finding faults with yourself. Your mind and thoughts always linger on the negative. But don’t forget that if you’re always finding faults with you, you also find everyone else insufficient. People need to step out of their extreme selfishness. Self-obsession, desire to commit suicide when there is no extremes caused by external influences (ex abuse, extreme poverty etc), are mainly thoughts by an extremely selfish person who doesn’t care about other people. People who have lost family or friends to suicide can never recover from the pain and shock it gives them. How selfish is it for someone to be so self-absorbed that they don’t care that they leave an entire lifetime of pain onto someone else?

      To get rid off this extreme selfishness where everything is only focused on “me, me, me” one should start by volunteering in work which demands that you think and care for OTHER people. Care for the elderly and those who are lonely, for the disabled, for those no one else wants.

  67. May 24, 2010 1:12 am


    I have a blog in which I write about death and my latest post was about suicide rates. So during my research on the web I stumbled about your post. Very interesting indeed! And a nice idea to compare suicide to happiness rates!
    It would be nice if you could visit my blog (see above)…I did recomment this article for further reading 🙂

  68. June 8, 2010 10:01 am

    The wide variation in suicide rates among countries is very interesting: about 10 times between Greece and Korea! The causes of suicide are complex, like the causes of death in general, and need detailed study. We can learn a great deal by this study and can start to reduce suicide. At the same time, this effort can improve the happiness of the large proportion of people who have the same problems but don’t reach the point of killing themselves. Some the possible factors people have discussed here: weather, religion, poverty, study, marriage, impulsivity, availability of the means of suicide (poisons), culture, increasing demands, decreasing success. I’m a scientist studying health, and we should approach research and solutions to suicide in the same way we study and fight any cause of death, like cancer or heart disease.

  69. ummm permalink
    July 27, 2010 11:21 pm

    I was just reading a manga when I notice that the writer claims 1 Japanese to commit suicide every 15 minutes. I go on searching in the internet for the suicide rates around the world and find this blog quite interesting. Personally I think hopelessness and drugs play a major role in suicide. However I do also think that the person who commit suicide also needs to be really “free” in what they do. I believe those who commit suicide has nothing left to regret if they die, this is different from just being depressed since you will need to be really “all alone” i.e. no one is going to regret your death, you are no longer needed or depended by anyone. Unfortunately, some people who commit suicide tends to kill people who depend on them, i.e. their baby and such. One more thing that I think may lead to suicide is living without any goals in life. By being so, you lack of someone you care for and lack of things to do that you see useful and you just become tired of breathing… By the way, I’m from Thailand ^^

  70. ms z permalink
    August 31, 2010 1:28 am

    Hi there, thanks for the stats, very interesting topic here.

    I was reading some of the comments and although I’m sure some (or many? who knows) don’t care or find it hilarious, it’s really not funny to label Muslims as terrorist.

    I’m Muslim so that might explain the fact that I don’t find it even remotely amusing (especially with the number of times my friends and I get terrorised by OTHER people – officials and the general public), but a bigger fact could also be that only a very small uneducated minority would actually ‘terrorise’ people in such a way. Many tend to be from the Middle-east, which makes up only around 25% of Muslims on this Earth, but not many of them would actually be involved in those things.

    Of course, this may come off as another joke to many ppl. So… let’s put things in perspective, shall we?

    Not too long ago, people of a certain religion killed MILLIONS of people during the Holocaust and they terrorise non-Whites via the KKK, but this group went unlabelled. America’s attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, for example, are labelled as patriotism, for the sake of national security etc etc, but the effects it had on the civilians there are manyfolds of 9/11. AND it’s still ongoing.

    I think ALL acts of terror = terrorism. But as seen in the above examples, that doesn’t appear to be true. So we can conclude then that terrorism is a highly subjective topic, right?

    Political+media discrimination plays a huge part in defining who terrorists are, but I guess it’s easier to generalise and have a laugh about stereotypes that will hugely affect other ppl’s lives than deal with reality.

    Sorry to go of tangent here. I thought your blog was a rather educational read, but your comment/’joke’ was quite offensive. I wonder if many Indians have a similar view of Islam=terrorism as you, because it really put me off from visiting India. And as someone who has Indian roots, this makes me very sad.

  71. Martin permalink
    September 10, 2010 1:08 pm

    If readers want to know why suicide rates are high among men in Australia & the US, it has alot to do with Feminism and gender discrimination against men.
    The women in my own immediate family threw me out of my childhood home, after calling the cops on me, I am still upset over this and have seriously considered suicide as an option over this incident. Another mate of mine had been divorced twice and tried to top him self off after his second marriage failed. Another male friend has been “slow-suiciding” himself to death by excessive alcohol consumption, has been in trouble with the cops on the account of his feminist-“scorpio” mother(just like me) & wonders if it is worth going on living like a bum. I could write a whole book of how men in today’s western societies are getting screwed over by our unfair legal system, we are treated badly in the West by our arrogant women, like Islamic women are treated badly in the Middle-East by their men.
    The men in Australia are like David Koch, very soft & soggy & weak, as a man I am treated as a 3rd class citizen in the eyes of the law and don’t give a damn if I offended any hairy-chested feminists out there, I am still planning my “Hari-Karri” anyway.

    • mint permalink
      November 13, 2011 3:36 am

      In your case, compared with some other people here, I only hear a constant denial of you taking a realistic look at yourself. Clearly you are causing a lot of problems to other people and they are reacting. You have too many people reacting to something you do. But you don’t seem to care. You care only about yourself! All you do is blame others all the time. It comes across very clearly in the manner you write. You’re problem is excess selfishness. Why don’t you teach yourself to be less selfish? Volunteer, do something for the elderly, handicapped, homeless – whatever it takes for you to stop being so selfish. Then you will begin to take a bit more responsibility of your own actions and conduct, and you will gain greater understanding.

  72. September 11, 2010 3:55 am

    A permanent solution to a temporary problem..

  73. Linda MacGillivray permalink
    November 13, 2010 3:34 am

    I am in the process of collecting stories from people who have attempted to die by suicide and also from people who have had very strong suicidal thoughts but who have decided not to commit to those thoughts. I want to give a voice to these individuals as I believe that their stories will become a powerful catalyst in potentially saving the life of a person who may be in the throes of suicide. I want to listen to ANY PERSON who wants to share. However, I am needing assistance in finding/reaching those very people who want to share. I would be very appreciative of your help in connecting me with individuals who would meet the criteria for this particular type of writing. If you have any way of helping me reach my goal I would be extremely appreciative. All interviews are confidential and names are changed to protect the identity of the interviewees.
    Thank you very much, Linda MacGillivray.

  74. November 15, 2010 10:33 am

    There is nothing to worry about the increasing of suicide in the whole wide world for it had already been told in the BIBLE that as long as we live on Earth, everything changes to the bad. The BIBLE predicts the future. So don’t be surprised if the suicidal rate will increase so rapidly. Just live and believe that. Don’t be concerned about it.

  75. Carlotta permalink
    January 15, 2011 1:05 am

    As far as I know, suicide has become reason number number 2 in Spain, in Spain there is a “silence” code about writing or showing in the media suicide news since many many years, good or bad is how it has been and still it is. There no country more miserable when it comes to women´s real rights…in theory many ….. still men by far kill themselves more than women.

  76. ranana permalink
    January 15, 2011 4:10 pm

    WOW : P

  77. wendy permalink
    January 23, 2011 1:59 am

    People have been committing suicide since mankind showed up on this planet. It is the human condition to feel all things… good, bad, sad, and mad, sometimes even hopelessness. It has nothing to do with being young or old, rich or poor, and it has nothing to do with where you come from on this planet.. it is what it is. It is a choice.

    You choose if you are going to cash in your chips today… or not.

    Bad things happen to everyone equally. It is through those times of tribulaion that you find your courage, your identity, and your strength…. hopefully used when you need it again.
    Perhaps, you can use that strength and empathy to help others in the future.

    Niche was right what does not kill you makes you stronger….

  78. millard permalink
    April 16, 2011 6:19 pm

    some high rates suicide can be found in baltic countries like lithuania,latvia,estonia, and other
    parts in eastern ,northern europe and germany , france , and other parts they are wealthy countries why did they do it while in some poor countries are happy

  79. ten permalink
    May 7, 2011 6:59 am

    the reason that men usually commit suicide more than women is because they use more harmful weapons such as guns and hanging themselves, whereas women usually use pills or something less harmful that’s not always reliable, not necessarily for your reasons of economic pressure.

  80. May 7, 2011 1:43 pm

    Interesting document but I think your conclusions regarding the happiness survey misses one critical point: that a higher happiness rating could be directly the result of higher suicide rates since the suicides have removed themselves from the sample. In addition, a country prone to high suicide rates, like Denmark, also have a high level of anti-depressive drug use which would also skew the results: someone on such medication frequently feels nothing … at all, and so if asked if they are “happy” they may say they are because at least they are not feeling suicidal at the time of the survey.

  81. Brittani permalink
    June 9, 2011 1:43 am

    Thank you! You just helped me with my sociology homework.

  82. darran permalink
    June 20, 2011 9:54 am

    I think per capita Australia has the worst record not the i’m trying to brag its just that for a population of only 22 million our indigenous suicide rate is 3 times higher than the non-indigenous rate and even though we are only in the midlle, its still an alarming rate, in fact suicide is a misunderstood way of dying. i hope people can find another way to find a solution, suicide is not the way.

  83. mark permalink
    July 8, 2011 11:19 am

    Important factors:
    1) Latitude: sunlight during winter
    2) Religious beliefs, practices; rituals;cultural attitudes towards suicide
    3) Access to methods
    4) Community structure/social isolation
    5) substance abuse

  84. Ryan permalink
    July 22, 2011 6:45 pm

    Suicide is not a deasese its an action of doing.

  85. August 5, 2011 6:57 am

    Fell,im a filipino and its good to know that Philippines doesn’t belong to the countries that have higher rates of suicide…I can presume now that filipinos are happy people..I mean we look life as a challenge..As we live day by day we try to cope a lot things positively and maybe because we filipinos have lots of alternatives to avoid suicide.We consider and view things in a positive way not on the negative way.And maybe because of our unique culture,we have GOD to cling on,we have family and friends to talk to and they’re there to help us and to mold us into a better individuals…Eventhough the prices of everything are getting higher,we just considered it as it is….We also have this crab mentality thing which also contributes to competition but as what i’ve said we won’t focus on the negative way..Woe to those people who kill themeselves,We all know that life has many twists and turns,life is unfair but all i want to say is”BE POSITIVE” in viewing and understanding life!,I mean life is very short,its a gift from GOD that we should enjoy,to experience how to live in trials and stuggles,to live with our families and friends and of course to live with GOD and soon living in heaven…

  86. October 7, 2011 7:43 pm

    I’d be very skeptic of suicides in Islamic nations. In Muslim societies, suicide is considered a matter of family shame and hence, brushed under the carpet. In fact, after having seen all I had, I’d be skeptic of any crime related statistics from a Muslim nation or society.
    As for happiness surveys, the way people report happiness differs – in India it is a common courtesy to claim we are happy if anyone asks. In some countries, people report happiness only on special occasions. So this might skew the survey a bit.

  87. permalink
    October 8, 2011 7:20 am

    hello everyone 🙂
    i just wanted to share my story about suicide.
    im a teenager that is curently living in Canada, but im orignally from Saudi Arabia. i am a muslim, but im losing my faith and belif in god, i know there is a god and there is hell and heaven, i just have turned my back on god for personal reasons. my experince with suicide is im a Suicide Survivor. i have attemped suicide myself more then 3 times & have had 2 really close friends that were like sisters and brothers to me lost to suicide. i am still upset about my friends even though it has happened on oct.5 2010 & feb.13 2011. and whats worse? i suffer this all alone. i have been depressed since i was in grade.4 ( im in grade.9 now) but i didnt realize i was depressed until around grade.6 or grade.7. i have been bullied verbelly & mentally ever since i was little and i still am but i have gotten used to it thats its normal to me. when i was in grade.7 i was molested and raped by an uncle that was like a second father to me since my dad left my mom,my little sister that now 9 and turning ten, and me all alone in Saudi Arabia while he was in Canada for “work”, i still have nightmares about that night, it feels so vivid that whenever it pops into my head, i have a meltdown or a flashback, whenever i get my flashbacks or meltdowns , my body just freezes and my life is like a movie in my head and i cant stop it, it goes from good memories to awful horrible memories. people think i lie about this but i dont , i just want someone to hear me out and know my story. i am a self-harmer , i have been for around 2-3 years, it helps me cope and i know its bad but i honestly couldnt care less , my body has been destoryed and unpure so i got nothing to loss. cutting makes me feel in control in something. yes im just some 14 year old , yes i look happy , yes i look fine, yes i look like im strong, yes , im perfectly okay, but if someone just looked deeper they would see im dying inside, hopeless,depressed,a self harmer, a human how wishes she would die everyday. im not okay i need help i know that, i tried to talk to my parents about i told them i wanted to commit suicide on my birthday i told them i self harm i told them everything they just said its just a phase. ITS NOT A PHASE, im scared because whenever i try to sleep i imagine my death , what im going to wear, who would actualy notice.m sure about one thing :
    No One Is Going To Notice If I Leave, & Im 10000000000% Sure They Would Be Happier.maybe ife isnt meant for me and maybe im a mistake. but even though i feel like im going to breakdown and just wait for my day to come, i will always pretend to be happy and smile and laugh my ass off just to make sure no one knows im depressed and not okay. they dont need to worry about someone like me im not worth it anyways.

    well thats my story that im comfortable saying, i have other things im dying to want to say but im not going to because i dont think i can hande trying to type it without breaking down .
    my dream job if i ive? to be therapist. why? to help others and be there for them even though no one is ever going to be there for me. i want to help others face something i had to face.

    well, thanks for taking the time to read my comment .
    enjoy your night 🙂
    take care<3

    • sammy permalink
      October 14, 2011 8:40 am

      yours is a touching story but never attempt suicide…life will unfold at its own pace…

    • anonymous1 permalink
      November 8, 2011 6:30 pm

      don’t do it it will get better, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

      • No one.was.there.for.her. permalink
        November 9, 2011 2:46 am

        Thanks for your reply ,
        I will keep that it mind , thanks Anonymous1

    • mint permalink
      November 13, 2011 3:28 am

      I am so sad to read your story and hear how much you have suffered in silence, and no one has been there for you. I don’t want you to suffer like that anymore. Depression is a very complex psychological condition. Added with bad happenings in life, its difficult to forget. I may know something that could help you but half of the effort is yours. Please email me.

    • Shane permalink
      January 11, 2012 6:48 am

      Read “The power of Now”, A book by Eckhart Tolle. Please!, It will help you.

    • healed permalink
      March 15, 2012 1:57 am

      Islam forbids suicide?
      but Islam does not forbid “use” of women.
      a man is allowed 4 ‘legal’ marriages on earth and in paradise he [who gets there] may enjoy any number of ‘virgins’.
      then what is surprising about the incest and sexual abuse/rapes,not to mention divorce! [does anyone have statistics on divorced wives in Muslim localities?
      silence is the code by which they live.]
      Isa nabi,[as the Muslims call him],the sinless one,the messenger from Allah,the sign from heaven- He is the One Muslim women should cry to.He,ISA is the liberator of oppressed and persecuted,the depressed and broken.Isa,the one who sits on the right side of Allah’s throne.
      i share not only from my own experience,but also from friends’lives. if you really want deliverance from the hurting past,search the Koran diligently…you’ll find Isa calling out to you.believe me ,He will heal is written.

  88. Habibah permalink
    October 31, 2011 6:53 am

    This is a great matter to speak on , all I can say at this time I do “pray” for all the People that have commit suicide .it is not the best way out but most times it comes to that answer why only “God” knows best ,I am not saying that is good and correct I am just saying a person who may have done this act will think at that time it was the best answer .I “Pray” that “God” will forgive them Amen… In this life their could be so much hardship on that , Person who may have commit Suicide the surrounding’s or the people that are in their lives it could be a Husband that is mean ,grown children even parents that treat their own family bad so let us join together and say a Little word of Pray for all who have done this act thinking it was ok to do so. Oh Lord U are the best of Mercy please forgive those who have done this wrong to their own Souls .


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