As Tolstoy began “Anna Karenina,” “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The same goes for individuals, and the reasons people end their lives are as varied as the individual who takes the desperate act.
In today’s edition, reporter Baylee Pulliam takes a look at suicide in Madison County and finds the county has one of the highest suicide rates in Indiana. There are numerous explanations as to why someone is driven to such desperation. Reasons could be depression, terminal illness, overwhelming stress, poverty, unemployment or a host of others as to why the individual feels the only way out is to end her life. They are unhappy in their own way.
Unhappiness may not be the root cause of suicides — humans are infinitely more complex than that — but it might be a factor. When life gets overwhelmingly negative, people know that there is one final escape. Since we’ve seen an increase in military suicides, why does the soldier take his life? Is it because he lives with death every day and finally the stress becomes too much, or does he come home and find the tedium of life away from the battlefield more than he can bear?
Why does a young mother decide to end it all and take her kids with her? Is it poverty, loneliness or a feeling of not being able to cope? Is it mental illness that thinks of suicide as an alternative to the weight of life’s problems?
Why does the old man, who has lost his wife and friends and finds himself facing a terminal illness, decide to hasten his demise?
USA Today recently had an opinion piece that wondered if life is not as valuable to people anymore, hence the rise in suicide rates.