According to the article by Leenaars and Lester on myths and facts of suicide, the public needs sensitization on efforts towards suicide prevention.
People cannot separate myths from facts relating to suicide; therefore, educating people is key to helping eradicate high prevalence of suicides. Research studies have pointed out that knowledge of people on suicide myths and facts are today more extensive than before. A study on knowledge of Canadian and United States students on myths and facts of suicide showed similarity. The article largely explored on the myths and facts of suicide (Leenaars & Lester, 1992) where many people in Canada and U.S. can separate these myths and facts. However, it does not explore the differences that people from these two countries experience and how they influence higher rates of suicide in Canada as compared to United States. It leaves many gaps as to why Canada has higher suicide cases compared to United States and the disparities causing these suicide rates.
This article relates to the topics in the textbook because risk factors and prevalence correlate to the myths and facts of suicide. According to the study on Canadian and U.S. students, it is a fact that suicide is not inherited but just an illness, which affects an individual. Although presence of serotonin, a biochemical in an individual body exacerbates chances of one exhibiting suicidal behaviors, this chemical is not inherited. As stated by Preti and Miotto (2000), this account for a person’s change in behavioral patterns was attributed to biological rhythms. Other factors like environment and psychosocial factors contribute towards suicidal behaviors in the contemporary society. In the article by Preti and Miotto (2000) on seasonal variations and influence on attempted suicides, empirical evidence shows that there is a higher number of attempted suicides among men compared to women in Italy during hot months and extremely cold windy months. This brings the conclusion that environmental factors contribute immensely on attempted and eventual suicides.
Further, it is a myth to argue that changes of improvement after suicidal crisis are an indication that the risk of suicide are over. Improvement in suicidal behavior may not be an indicator that a person will not attempt suicide (Sareen, 2011). Susceptibility of such individual to the causative factors like environmental cues like negative events in life, mental disorders, and neurochemical imbalances among other factors may rekindle suicidal tendencies. In addition, statistics show that elderly people 65 years and over are more susceptible to suicides than the young and adults (Black, Gallaway & Bell, 2011).
Leenaars and Lester’s article raises interesting questions on the differences between the two nations whereby higher rates of suicides are prevalent in Canada as opposed to the U.S. However, the research did not reveal any differences between the two nations. Similarly, article ignored to highlight the variables explored by Preti and Miotto (2000), which show the risk factors as well as the prevalence of suicide among men, women, according to gender or age. Factors like family conflicts, mental disorders, suicide ideation, and chronic conditions should have been used by Leenaars and Lester when arriving at their conclusions in order to reinforce the facts and deconstruct the myths about suicide (Tatarelli et al, 2007).
Suicide is a touching topic, which needs to be tackled with deep concern as many people consider many myths suicides as the facts. This further mystifies the suicides instead of deconstructing the facts so that the society can mitigate loosing its members to suicides. Today, many people continue becoming victims of suicides because they cannot isolate facts from myths and that preventive strategies should be developed to reduce death as a result of suicides.
Black, S., Gallaway, M & Bell, M (2011). Prevalence and risk factors associated with suicides of army soldiers 2001-2009. Military Psychology. 23: p. 433-451.
Leenaars, A. A & Lester, D. (1992). Facts and myths of suicide in Canada and the United States. Journal of Social Psychology. 132 (6): p. 787-789
Preti, A & Miotto, P. (2000). Influence of method on seasonal distribution of attempted suicides in Italy. Neuropsychobiology. 41 (2): p. 62-72.
Sareen, J (2011). Anxiety disorders and risk for suicide: why such controversy? Depression & Anxiety. 28 (11): p. 941-945.
Tatarelli, R et al. (2007). Suicide in psychi
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