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Many people today think that suicide is one of the most shameful ways to die. Suicide is defined as the taking of one's own life. The topics of this research paper will include the history and possible treatments for those who suffer from suicidal thoughts.

Since 2001, suicide has become the eleventh leading cause of death among Americans. In the year 2001 alone there were over thirty thousand deaths due to suicide, and for every suicide completed, there are anywhere from eight to twenty-five attempts. Attempted suicides usually occur more in males than females with a gender ratio of 3:1 (

The first recorded suicide is typically unknown; however, it is thought to have occurred as early as 1069. The Ancient Egyptians were neutral on suicide because in their culture death is a passing over onto the other side. Suicide meant avoiding disgrace, abandonment, or excessive mourning. It could also be a statement of mistrust in general of the world.

In the times of the Greek Civilization. Disagreement with suicide had its beginnings. The philosopher Plato strongly disagreed with suicide saying that it "frustrates the decree of destiny, gods are our guardians and we are their possessions" ( Slide 3). Another philosopher who disagreed with suicide was Aristotle who said that it was against the rule of life. Both of these men were prominent men of their time in the area of psychology. On the other hand, just as there are those who do not agree with it, there are also those who do. Socrates agreed with suicide and said that it was noble as he drank hemlock in front of a group of students for his own honor.

In the days of the Roman Catholics and early Christians, suicide was widely accepted. Many early Christians committed suicide as an act of demonstrating their faith. There are surprisingly quite a few references to suicide in the Bible, the most famous being Judas Iscariot. Judas betrayed Jesus by selling his whereabouts to the Roman soldiers. After his guilt set in, he hung himself from a tree. People of this time did not see this as being wrong, but a sign of repentance. Another famous Bible suicide was Saul. After losing a battle against the Phillistines, he asked one of his soldiers to kill him, when the soldier rejected he fell upon his own sword.

Later in history, suicide began to have its penalties. In 1204, Synod of Nimes said that the bodies of suicide victims could not be buried on holy ground as they were considered unclean. For example, a man jumped into a river, and the courts ordered his body to be excavated and then tortured for breaking the laws of the land. (History of Suicide).

French laws in the 1670's required that a body be dragged through the streets before being dumped into a sewer. In addition, some cities and states drove stakes through the heart of someone who committed suicide to prevent the soul from wandering (History of Suicide).

As technology advances, so do the methods of suicide. IN early days there were only basic methods to end life. Now, however, there are many options from guns to fume inhalation.

Major depression is one of the most severe categories of depression. In major depression, more of the symptoms of depression are present, and they are usually more intense and more severe.

A bout of major depression can result from a single traumatic event, or develop slowly as a consequence of numerous personal disappointments or life problems. Sometimes people appear to develop the symptoms of major depression without any obvious life crisis. Some of the warning signs of major depression are as follows:

Persistent depressed, sad, anxious, or empty mood.

Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, or excessive inappropriate guilt.

Hopeless about the future, excessive pessimistic feelings.

Loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities.

Decreased energy and chronic fatigue.

Loss of memory, difficulty making decisions or concentrating.

Irritability or restlessness.

Sleep disturbances.

Loss of appetite or interest in food. Possible over-eating.

Recurring thoughts of death, or suicidal thoughts and actions.


Major depression is not a subject to be taken lightly. Although some may not have had a traumatic moment in their life, they



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