Suicidal Evolution

Humans are not the ‘usual’ animals.

Earth’s ecosystems sustain themselves by a constant cycle of ‘food cycles’. Sustainable creatures have a method of limiting their populations by, quite simple, eating each other.
Humans don’t eat each other, well they might, but that’s a whole other subject (Karl Pilkington’s ‘Papua People’ might ring a bell for some).

Earth has created many unique ways of limiting its human population—disease, famine, severe weather events, war, just to name a few, and of course….suicide.

If you want to delve into the politically incorrect and culturally unacceptable, you can add homosexuality to the list.

‘Isn’t suicide a result of an individual’s circumstances?’

Short answer, no.

In 2009 a study conducted by a small group called the World Health Organisation estimated that every 3 seconds someone ties a knot in a noose, goes to the shop to buy a piece of garden hose and some masking tape, or attempts to kill themselves in another fascinating yet gruesome way, well it might not have said that exactly but you get the idea (World Health Organization (WHO), 1999).

There have been a throng of studies conducted on suicide and its causes.

Scientists have even tried to formulate different theories on suicide including the interpersonal theory of suicide (Joiner, 2005 and Van Orden et al., 2010) the cognitive theory of suicide (Wenzel & Beck, 2008) the psychodynamic theories of desire for escape from psychological pain (Baumeister, 1990 and Shneidman, 1998) and cognitive-behavioural theories on hopelessness (Beck et al., 1990 and Beck et al., 1985).

Yet it was later purported by another prominent researcher that none of these theories even explain cultural variations in suicide! (Lester, 2009).

This brings me to the point of my article…NATURAL SELECTION.

Some people are born with a great physique, some people are born with heart conditions, mental disability and some people are born with a pre-disposed tendency to jump off a bridge, or into a train…seriously…a train? Yep, some people say to their loved ones ‘When I die I want to be buried in a beautifully lined satin coffin with gold lining”.

Some people just say “When I die I want to be scattered over a wide area”.

Each to their own.

To make matters worse, if you are a homosexual you are FOUR TIMES more likely to attempt suicide compared to heterosexual males (King et al., 2008), further, If you are unlucky enough to wake up one day and decide that you don’t like the look of your ‘parts’, you might as well go down to the hardware shop for some garden hose because there is a 1 in 3 chance you will try to kill yourself in your lifetime. (Haas et al., 2011 ).

There is an upside to this, next time you have an argument with a transgender about a topical issue (because this happens all the time) just walk away smiling, they definitely won’t be hanging around for long, or will they? Emergency services can take quite some time…

Feeling depressed?

Not to worry, humans have created a great way to prevent suicide. It’s called religion.

According to a variety of studies, the less religious you are the more likely you are to head down to the hardware for some garden hose! (Anglin et al., 2005, Burr et al., 1999, Cohen et al., 2008, Greening and Stoppelbein, 2002, Hovey, 2000a, Kaslow et al., 2004, O’Donnell et al., 2004 and Walker et al., 2005).

HUMANS ARE FIGHTING BACK!

Apparently believing in a ‘higher’ being will stop you feeling so small and give you a reason to live.

Next time you are feeling depressed say three ‘hail Marys’ and start believing… or alternatively head down to your local church.

I hear those rafters have outstanding stability…

CS.


References:

A. Wenzel, A.T. Beck A cognitive model of suicidal behaviour: Theory and treatment
Applied and Preventive Psychology, 12 (2008), pp. 189–201

A.P. Haas, M. Eliason, V.M. Mays, R.M. Mathy, S.D. Cochran, A.R. D’Augelli et al. Suicide and suicide risk in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations: Review and recommendations Journal of Homosexuality, 58 (2011), pp. 10–51

A.T. Beck, G. Brown, R.J. Berchick, B.L. Stewart, R.A. Steer Relationship between hopelessness and ultimate suicide: A replication with psychiatric outpatients American Journal of Psychiatry, 147 (1990), pp. 190–195

D. Lester Theories of suicide F.T.L. Leong, M.M. Leach (Eds.), Suicide among racial and ethnic minority groups: Theory, research, and practice, Routledge, New York (2009), pp. 39–53

D.M. Anglin, K.O.S. Gabriel, N.J. Kaslow Suicide acceptability and religious well-being: A comparative analysis in African American suicide attempters and non-attempters

R.F. Baumeister Suicide as escape from self Psychological Review, 97 (1990), pp. 90–113

M. King, J. Semlyen, S.S. Tai, H. Killaspy, D. Osborn, D. Popelyuk et al. A systematic review of mental disorder, suicide, and deliberate self harm in lesbian, gay, and bisexual people BMC Psychiatry (2008), p. 8

L. Greening, L. Stoppelbein Religiosity, attribution style, and social support as psychosocial buffers for African American and White adolescents’ perceived risk for suicide

L. Greening, L. Stoppelbein Religiosity, attribution style, and social support as psychosocial buffers for African American and White adolescents’ perceived risk for suicide

T.E. Joiner why people die by suicide Harvard University Press, Cambridge (2005)

World Health Organization (WHO) Figures and facts about suicide (1999) Geneva

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