-“Doctor…He never said anything to us…He didn’t even leave a suicide note!”
Pamela X. is an attractive middle aged housewife from the Gables—one of the posh quarters of Dade County with leafy boulevards and large houses with two or three car-garages—that cannot come to terms that one totally ordinary Saturday morning her son Mark put the barrel of his father’s hunting rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
He was a handsome and affable teenager that was supposedly enjoying his studies, basketball practices, outings with friends and his Netflix series. He never touched any alcohol or illegal drugs, boasting of his clean lifestyle. He did not talk much but his parents assumed that he was taciturn by nature and low profile by choice. Just listening to his mother’s tortured verbal rumblings can sear your heart with unfathomable pain.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention claims that 42,773 Americans die by suicide each year, being the 10th leading cause of death. The annual age-adjusted suicide rate is 12.93 per 100,000 individuals and men die 3.5 times more often than women; there are 117 suicides per day. Even though it is more frequent in middle-aged males, young people attempt it 25 times for each successful feat compared to about 4 times in the elderly.
Since the times of Saint Augustine, suicide has been considered a mortal sin for the Christian ethos—a condemnation that would eventually taint all the victim’s family. Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist of the 19th century, considered suicide as an objective evidence of the malaise of the society where it had happened. He divided them in three categories: selfish, altruistic and without a name.
Marzio Barbagli, a sociology professor at the Università di Bologna, says that “the processes of social breakdown were not the only cause, let alone the main factor underlying the rise in suicide numbers up until the early 20th century…Suicide depends on many psychosocial, cultural, political and even biological causes…It must be analyzed from different points of view.”
What caused a young person like Mark, with a bright future ahead, to terminate his life?
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.