Suicide can be defined as the deliberate act of intentionally taking one’s life. It involves intentional ending of own life. Research has shown that different people at different ages commit suicide due to different reasons, ranging from mental illness, depression, desperation, family pressures, troubled or broken relations and other externalities such as financial difficulties (Haugen, David, & Matthew, 80). According to World Health Organization (WHO), nearly one million people attempt to kill themselves yearly, with approximately thirty thousand resulting into fatal deaths. In addition, committing suicide may be due to medical conditions such as chronic illness or pain, mental disorders for example insanity, social pressures, and drug and substance abuse. Generally, most cultures consider suicide as a crime (Améry 72).
It has been reported that most people who commit suicide often target getting rid of their life situations. They usually want to run away from the hardships they experience in life and thus view suicide as the only source of relief. However, Holmes postulates that people usually commit suicide as a show of cry for help, without necessarily wanting to end their lives. He further illustrates that such people often do so in favor of their friends or family members (Holmes 55). Whether suicide is intended to cause death or a cry for help, those who commit it usually show rage and anger, depression and feeling of rejection due to persistent abuse, self-blaming and low esteem, and constant arguments prior to such acts.
The most common symptoms they show are poor concentration and non-critical thinking, discarding of personal belongings, sudden change in behavior such as heavy drinking of alcohol, pulling away from social groups, sudden interest or discussions on death and suicidal methods, hopelessness and poor eating habits and lack of sleep.
The bereaved family’s grief will further be complicated by shock of the happenings, especially if they were not able to identify the pre-suicide symptoms. They may feel guilt of not being socially supportive to the victim, or being irresponsible and negligence to the person.
Friends can provide emotional, economic and financial support to the victim’s family. They should help the family rebuild their life through continued advice and counseling. Counseling will help them ease the intensity and burden of unresolved feeling of losing a loved one. They can introduce the family to religious practices such as praying together. This will help build family relation and bond between members (Jordan & Mcintosh 45) The friends can introduce members of such families into survivors groups where they can relate to people who have had similar experiences.