Suicide is a significant issue in modern society, and there are numerous works that discuss the topic in an attempt to find a way to reduce its occurrence. Suicide rates in the United States continue to rise throughout the past several decades, making it one of the most widespread causes of death in the country (Steele et al., 2017). This essay analyzes what factors can trigger suicide and how this phenomenon can be explained from a behavioristic point of view.
Suicide risks vary significantly within a population, yet it is possible to separate them into categories. Depending on a person’s age, various triggers are more likely to lead to suicide than others (Steele et al., 2017). For example, in young men, incarceration or physical and mental conditions after military service put a person into a high-risk group (Steele et al., 2017). At the same time, older people are more likely to commit suicide out of feelings of hopelessness, chronic conditions, or social isolation (Steele et al., 2017). Moreover, an additional factor that triggers suicide at various stages of life is the accessibility of lethal tools, such as dangerous pills or firearms (Steele et al., 2017). However, suicide attempts can happen at any age and must be reviewed further.
Socioeconomic factors often play a vital role in one’s decision to end their life. The rapidly declining financial situation can trigger suicide at a far greater rate than a prolonged state of poverty (Steele et al., 2017). However, people with low income are more affected by such social issues as drug and alcohol abuse, which often serve as suicide triggers by themselves or as an addition to other mental and social burdens (Steele et al., 2017). Notably, these factors often accumulate within a low socioeconomic environment. Stressful social situations, such as divorce or the death of a loved one, can cause severe mental stress, which, in turn, drastically increases the risk of suicide (Steele et al., 2017). Another trigger is self-destructive tendencies that can appear at any age and lead to suicide, sometimes by occasion (Steele et al., 2017). These factors can be used to determine the need to provide support to a person who may be considering suicide as an option.
It is possible to examine these factors from a behavioristic perspective to analyze how a person is driven towards suicide. Suicide is not a solution that many healthy people consider a viable option. This choice becomes viable only through conditioning from society, which can be seen in many suicide triggers that have been outlined in the paper. Without constant negative consequences without any positive experiences, a person is slowly driven towards it. There are issues in one’s life, such as financial, social, or mental, that serve as negative reinforcement. A person chooses to commit suicide in order to avoid punishments of life.
In conclusion, suicide is most often triggered due to social and financial pressure that leaves no perceivable solution to the situation. Many attempts can be detected through the analysis of risk factors, which include mental disorders, economic issues, imprisonment, and interpersonal conflicts, especially those of romantic nature. Social isolation is also one of the most widespread causes of suicide. A constant barrage of negative experiences or a single major one can serve as the potential trigger for ending one’s life.
Steele, I. H., Thrower, N., Noroian, P., & Saleh, F. M. (2017). Understanding suicide across the lifespan: A United States perspective of suicide risk factors, assessment & management. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 63(1), 162-171. Web.