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Why do people kill themselves?

Millions are vainly searching for success, happiness and the answer to life's problems.
When it doesn't come, thousands are seeking escape by taking their own lives.
The FIFTH ranking cause of death in the United States, between the ages of 15 and 50, is suicide.
But is suicide the answer?


Verdict — SUICIDE! Once every TWO AND ONE-HALF MINUTES, every single day, someone in the United States attempts to take his own life. Once every TWENTY-SIX MINUTES, day in and day out, SOMEONE SUCCEEDS!


Why is it with so much to live for, so MANY are not willing to live their lives out?

Newspapers are continually proclaiming how some daring individual, at the risk of his life, has managed to escape from one of the Iron Curtain countries to freedom. If given his choice of countries in which to make a new start in life, he would almost invariably choose the U.S.A. — "land of opportunity."

Yet in "the land of opportunity," this fantastic land of ours where a person seemingly has everything to live for, TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND people each year manage — by jumping, shooting, hanging, drugging or some other means — to succeed in destroying themselves!


Many Attempt Suicide

For hundreds of those who do succeed, there are many THOUSANDS more who don't. Dr. Louis I. Dublin, the renowned medical statistician, recently told an audience of physicians: "It would not be rash to estimate that as many as TWO MILLION INDIVIDUALS are now living in our country who have a history of at least one unsuccessful attempt at self-destruction." (Parade, Mar. 3, 1963, emphasis mine throughout the article)

Why is it that in this land of plenty two million people have attempted AT LEAST ONCE to take their own lives?

Not to mention those who have tried more than once — and facts show that at least 10 per cent of those who have tried once will try again and perhaps SUCCEED.

Why do people hate themselves and life so much that they will continue to try until finally they succeed? Why is it that during a time of prosperity the suicide rate INCREASES? Why is it that famous men, wealthy men, men of good health and standing in their community suddenly take their own lives?


People the world over are risking their lives in hope of obtaining freedom and the opportunity to live as we do. Yet THOUSANDS of those who do live this way are trying to escape it by dying.


They Are Sick

What is it that is missing in the lives of movie stars, businessmen and others in these United States that they decide life just isn't worth living? They seem to reflect the attitude of Job 10:1: "I am sick of life, sick of it . . . " (Moffat translation).

The WHOLE WORLD seems to be sick of life. On every hand, we hear threats of war and atomic or ICBM attacks or both. Little men in big positions threaten the desolation of whole continents. No one is ready to be the first to give in to stop it. They don't want to stop it. THEY ARE SICK!

The leaders of this world are becoming exactly as God said Israel would become: ". . . the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment" (Isa. 1:5-6).

This is describing our people of this day. We are mentally and spiritually sick and unable to face the tremendous strains of life.

In World War II, Hitler attempted to carry out what he called "the answer to the Jewish problem" — Genocide — the killing of a race. Now the whole world is on the very brink of ending all of man's problems by Cosmocide — the killing of ALL SOCIETY!

The time spoken of by Jesus Christ is near. He said, when speaking of this end time, "And except those days should be shortened, THERE SHOULD NO FLESH BE SAVED: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Matthew 24:22).

This is speaking of the time in which we now live. There has never before in the history of man been a time such as this. It has never before been possible to wipe ALL human life from off the earth. That is NOW POSSIBLE!


A New Outlook

Suicide, once frowned upon and looked down on by all, is now accepted by most and even advocated by our government in the case of certain servicemen captured by the enemy.

But does man have the right to take his own life? No! ABSOLUTELY NOT!

The sixth commandment is: "Thou shalt not kill" (Ex. 20:13). That includes killing one's own self.

However, people by the THOUSANDS choose to ignore this command of the Creator God.


WHO Is Dying?

Self-inflicted death is common in almost every facet of life. It takes its toll among the young as well as the old. It strikes out at the healthy as well as the infirm. Although more women attempt it, more men succeed — probably because of the methods used. Women generally prefer drugs, that is, sleeping pills and poisons, while men usually choose the more violent and sure forms of death such as shooting or jumping.

But the most pitiful of all is the awesome toll exacted among our most intelligent and capable people. The intelligent, the brilliant — do not escape suicide.

One of the most commonly accepted fallacies concerning suicide has been the thought that it is an act performed basically by the poor, unfortunate, unsuccessful individual who can no longer bear to face his miserable lot in life. Such an idea is far from the truth.

Suicide is the FIFTH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH among persons between the ages of fifteen and fifty. Unbelievable, but that is what the U.S. National Office of Vital Statistics records.

THE FIFTH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH! That is nearly as great as the dreaded killer CANCER. It ranks suicide with the increasing problem of HEART DISEASE.

Self-destruction is one of the MAJOR DESTROYERS of our most valuable asset — MANPOWER. The 15 to 50 age group is the one group of people with the least to fear from organic diseases or disturbances as well as being at the very highest peak of productivity. In other words — THOSE WITH APPARENTLY THE MOST TO LIVE FOR!

Strange, isn't it, that those with the most to live for, with the greatest opportunities ahead of them, are the ones who are the largest single group to quit trying. WHY?

What is it that they are looking for and are unable to find?


Success the Answer?

Success is not the answer, according to Dr. Thomas P. Malone of the Atlanta, Georgia, Psychiatric Clinic. According to Dr. Malone, "At least 30 to 40 per cent of the so-called economic suicides occur when a man is SUCCESSFUL, not when he is failing. When a man has reached the peak of success, often he has nothing left to scramble for" (Newsweek Nov. 10, 1959).

It seems once the pinnacle of success has been obtained life holds little challenge for these men and they choose to die. Apparently success is not the panacea to end all our woes and solve the problems of everyday life. Contrary to the popular belief, money DOESN'T solve everything.

God told the people of ancient Israel: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live" (Deut. 30:19).

These men and the people around us are daily choosing the way that seems right to them and are reaping the rewards of an empty life — DEATH.

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 16:25). The way that seemed right to them ends only in empty, frustrated lives.


Medicine the Answer?

Suicide is not a pathological problem, but a mental one.

More than half of all physical ills are mentally or spiritually caused. Dr. Edward H. Rynearson of the MAYO CLINIC recently estimated that 70 to 90 per cent of his patients fell within the category of those having NOTHING WRONG with them physically and whose physical ills are due only to the vicissitudes, the problems of life.

Dr. Rynearson said, "The longer I practice medicine the more impressed I am with the large number of patients who are in the waiting room because of the fearful sufferings this life has inflicted upon them. I do not say they are weak. Sometimes they are very strong, but the degree of environmental stress exerted upon them has exceeded even the reserves of their strength" (U.P.I., June 16, 1963).

All too often, then, the supposed answer to the patient's problem lies in self-destruction. Doctors can't seem to stem the tide of suicide. Recent studies in San Francisco, Philadelphia and other cities, indicate that more than 70 per cent of the persons who commit or attempt suicide are or recently have been under a physician's care.

Many times the drugs prescribed to help relieve the problem are the instrument used to END the problem. So apparently medical assistance isn't the final solution either.


No Sudden Impulse

Another common fallacy which has been widely accepted is that suicides occur more frequently in the dark, gloomy, oppressive days. The theory being that the gloominess of these days triggers the depression which in turn ends in death.

Once again, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Studies have shown that the spring months, which are usually thought of as the brightest and most promising months, are the very months showing the largest incidence of SELF-INFLICTED DEATH!

May and June are generally the two months carrying the highest suicide rate. Bright, sunny days with a rising barometer are most frequently the ones clouded by the specter of suicide. Very FEW destroy themselves in a sudden fit of depression. In one study conducted, it was found that 68 PER CENT of the victims involved had previously expressed suicidal ideas. Thirty-eight per cent had specifically stated that they fully intended and PLANNED to kill themselves. Self-murder isn't necessarily a spur-of-the-moment impulse at all! It is a carefully thought out and planned act to escape the problems of life.