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Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, to kill oneself) is the intentional killing of one's self. The most common cause is an underlying mental disorder which include depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism and drug abuse.[1] Financial difficulties or other undesirable situations play a significant role.[2]

Over one million people commit suicide every year, making it the tenth-leading cause of death worldwide. It is a leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35.[3][4] There are an estimated 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year worldwide.[5]

Views on suicide have been influenced by broader cultural views on existential themes such as religion, honor, and the meaning of life. The Abrahamic religions consider suicide an offense towards God due to religious belief in the sanctity of life. In the West it was often regarded as a serious crime. Conversely, during the samurai era in Japan, seppuku was respected as a means of atonement for failure or as a form of protest. In the 20th century, suicide in the form of self-immolation has been used as a form of protest, and in the form of kamikaze and suicide bombing as a military or terrorist tactic. Sati is a Hindu funeral practice in which the widow would immolate herself on her husband's funeral pyre, either willingly, or under pressure from the family and in-laws.[6]

Medically assisted suicide (euthanasia, or the right to die) is currently a controversial ethical issue involving people who are terminally ill, in extreme pain, or have (perceived or construed) minimal quality of life through injury or illness. Self-sacrifice for others is not usually considered suicide, as the goal is not to kill oneself but to save another.

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.


  1. Hawton K, van Heeringen K (April 2009). "Suicide". Lancet 373 (9672): 1372–81. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60372-X. PMID 19376453.
  2. (PDF).
  3. CIS: UN Body Takes On Rising Suicide Rates - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2009.
  4. (29 Jan 2000) Understanding suicidal behaviour. Leicester: BPS Books, 33–37. ISBN 978-1-85433-290-5. 
  5. Bertolote JM, Fleischmann A (October 2002). "Suicide and psychiatric diagnosis: a worldwide perspective" (PDF). World Psychiatry 1 (3): 181–5. ISSN 1723-8617. PMID 16946849.
  6. Indian woman commits sati suicide