The long dark cloud Depression and Suicide in New Zealand, and around the world.

“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.” – Ned Vizzini

Every year around the globe, nearly one million people take their own life. a global mortality rate of 16 per 100,000.

in the last 45 years The global suicide rate has risen by 60%. one person every 40 seconds.

by 2020 It is predicted it will increase to one every 20 seconds.

“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.” Albert Campus

What is suicide

Suicide, also known as completed suicide, is the act of taking one's own life. Attempted suicide or non-fatal suicidal is self injury with the desire to end one's life that does not result in death. Assisted suicide is when one individual helps another bring about their own death indirectly via providing either advice or the means to the end. This is in contrast to euthanasia, where another person takes a more active role in bringing about a person's death. Suicidal ideation are thoughts of ending one's life but not taking any active efforts to do so. The most commonly used method of suicide varies between countries, and is usually related to the availability of effective means. Common methods include hanging, poisoning, and firearms.

“Suicide is man's way of telling God, 'You can't fire me - I quit!” Bill Maher

History

The act of suicide has been prevalent throughout history, with accounts dating back to Ancient Europe and the middle ages. Suicide has been an issue for most of human history and for a long period of time was illegal in the majority of the world. In general, both the ancient Romans and Greeks, had a relaxed attitude towards the concept of suicide. In Rome for example it wasn't illegal, they could apply to the senate and if the reasons were good enough they were given Hemlock, a poisonous plant to aid them for free. It was usually only forbidden in three cases, those accused of capital crimes, soldiers and slaves. In the Middle Ages, the Christian church excommunicated people who attempted suicide and those who died by suicide were buried outside consecrated graveyards. A criminal order issued by King Louis XIV of France in 1670 had a far more severe punishment, the dead person's body was dragged through the streets, and then hung or thrown on a garbage heap. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, loopholes were invented to avoid the damnation that was told by most Christian leaders as a penalty of suicide. One famous example was Christina Johansdotter, who killed a child with the sole purpose of being executed. By the 19th-century, the act of suicide had shifted from being viewed as caused by sin to being caused by insanity in Europe. In 1882, the deceased were permitted daylight burial in England and by the mid 20th century, suicide had become legal in much of the western world. An example of mass suicide is the 1978 Jonestown killings/suicide in which 909 members of the Peoples Temple, an American religious group led by Jim Jones, ended their lives by drinking grape Flavor Aid laced with cyanide and various prescription drugs

“The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Suicide in the media

The media, which includes the Internet, plays an important influential role.How it depicts suicide may have a negative effect, with repetitive coverage glorifying or romanticizing suicide having the most impact. This is known as the Werther effect, named after the protagonist in Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther who killed himself and then was copied by many followers of the book. This risk is greater in adolescents who may romanticize death. This is a problem and topical issue today with people saying the TV show "13 reasons why" glorifies suicide, The show is about a high school student who kills herself and leaves behind tapes detailing the events that led to her death. In each tape, she essentially blames her death on the actions of a group of classmates and a faculty member. That premise, along with a graphic scene depicting Hannah’s death, is not the way experts say we should talk about suicide. Media can also have a positive influence on this issue, with videos to raise awareness and helpline advertisements.

“I'm the girl nobody knows until she commits suicide. Then suddenly everyone had a class with her" Tom Leveen

Suicide in NZ / The long dark cloud

Suicide is a major issue in New Zealand. Every year approximately 500 people in New Zealand take their own lives, with many more attempting suicide or experiencing levels of distress that places them at high risk of suicide. The figures are so high that suicide is the third highest cause of death after heart disease and lung cancer. Compared with other OECD countries (The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), New Zealand’s 2011 suicide rate was in the middle range (16th highest for both males and females). New Zealand’s youth suicide rate in 2011 for both males and females was also the second highest in the OECD. New Zealand's suicide rate, although not as high compared to other countries at the worl is alarmingly high, with its youth suicide rate being still one of the highest in the world.

“I think many people kill themselves simply to stop the debate about whether they will or they won't.” Susanna Kaysen

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