I am certainly not an expert on suicide and why people do it and how many people do it. But I do know my father killed himself when he was about 58 years old.
I told my shrink he came from an extremely poor family and his formal education ended in the sixth grade. His mother died when he was young and he was shuttled from one family member to another. By the time he was 16 years old he was providing for himself. He was intelligent and was self taught, and had a tremendous respect for education. He did not have the opportunity or money to pursue a formal education. He was heavily involved in drinking and as an adult he was an alcoholic, a mean drunk. There was also mental illness in the family. As an adult he worked as a "tree surgeon", spraying with malathion and DDT without a mask.
As my shrink said, "Miss Goin, he did not stand a chance." I don't know much about suicide and what leads people to do it but I do know what a devastating and lasting affect it has on those who love them. It is now about 50 years later and I am still sad about him ending his life as a relatively young man. The fact that he chose to end his life by pulling the trigger of a shot gun inserted into his mouth does not make me sympathetic to those who are addicted to the ownership of guns, which to me are simply a means of taking life, whether of people or animals.
I have thought a lot about this incident and have come to the conclusion that the predominance of chemical pesticides in our culture is a contributing factor in the death and/or illness of many people exposed to them. They are commonly accepted in our society and we do not seem to understand how harmful they are to us and our well-being. Not to mention how devastating they are to our environnment. I recently saw a bumper sticker that said "no bees no farms, no farms no food." The bee population is in grave danger possibly because of the overuse of these deadly chemicals. Not to mention how they are affecting those of us who are eating the foods that are necessary for good health. As the bees die so does the affordability of the foods we need.
How does this relate to suicide? In my father's case I believe that his many years of spraying with neurotoxins infiltrated his body system and ultimately led to the possible diagnosis of cancer which depressed him and led to the thought and actual act of killing himself. I don't know what was going through his mind and brain, but probably the thought of the pain and expense of a deadly disease was more than he could bear. The possibility of mental illness may have overwhelmed him.
As I understand it mental illness is a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain and can often be helped by medication. My father did not have the advantage of medical assistance. Being a proud and dignified man he could not stand the stigma attached to mental illness. Our culture has a fear of mental illness based on ignorance. In his era psychotherapy was relatively new and not available to him. At the time of his death psychiatric drugs to aid in the alleviation of these brain disorders were not widely in use.
But even now there is stigma attached to mental illnesses such as PTSD and major depression. We are told to "suck it up." Even our leaders of government and business, etc. are unwilling to ask for help because they might be thought of as weak. In actuality those who are strong will seek help, knowing in the long run they will not only benefit personally but also those who are dependent on them will benefit. Mental distress affects those of the family and their friends, who are also victimized by these disorders. As in my father's case these disorders often lead to tragic ends.
Here is a link to suicide prevention: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/