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The essence of suicide as a socio-psychological phenomenon

Suicide (suicide) is an act of human behavior committed in a state of severe mental disorder, either under the influence of a mental illness, or a conscious act of self-removal from life under the influence of acute psycho-traumatic situations in which one's own life as a value loses its meaning.

The phenomenon of suicide (suicide or attempted suicide) is most often associated with the idea of ​​a psychological crisis of the person, which is understood as an acute emotional state caused by some special, personally significant traumatic events. Moreover, this crisis is of such magnitude, of such intensity that the entire previous experience of a person who decided to commit suicide cannot offer him another way out of a situation that he considers intolerable. Such a psychological crisis can occur suddenly (under the influence of a strong affect). But more often, spiritual inner tension builds up gradually, combining heterogeneous negative emotions. The conflict situation becomes suicidal when the soldier realizes it as highly significant, extremely difficult, and his capabilities as insufficient to overcome it, experiencing a sense of hopelessness and choosing suicidal actions as the only possible way out for himself.

Suicide is committed by people of various psychological types. There is no so-called type of soldier, "suicidal." It all depends on the strength of the traumatic situation and its personal assessment as intolerable.

Based on various behavioral manifestations, it is possible to timely identify conditional groups of people, including military personnel who are prone to suicide.

These include:

1. A group of individuals with typological features such as:


low, low self-esteem;

high need for self-realization;

low level of optimism and activity in everyday activities and especially in situations of difficulty;

propensity to self-blame, exaggeration of one's guilt;

feeling of insecurity;

infantilism (developmental delay).

2. A group of persons exhibiting in relationships with others such behavioral traits as:

a changed stereotype of behavior: unusual closure and decreased motor activity in mobile, sociable types; excited behavior and increased activity, sociability in sedentary and silent types;

sudden manifestation of previously uncharacteristic traits of sociability, frankness, generosity;

violation of interpersonal relations, narrowing the circle of contacts in the military team, the desire for solitude;

lack of independence and lack of will when making decisions;

loss of interest in the world around (up to complete detachment).

Thus, external manifestations through behavior must be taken into account when working with subordinates “prone to suicide”.

A number of suicidal risk factors influence the decision to commit suicide, including:

Socio - demographic factors:

Floor. Women are more likely to commit suicide, while choosing less painful and painful methods (for example, sleeping pills, poison, gas) than men; however, in men, suicide is more often completed (for example: hanging, firearms, high jump).

Age. Suicidal acts occur in almost any age group.

Place of residence. The number of suicides among urban residents is significantly higher than in rural areas.

Marital status and features of intra-family relations. Married people commit suicide less often than single, widowed and divorced women. Higher suicidal risk in childless, as well as living separately from relatives.

Education. No significant differences in suicides in terms of education were found.

Social and professional position. Frequent change of place of work and profession is in some cases suicidal.

Socio-economic factors. During wars, the number of suicides decreases, and during economic crises it increases.

Natural factors:

suicide rate increases in spring;

committing suicide occurs most often in the evening, at the beginning of the night and in the early morning;

no correlation between the latitude, the phase of the moon, the change in the intensity of terrestrial magnetism, the number of spots on the sun and the frequency of suicidal acts has been revealed.

Medical factors:

Somatic pathology. Respiratory diseases, then the digestive tract, the apparatus of movement and support, as well as trauma, dominate. So, almost 50% of suicides shortly before committing suicide turned to doctors - general practitioners, surgeons, etc.

Cerebral - organic pathology. Suicidal risk is high in individuals with residual symptoms of organic brain damage, and in circumstances that are personally significant and seem insurmountable, i.e. indicate a certain degree of insolvency of the person.

Mental pathology. Mentally ill people commit suicide 26-100 times more often than mentally healthy persons. The highest suicidal risk is observed with reactive depression, substance abuse, psychopathy and affective psychoses.

Individual psychological factors:

increased risk of suicide is characteristic of disharmonious individuals;

the person’s entry into social groups that allow suicide (for example: sects of various biases);

socially immature and morally ethically unstable individuals;

sudden changes in the stereotype of life, the inability to engage in any habitual activity.

In addition to the factors of suicidal risk, special attention must be paid to the signs of suicidal danger, referred to as “keys”.

The "keys" of suicidal danger:

Verbal "keys".
Direct statements: “I'm thinking of suicide”; “It would be better to die”; “I don't want to live anymore.” Indirect statements: “You don’t have to worry about me anymore”; “I'm tired of everything”; "They will regret when I leave."

Behavioral (behavioral) "keys." Despair and crying. Repeated appeal to the theme of death in literature and painting. Persistent craving for listening to sad music and songs. Lack of vitality. Self-isolation from friends and comrades. Increased alcohol use, drug use. Drafting or amending a will. Increased or loss of appetite. Lethargy and apathy. Inability to concentrate and make a decision. Confusion. Avoiding active life in a team. Refusal of personal belongings. The desire for risky actions. Guilt. Reproaches, sense of worthlessness and low self-esteem. Non-observance of hygiene rules. The desire to be left alone.

Situational "keys." The death of a loved one. Family troubles. Problems with law. Social isolation in the team. Chronic, progressive disease. The presence of mental illness.

The presented factors and signs of suicidal risk are most specifically manifested in the behavior of a soldier’s personality, in such manifestations as:

Self-care. When isolation, isolation become deep and long, when a soldier withdraws into himself, eschews yesterday’s friends and comrades.

Moodiness, finicky. When the mood of a subordinate almost daily fluctuates between the excitement of a decline, for obvious reasons, there is a cause for alarm. There is strong evidence that such emotional fluctuations are a harbinger of death.

Depression. When a deep emotional decline causes the isolation of the military, withdrawal, but at the same time he disguises his feelings so well that others do not notice the changes in their behavior for a long time. The only way is a direct and open conversation with the military.

Aggressiveness. When the act of suicide is preceded by flashes of irritation, anger, rage, cruelty to others. Often, such phenomena turn out to be a call of the suicide to pay attention to help him, instead, hostility of others, their alienation from the suicide. Instead of attention, a soldier seeks conviction from his comrades.

Alcohol, drug abuse. They contribute to the development of suicidal thoughts and intentions.

Sexual activity. A soldier seeks sexual satisfaction in order to replace depression. When it is not reached for a long time, suicidal thoughts may intensify.

Impaired appetite. The absence or abnormally increased appetite is closely associated with self-destructive thoughts and is considered a life-threatening ailment.

Distribution of gifts to others. A soldier distributes his belongings to close friends, comrades, and colleagues. This action is a direct harbinger of impending misfortune.

Psychological trauma. This is, first of all, a major emotional shock or a chain of small traumatic experiences that gradually accumulate. Parting with parents, with the house, with the usual way of life, encountering significant physical and moral difficulties inherent in the service, an unfamiliar environment and atmosphere may seem to the soldier a tragedy of his life. If the parental divorce, death or unhappiness with one of his relatives, major adversities is added to this, he may have thoughts and moods fraught with suicide.

Change in behavior. When sudden, unexpected changes in the behavior of the military should be closely monitored. When, for example, a reserved, laconic, reserved person (introvert) unexpectedly for others starts joking, laughing, chatting (behaving like an extrovert), it is worth taking a closer look at him. Such a change testifies to the deeply experienced loneliness that a person seeks to tear apart under the guise of fun and carefree. Another alarming symptom is a decrease in energy level, increased passivity, indifference to service, communication, life.

The threat. Statements or threats must be taken seriously. They can be interpreted as a direct warning of impending suicide.

Based on this, it is advisable to remember:

Get in touch with subordinates in any environment. Calmly and frankly find out his condition and experiences, moods and intentions.

Refrain from condemning aggression, rigidity to a potential suicide. If in doubt, contact a more experienced specialist (psychologist, medical professional).
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