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Suicide in the United States and South Korea

Suicide in the USA and South Korea

Nowadays people become used to live in the hectic rhythm and could sometimes find no time to rest. As a result, they suffer from mental disorders, stresses, and depressions. The population of the United States, as well as South Korea, lives in the circumstances which threaten their life and psychological well-being. Health issues, constant headaches, and sleep deprivation can be considered disturbing factors that may lead to more general, chronic psychological diseases which could further result in suicidal tendencies. This paper intends to compare the rate of suicide in the USA and South Korea and show its impact on people's life. Moreover, this essay reveals the causes of suicide in the United States and South Korea.

The Rates of Suicide in the USA

In the USA, the statistics of suicide is considered alarming and threatening, which proves the psychological, social, and economic problems of the population in this country. Annually, 40,000 of the Americans commit suicide. Generally, suicide is considered to be the 12th cause of death in the USA. In 2013, the number of people died of suicides is larger than that of car accidents or other reasons. The statistics demonstrates that suicide rates usually tend to increase during political instability, economic setbacks, and financial stress. It means that economic and social problems can be regarded the main reasons for the suicide in the USA. The researchers have proven that the male suicide dominates under the female suicide (”Facts and Figures”).

The lowest number of suicide occurs at the age from 5 to 14. The highest number of suicide accounts for the category of senior citizens (above 75 years old). The suicide rates in the USA dropped from 12 to 10 per 100,000 persons in 1986-2000. However, they have increased again by 2012 to 12,5 cases per 100,000 persons. These figures are alarming and demand the immediate actions from the American government. Suicide occurs among different groups of people. According to the CDC reports, the key variables of the suicide include geographic region or state, race or ethnicity, sex, and age (”Facts and Figures”).

In 2013 the highest suicide rate was recorded within the age category of 45-59 years and amounts to 19,8%. According to the statistics, senior people commit suicide more seldom as compared with the younger generation: suicide rate within the age category of senior people is 17%. Consequently, in general young people have lower suicide rates than adults. Suicide rate of people of 15-24 years compounds 10,9% (”Facts and Figures”).

Speaking about the percentage of suicides within certain sex group, men are known to commit suicides more often than women. The rate within this sex category is about four times higher: 78,3% of the people committed suicide in 2013 appeared to be men, and only 21,7 % – women. In 2013, suicide rate of men was recorded to be 20,3%, and suicide rate of women – 5,4%.

Within the context of race and ethnicity, 65% of white males committed all the recorded suicides in 2013. The highest suicide rate accounts for white people (14,1%). The second place belongs to the American Indians and Alaska Natives (10,8%). The other nations have much lower rates: the Asians and Pacific Islanders – 6,2%, African Americans – 5,5%, Hispanics – 5,8%.

According to geographic region and state, the suicide rates prevail in 8 U.S. states, such as Nevada (18,2%), Idaho (19,1%), Colorado (19,5%), Utah (21%), New Mexico (21,3%), Montana (22,5%), Alaska (23%), and Wyoming (29,8%). New York (8,2%), New Jersey (7,4%), District of Columbia (5,8%) are the areas where suicide rates are lower than 9 per 100,000 persons.

The most widespread suicide methods in the USA are firearm (50,9%), suffocation (24,8%), poisoning (16,6%) and other ways (e.g. hanging) (7,7%).

Suicide in South Korea

South Korea, as well as the USA, is another country with high rates of suicide. It is considered to have the sixth-highest rate in the world. In South Korea, the highest suicide rate is recorded to be among the elderly population. However, while in the USA this age category starts from 75, in Korea the most critical age is 65. Both in the USA and South Korea men tend to commit suicides more often, than women. The suicide rate among males in South Korea is two times higher than that among females. It could be explained by the fact that males frequently use severe and lethal methods to kill themselves. The psychologists have proven that men usually have more serious intentions to end their life by committing suicide. Women are though to do this in order to draw attention or demonstrate their feelings. In South Korea, suicide rate among women is 15 per 100,000 persons. Men suicide rate is 32 per 100,000 persons.

For eight consecutive years, South Korea has had the highest suicide rate among the industrialized countries. The research shows that 60% of the people committing suicide have suffered from depression. It is evident that psychological and mental illnesses are frequent in South Korea.

Speaking about socioeconomic status of the people under consideration, 71,4% of the senior people who committed suicide are recorded to be uneducated. 37% of them usually live in rural areas. The reasons of suicide are similar to those in the USA: family conflicts, health problems, and economic hardship. All these factors should be considered highly disturbing as they lead to the increase of suicide in the USA and South Korea.

According to the geographic regions, the suicide rates prevail in Gangwon (37,8%). Such cities as Chungnam, Jeonbuk, Ulsan, Incheon also account for the great percentage of suicides. Incheon, Jeonbuk, Ulsan have the highest suicide rate among the age category above 65 years. Daegu is known for the average suicide age of 40-59. Chungnam, Jeonnam, and Kangwon have the highest suicide rate among the young people of 20-39 years old (Simons and Murphy 430).

The suicide methods in South Korea differ from those in the USA. It could be explained by the restrictions regarding keeping firearms in South Korea. Only 33% of women decided to commit suicide used firearms there.. The most widespread suicide methods in this country are considered to be pesticides. Pesticide poisoning caused 53,3% of suicides in 1996-2005. Hanging is the second widespread method of committing suicide in South Korea.

The Causes of Suicide in the USA and South Korea

The reasons to commit suicide are generally similar in the USA and South Korea. In most cases people decided to kill themselves had mental diseases. Thus, depressed behavior of a person should be regarded alarming signals for the relatives and doctors in both countries.

Depression, stresses, and suicidal tendencies refer to the burning issues of the society. It is important to realize that sometimes people cannot cope with their problems themselves and need help and assistance. Depression can also be hereditary disorder. Therefore, it is difficult to treat it due to its genetic origin. Illnesses of the genetic character should always be treated and controlled by healthcare specialists. However, depression can occur as a result of other diseases, family problems, unhappy relationships, and economic crisis.

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Decision to commit suicide can be caused by psychopathy, depression, schizophrenia, psychosis, and neurosis. Manic disorders and depressions, as well as untreated mental diseases, may lead to the suicide. In both countries under consideration people make up their mind to kill themselves because they have had negative life experiences. These people are often psychologically unstable. In the USA and South Korea people commit suicide because of the death of their closest people, break-up, divorces, loss of job, lack of money or house, serious accident, illness, physical and emotional pain (Knox, Conwell, and Caine 40).

In these countries, suicide is a societal phenomenon. As a result, suicides of celebrities affect teenagers and can invite them to do the same. Lee Thomson Young, Robin Williams, Gia Allemand, Tony Scott are the most famous Americans who decided to commit suicide. U Nee, Daul Kim, Jang Ja Yeonare South Korean stars who killed themselves.

The Differences of Suicide Activities in the USA and South Korea

When it comes to suicide activities, the USA and South Korea have many similarities that are related to the age, gender, and sociocultural factors. Despite the fact that both the USA and South Korea have the leading suicide rates, there are differences in their suicide activities. Firstly, in the USA the most critical age is 75, while in South Korea it is 65. Thus, in general, South Korea accounts for younger suicide age, which could mean a larger number of societal or economic problems in this country. Secondly, US people are recorded to be more severe in choosing of suicide methods. They often hang or suffocate, use guns and poisons in order to kill themselves. In turn, in South Korea the use of firearms is restricted by the government. As a result, people in this country use more traditional ways to die, for instance, poisoning or hanging.

In South Korea, the main reasons of committing suicide are related to the mental disorders and depression. In the USA, economic setbacks and financial stress result in the increase of the suicide rates across the country. The suicide rate in South Korea is considered to depend on sociocultural variables and geographic regions. In the USA, the suicide rate is defined by gender, race, ethnicity, geographic area or region. Thus, it could be seen that South Korea is deprived of racial issues, as it is not as a multicultural country, like the USA. Therefore, ethnicity makes a difference only in American society provoking problems that lead to suicide. This issue often affects schools or other educational institutions, where pupils subject classmates to violent taunts.