Why Do People Kill Themselves?

More than 100 Nepali commit suicide every year. It’s the tenth leading cause of death overall; third among 15- to 24-year-olds and fourth among 25- to 44-year-olds. Although some people who commit suicide have an identifiable mental health problem, like depression or addiction, others don’t. Some talk about wanting or planning to kill themselves or give other hints, others don’t. As my colleague Annmarie Dadoly wrote in this blog last year, many suicides are impulsive acts, with the decision to do it being made just minutes or hours before that act. What prompts a person to take his or her life? No one really knows—experts never get to talk to people who have committed suicide. They can only talk to those who are contemplating suicide or who survive it. By definition, that is a different group.

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