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IntroductionBy suicide (from the Latin suicidium, killing of oneself) we mean the act by which a person voluntarily and knowingly procures death.Suicide is often strongly associated with mental illness and disorders due to the compulsive use of substances such as alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse also makes it more likely that people will act out of impulsive suicidal thoughts or risky behaviors.

Individuals who die from suicide, however, represent only a fraction of those who think about it or make at least one attempt: statistics estimate that attempts could be between 8 and 25 for each actual death. As with completed suicides, the risk factors for attempted suicide in adults are depression and drug use.

Suicide is a tragic reaction to stressful life situations, all the more tragic because it can often be prevented. If you know someone who experiences suicidal thoughts, reading this article can help you recognize the signs that herald the tragic act, thus increasing the possibility of saving a life.

If you are reading this page because you have, or have had, suicidal thoughts, it is very important to seek help immediately; it is probably difficult to do it, it will cost you effort, but you will not be left alone.You can ask for help right now, don’t be afraid to call an anti-suicide toll-free number, such as 800.33.43.43 or the one reported on this page.

Very often those who start thinking about this path believe that they are so overwhelmed by negative thoughts and situations that they no longer have other paths, but this is not the case, with adequate support and treatment it is really possible to react.

Before going into the topic, it may be useful to add some data relating to the Italian situation (source: ISTAT):Taking into consideration the twenty-year period 1995-2015, a net decrease in cases has fortunately been observed, which fell by 14%, from 8.1 suicides per 100 thousand people in 1995, to 6.5 in 2015;

In the year 2015, 3,935 deaths were recorded.Rather strong trends are observed in the population groups affected by this tragedy:Men are almost 4 times more involved than women.

A decrease in suicide rates is observed as the educational qualification increases.
With increasing age the risk of suicide increases (from 1.4 suicides per 100 thousand people up to 24 years, to reach 10.4 for people over 65).The north-east is the most affected region, with 8.3 suicides per 100 thousand inhabitants, which drop to 4.5 in the south.

There is an increase in cases in the first half of the year, reaching a peak in the months of May, June and July, and then recording a decrease during the second semester.
Hanging and suffocation account for nearly half of suicides.

Graphic image that summarizes the data relating to suicide in Italy (data reported in the text of the article)Even today it is difficult to identify the exact medical causes behind a suicide and often the reasons that lead to such an act are more than one.