The Why and How of Suicides
Various theories have attempted to explain suicide. Durkheim’s social theory talks about the typology of suicide.
In altruistic suicide, a person sacrifices him/her self for a greater cause (such as self-immolation of a protestor, suicide bombing (controversial) or a service person, particularly frontline workers.)
Egoistic suicide: A person who is feeling socially lonely or outcasted may end one’s life (such as age and gender minorities, socially impoverished groups, suicide in elderly/ abandoned family members, most recent example being suicidal tendencies in people under isolation/quarantine.)
Anomic suicide: Drastic and severe change in socioeconomic situation, including academic, occupational, romantic, interpersonal relationships, etc., may lead to intense stress (such as farmer suicides following crop failure, student suicides after failing in academic commitments, suicides in break-up or divorce or in rape victims.)
Fatalistic suicide: When a person feels trapped in a rigid and distressing situation (debt trap, domestic violence or dowry are important predictors of suicide). Situations are perceived as being ‘ultimate’ without any visible and possible escape.
There are many other social and psychological theories that can be used to explain suicide. However, practically and pragmatically, these factors and types are mixed and rarely come in isolation.