Posted: February 11, 2011 in General, Life and Health
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by Earlie Doriman

The shocking suicide incident carried out by former AFP Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes, still makes headlines over televisions and newspapers.  It is but a distressing fact that his family and the Filipino people are both suspending upon a losing situation.  He left his loved ones with a vacuum of hope, and the country a missing link to the ongoing investigation of the alleged massive corruption within the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  Whatever his reasons in taking his own life, is a question that we could not answer but only speculate.

But why would someone commit suicide? The former chief of staff is just one of the many people who took back their own lives amidst controversy. And if only his motives could be decoded out from his grave, then we would probably know why such a powerful military man was so vulnerable to execute his own death.

Generally, what gain could a man get  from killing himself? I find suicide a new meaning of paradox. If it is for the reason of assembling back a blemished reputation of an honourable life, how could one regain his respectable life in death? Is dying an abandonment of guilt or a short cut to liberty?

Suicide reminds me again about Judas, who took his own life upon realizing how sorry and guilty he was to send Christ to the cross. In our Christian faith we believed that Judas remained a sinner for killing himself instead of asking God’s forgiveness. But how important is that forgiveness to people who condemned the sinner.

The term suicide is used to refer to deaths from intentional self harm and from events of undetermined intents (Stockton and Heeley, 2008). Taking this issue into our society, according to a research study, suicide is amongst the leading causes of death worldwide.  The rate of death is increasing by 60 percent in the last 45 years (WHO, University of Oxford for Suicide Research). Globally it is found out that there are more suicide amongst men than women, and since 1997 the highest rates have been in men aged 15-44 (Office for National Statistics, UK).

In 2003, male suicide rates in the UK was 18.8 per 100,000. In comparison, the Philippines has a lower mortality in most Asian countries with 2.5 percent as against Hongkong with 16.7, China with 13.0, Thailand with 5.6, and Japan having the highest with 36.5 suicide rate.  According to Dr Ciaran Mulholland, a clinical scientist and psychiatrist, “ Men with depression are in great danger of suicide and the risk factors are age, employment, occupation, amongst others”. But she said that the reasons why the number of men taking their own lives has risen in recent years are far from clear, and all surfacing explanations have common denominator, that is the changing role of men in the society.

Men are always perceived to be tough and strong, and with these cultural stereotyping the behaviour of men in handling anxieties and problems have been greatly influenced.  However tough men appear to be, once they are depressed, they are more likely to end their lives.  The study indicated that more often than not, depression is more difficult to diagnose in men because they do not complain of the typical symptoms, they don’t admit distress, they don’t share openly problems that have started to consume sanity.

  1. vida says:

    It was sad. And what is more touching for me is where he chooses to end his life…:-(