Suicides cases in Lebanon increased in 2018 to 200, compared to 143 in 2017, bringing the number of suicide cases between 2009 and 2018 to 1,393, with one suicide every 60 hours, i.e. every two days and a half, and a suicide attempt every 6 hours, according to statistics of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces.
Suicide is a source of great concern in different societies. It is a critical phenomenon that needs to be addressed, as many pro-suicide groups promote a form of rebellion against life by seeking death and escaping from reality to the desired fantasy achieved through committing suicide. But, the situation is linked to several factors.
Therapist Rebecca Espanyoli said that the most prominent reason for suicide, "according to the latest studies, is depression …. This is the most recurrent reason for people to commit suicide." Espanyoli indicated that "sometimes suicide can be caused by mental illnesses. As such, the patient becomes sceptical about his reality, which leads him to try to put an end to his life."
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"The use of drugs and alcohol is another reason behind the phenomenon. When some people get drunk, they may try to put an end to their lives. For some people, the decision to commit suicide is based on logical reasons, including being affected by a chronic illness, pain or difficult living conditions," she added.
Anadolu Agency quoted Dr. Michael Khoury saying that "about 10 per cent of those who attempt suicide do not usually exceed the age of 18, while 58 per cent are between the ages of 18 and 34," explaining that "Lebanese men are more likely to succeed in taking their lives than women. Thus, for every fully-achieved suicides committed by three Lebanese men, only two Lebanese women manage to end their lives."
In recent months, this phenomenon has spread dramatically among children and adolescents after the proliferation of online games, such as Blue Whale and Mariam. These applications are mysterious virtual games that incite suicide.
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Studies have also shown that the rate of suicide attempts in Lebanon has reached 2 per cent of the total number of Lebanese citizens (more than six million people), which is close to the rate of suicide attempts recorded in 17 countries, which is 2.7 per cent.