PEARL

CRAWLING TO DIE

I know that the day will come when my sight of this earth shall be lost, and life will take its leave in silence, drawing the last curtain over my eyes. Yet stars will watch at night, and morning rise as before, and hours heave like sea waves casting up pleasures and pains. When I think of this end of my moments, the barrier of the moments breaks and I see by the light of death thy world with its careless treasures. Rare is its lowliest seat, rare is its meanest of lives. Things that I longed for in vain and things that I got —let them pass. Let me but truly possess the things that I ever spurned and overlooked.
Rabindranath Tagore

While in many countries thousands of people are in a daily struggle to survive, an entirely different picture unfolds in the rich countries, where people do not freeze, have a roof over their heads as well as ample clothing for each season, and can afford even holidays and extensive travels. Instead of rejoicing in gratitude for the security and variety of life, many people suffer so severely mentally with a dread that is so acute that they see no way out and only seek to be rid of what has become an intolerable or meaningless life. Suicide has become a major issue in affluent society; and at the same time it is a taboo subject, because it is contrary to all the ideas of an active, enjoyable and successful life, as advertisement and stories about famous personalities would suggest.

Nevertheless, the suicide rate has been on the rise in many European countries since 2007, after having clearly declined from the early Eighties, with prevention measures credited for the drop.

Suicide is so commonplace that this subject concerns us all!

THE NUMBERS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES: In many countries in Europe the suicide rate remains alarmingly high; in addition, many cases remain unreported, particularly within the scope of accidents and drug addiction, when people consciously take risks and gamble thoughtlessly with their lives. The number of suicide attempts is even several times greater! Interestingly enough, regional frequencies can be determined nearly everywhere at times. The World Health Organization estimates that there are about one million suicides every year worldwide and that suicide attempts occur 10 to 20 times more often. Only in countries such as Jamaica, Egypt, Haiti and Jordan does suicide, according to statistics, appear not to be an issue.

Clusters also show in age group and gender distribution: while suicide is less of an issue in childhood up to the age of 10 years, the suicide curve rises sharply in adolescence from age 12 and reaches an initial peak in young adults. In the United States, for example, more than 40,000 people kill themselves every year, according to figures published in 1917 by The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. The highest suicide rate is among middle-aged adults, aged 45 to 54. However, the suicide rate for adolescent boys and girls aged 15 to 19 has doubled over the past decade. In the United Kingdom, figures

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