Suicide note

Suicide note

A suicide note is a message left by someone who later attempts or commits suicide. It is estimated that 12-20% of suicides are accompanied by a note. [cite web|url=|title=AIM Report: Critiquing Berman's Report on Foster|date=2001-06-01|publisher=Accuracy in Media] However, incidence rates may depend on ethnicity, method of suicide, and cultural differences, and may reach rates as high as 50% in certain demographics. [cite web|url=| title=The significance of suicide notes in the elderly|date=2002-05-01] [cite web|url=| title=Incidence of note-leaving remains constant despite increasing suicide rates|date=2005-04-01|publisher=Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences]


According to Dr. Lenora Olson, the most common reasons that people contemplating suicide choose to write a suicide note include one or more of the following:
*To ease the pain of those known to the victim by attempting to dissipate guilt.
*To increase the pain of survivors by attempting to create guilt. []
*To set out the reason for suicide.
*To gain sympathy or attention.
*To give instructions as to disposal of remains.

A suicide note can be in written, audio, or video form.

Occasionally, those who have committed murder or some other offense will confess their acts in a note. [] [] [] []

The most common reasons people contemplating suicide fail to write a note are:
*They are so focused on the practicalities of what they are about to do (e.g. loading a pistol or tying a noose, etc.) that the idea of leaving a note does not occur to them
*Their choice to commit suicide was impulsive, or at least hasty enough that there was no time to compose a suicide note.
*They have nothing to say and/or nobody to say it to — common with respect to the elderly, or those without surviving loved ones or other social relationships.
*They feel that they cannot express what they wish to say.
*They simply do not wish to write about their choice, or cannot see any point in doing so.
*They are functionally or completely illiterate, or uncomfortable with written language.
*They hope the suicide will be considered to be an accident or homicide. This is common in those who wish to be buried in consecrated ground or hope their families will be able to collect on insurance.

Famous suicide notes

The following people have left famous suicide notes:Fact|date=October 2007
*Misao Fujimura - high school student studying philosophy who wrote the suicide note on a tree; the suicide effected many copycat suicides.
*Getulio Vargas - lawyer, politician and Brazilian president (1930-1945; 1950-1954) who used his suicide and suicide note (the "Carta Testamento") as a political weapon against his enemies.
*Lisandro de la Torre - Argentinian lawyer, politician and senator who fought against his government's corrupt officers during the "Década Infame" (Infamous Decade), the 1930's. Finally, abandoned by his allies and believing his struggle to be lost, he committed suicide, leaving a note describing the desperate situation he was going through.
*Leandro Alem - Argentinian lawyer, politician and senator who took his own life in 1896 after being betrayed by his fellow Radical-party members, who gave themselves to the fraudulent regime then in power in the country, at least according to his view. He left a note denouncing them and his own nephew and heir in the leadership of his party, the future president Hipólito Yrigoyen.
*Yukio Mishima, Japanese writer, his suicide note explained his reasons for attempting to incite mutiny amongst the Japanese self-defence forces.
*Eduardo Chibás, Cuban politician and radio celebrity, killed himself during the broadcast of his programme making his speech during it a kind of oral suicidal note, protesting against the widespread corruption of the reigning regime.
*Roger Angleton - Murderer and brother of famous bookmaker Robert Angleton.
*J. Clifford Baxter - Enron Corporation executive.
*Eustace Budgell, English writer: "What Cato did, and Addison approved, cannot be wrong."
*Leslie Cheung - Hong Kong actor and musician who suffered from clinical depression.
*Christine Chubbuck, a news reporter who shot herself on live television.
*Kurt Cobain - Lead singer of Nirvana. The note first addresses his fans and reasons for leaving, followed by a message to his widow, Courtney Love, and to his daughter. The note famously quoted Hey Hey, My My from Neil Young's album Rust Never Sleeps.
*Clara Blandick - U.S. film actress, most famous for playing Auntie Em in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Her note stated "I am now about to make the great adventure"
*Ida Craddock - Facing prison in 1902 for sending through the U.S. Mail sexually explicit marriage manuals she had authored, Craddock penned a lengthy public suicide note to her readers condemning Anthony Comstock, sponsor of the Comstock Act under which she was convicted.
*Dalida - Popular French singer. She wrote: "Life has become unbearable ... forgive me."
*"Dead" - Lead singer of the black metal group Mayhem, whose suicide note famously read, in part, "Excuse all the blood."
*Budd Dwyer - Pennsylvania politician who, during a recorded televised news conference, read a prepared statement and then shot himself.
*George Sanders - Academy Award winning British actor. His note stated only: "Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck."
*George Eastman - Inventor of 35 mm film and founder of Eastman Kodak. His note simply read, "My work is done. Why wait?"
*Mike Von Erich - Wrestler who committed suicide after thinking that he was not as good as he had been prior to a shoulder injury. His brothers Kerry and Chris also committed suicide.
*James Forrestal - Former United States Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy.
*Pete Ham - Leader of the rock group Badfinger. Ham's note blamed the group's manager for his financial ruin, calling him "...a soulless bastard. I will take him with me."
*Tony Hancock - British comedian, who died in 1968. Suicide note included the line "Things just went wrong too many times".
*Phaedra - Character from Greek mythology who fell in love with Hippolytus.
*Freddie Prinze - U.S. actor and comedian, famous for his role on the sitcom "Chico and the Man"." Is the father of Freddie Prinze Jr.
*Elliott Smith - Singer/songwriter who suffered from addiction and depression. The note, according to the coroner, read "I'm so sorry - love Elliot. God forgive me." The misspelling of the name is believed to be the fault of the coroner, but it is still unclear whether it was a suicide or not.Fact|date=June 2007
*Hunter S. Thompson - Creator of gonzo journalism who ascribed his suicide to boredom and a dissatisfaction with aging.Fact|date=September 2007
*Virginia Woolf - English feminist author and poet. Her suicide note iterated that she feared she was on the brink of what would have been the latest in a series of breakdowns, and that she would rather die than endure another such episode. Her note concluded with a message to her husband telling him that she loved him and thanking him for the time they had together.
*Lee Eun-ju - She left a suicide note scrawled in blood, in which she wrote, "Mom, I am sorry and I love you." A separate note said, "I wanted to do too much. Even though I live, I'm not really alive. I don't want anyone to be disappointed. It's nice having money... I wanted to make money."
* Korechika Anami - "I - with my death - humbly apologize to the Emperor for the great crime." Historians are divided as to what crime he was referring to. It is possibly a reference to his part in the aborted coup against the Emperor Hirohito in the hours following Japan's decision to surrender at the end of World War II.
* Vincent Van Gogh - Left a suicide note that said: "The sadness will last forever", those were also his last spoken words.
* Romain Gary - He wrote a suicide note explaining the reasons of his suicide and then shot himself in his mouth. Apart from his suicide note, he had stated: "I really had fun. Goodbye and thank you."

ee also

* Death poem


External links

* Mark Etkind: "...Or Not to Be: A Collection of Suicide Notes", Riverhead Trade, ISBN 1-573225-80-0
* Lenora M. Olson, "The use of suicide notes as an aid for understanding motive in completed suicides", Proquest/UMI, ISBN 0-542162-85-7
* [ Famous suicide notes - dying words of famous people]
* [ Suicide note]
* Sam Paul: "Why I Committed Suicide", iUniverse, Inc., ISBN 0-595326-95-1
* [ Kurt Cobain suicide note] Shows the full text of Kurt Cobain's suicide note and discusses it in relation to recognized acute risk factors.

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