In the conclusion of the chapter on depressions, it is appropriate to speak
of suicide, since it is precisely despair that is the forerunner of this
Suicide is the willing deprivation of one’s life. The sad statistic of
suicides in Russia was secret for a long time. In the beginning of 1989, for
the first time in the last 60 years, the overwhelming numbers were publicized,
and each was preceded by hopeless despair, the loss of the reason for living.
Yearly more than 60,000 Russians lay hands on themselves — this is a whole city
of suicides. And this is particularly tragic, because the suicides among young
people 20-24 have grown by 2.9 times. In other age groups of adults, this
number increased by 1.6-1.8 times.
Here is another eloquent fact: the level of suicides in Russia in 1915
equaled 3.4 persons per 100,000, in 1985 it was 24.5, in 1991 it was 31, and in
1993 it was already 38.7. Even higher numbers were noted for 1998.
Twenty percent of all suicides are performed by children and youths up to 19
years of age. In 1996 alone: 5-14 years old — 2756 suicides; 14-19 — 2358, and
these are only the recorded suicides. Ninety-two percent of the children
suicides were performed by children in unhappy families.
What are the reasons for suicide? The doctors’ point of view is the following:
an overwhelming number of suicide victims are mentally healthy. Suicide is a
personal crisis. Social factors do not have a decisive part, this is a
Archbishop John (Shahovsky) writes: "Poor suffering suicides! You did
not accept atonement, the short-term earthly purifying sufferings — sweet for
the acceptor — oh, sweeter than those imaginary pleasures for which you died in
grief. Yes, it was in your power to do that which the evil power whispered to
you, that did not have any power over you at that moment, but it was also in
your power not to do that. It was in your power to know that God exists, that
He is not only the highest Expression of Truth and Fairness, unattainable for
our understanding, but even greater than all these human ideas. It was in your
power to understand, that God cannot give a Cross and not give strength, — that
it was in your power to turn to God, to save yourself by calling (not falsely)
Suicides before their suicide have no idea that there stands a vile,
inexpressibly evil spirit behind their backs, urging them to kill the body,
break the precious "clay vessel" protecting the soul until God’s set
time. And this spirit suggests, and urges, and demands, and compels, and
frightens with all sorts of fears: only in order that a person would press the
trigger or jump over the windowsill, running away from life, from his
unbearable anguish… The person doesn’t even guess that the "unbearable
anguish" — is not from life, but from his depressed spirit, which sees everything
in a black light. The person thinks that he himself is reasoning, and comes to
a suicidal decision. But in fact, it is not he, but one is speaking through his
thoughts whom the Lord called "murderer from the beginning…"
A person only agrees unknowingly, unseeingly takes the sin of the devil on
himself, binds himself to sin and to the devil… One repentant prayerful word,
just one sign of the salutary Cross and one look on It with faith — and the web
of evil is torn, the person is saved by the power of God… Only a small spark of
living faith and devotion to God — and the person is saved!
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