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What are causes of suicide in South Africa?

As Western-style individualism has developed, South Africa has suffered from breakdowns in traditional communal systems, extended families, and community networks. Migration also is an issue in the region. The return of families from exile for political reasons creates adjustment and acceptance difficulties among foreign-born children. A major increase in suicide in Black communities has occurred, especially among youth in Soweto. South African police officers experience high rates of trauma and also of suicide; with no supports in place to address mental health issues, officers are unable to debrief. Family murder-suicides are a South African phenomenon, predominantly in the white community.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is poorly researched, but its highest incidence occurs among persons ages 25-29. A causal link exists between receiving positive results of HIV/AIDS infection and suicide, particularly in this age group. In HIV/AIDS-related suicides, five times more males take their lives than females, while three times more females than males attempt suicide. Depression is implicated in about 80 percent of HIV/AIDS-related suicides. Substance abuse is a significant component of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. South Africa also sees suicide related to relationship problems and depression, adjustment disorders and depression, major depressive disorders, and inadequate access to health care.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.