Some fields of study such as sociology, psychiatry and graphology, have investigated the reasons why people who commit suicide leave a note.
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(s) for suicide.
- To express thoughts and feelings that the person felt unable to express in life.
- To give instructions for disposal of the remains.
- Occasionally, to confess acts of murder or some other offence.
The most common reasons people contemplating suicide choose to not 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) 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 for those without surviving loved ones or other social relationships, such as the elderly.
- 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.
Sometimes there is also a message in the case of murder–suicide, explaining the reason(s) for the murder(s), see for example, Marc Lépine's suicide statement and videotaped statements of the 7 July 2005 London bombers.
Read more about this topic: Suicide Note
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