By JY (14 years old)
The number of people committing suicide is increasing rapidly in South Korea. In fact, the country has already surpassed Japan in having the highest suicide rate in the developed world according to a Korean National Police Agency report.
Suiciders killed themselves in various ways. Some jumped into the rivers from bridges or roof tops; others threw themselves in front of subway trains, hanged themselves, slit their wrists, took drugs, detergents or drank pesticides.
But why do people wish to kill themselves?
Students like me face long study hours in South Korea and are required to excel in our studies from an early age. Our country has an old rule of four versus five. You can enter the college you want if you sleep only four hours a day, but you won’t be able to do so if you sleep five or more hours.
To meet the high expectations of their parents, many students have become study machines instead of normal school kids. The intense demands from parents and teachers to get better grades can easily push struggling students to breaking point. Despondent students had actually hanged themselves or jumped from apartments, classroom windows or bridges.
Money trouble is another common motive for people to take their own lives. Some Korean fathers killed themselves because the strain in bearing the weight of the heavy financial burden for the family following a failed business or loss of work was too much. On the other hand, some suiciders had ended their lives because of huge gambling debts.
Suicide is often committed out of despair. Other possible reasons behind suicides are prolonged grief, severe depression, critical or mental illnesses, extreme loneliness, broken relationships, and being bullied. I hope despairing people will not choose to deliberately end their own lives but turn to God for a solution for their problems instead.