Suicide means deliberately taking one's own life, and if it is complete, it means a deadly act to achieve one's desire for death . Every 40 seconds, one person in the world dies due to suicide, which numbers 800,000 a year. Suicide is known as the second leading cause of death between the ages of 15 and 29. For every suicide resulting in death, more than 20 others attempt suicide . The suicide rate in 2012 in the world was estimated to be 12 out of every 100,000, accounting for 793,000 deaths in 2016 . This amount was 5.3 per 100,000 for Iran [4, 5]. Approximately 1.4% of all deaths result from suicide worldwide [3, 6]. The rate of complete suicide is higher in men than women, ranging from 1.5 times higher in developing countries to 3.5 times higher in developed countries. Suicide is generally prevalent among people over 70 years of age. However, in some countries, people between 15 and 30 are at higher risk . Ten to twenty million non-lethal suicides occur each year . Non-lethal suicide attempts can lead to long-term injuries and disabilities. In the Western world, there are more suicide attempts among young people and women . Common methods of suicide include hanging, pesticide poisoning, and weapons .
The suicide rate in Iran is lower than the world average, still higher than the Middle East average. The most prevalent method of suicide in Iran is hanging in men and burning in women. [4, 10]. Although women attempt more suicides than men, they attempt fewer completed suicides than men, reflecting the difference in the method of suicide between them .
In Iran, the highest suicide rate for men is observed in Lorestan, Hamedan, and Ilam provinces and for women in Lorestan and Kermanshah provinces . As a result, Ilam, Kermanshah, Lorestan, and Hamedan provinces have the highest suicide mortality rates in Iran. One reason for such a high suicide rate might be due to the low socioeconomic status. On the other hand, these provinces have the country's highest unemployment and divorce rates. Finally, the tribal structure and extreme fanaticism could be other potential reasons .
The most common risk factors for suicide are mental illnesses (including depression, bipolar disorder, autism, schizophrenia, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse), relationship problems, employment and financial hardships, and history of suicide attempts [13–15]. However, certain suicides are impulsive and abrupt reactions to stress, marital problems, or rape. People with a history of suicide are at higher risk of attempting suicide. Practical suicide prevention efforts include accurate media coverage of suicide, economic improvement, and restricting access to weapons, poisons, and drugs. Common methods of suicide vary in different regions and countries and depend on the availability of these methods in these regions .
It has been shown, broad existential themes, such as religion, honour, and life’s meaning, have influenced perspectives on suicide . The Abrahamic religions, for instance, traditionally consider suicide a crime against God, believing in life’s sanctity. In this regard, in some countries, suicide is widely regarded as a criminal offence . In the 20th and 21st centuries, suicide has rarely been utilised as a means of protest. Moreover, suicide bombings as a terrorist tactic have been observed . Suicide is often considered a major disaster and is regarded as an adverse action almost globally.
Numerous studies have examined communities’ attitudes toward suicide . A major challenge in measuring people’s attitudes toward suicide is their subjectivity and variability over time. A significant number of these measuring instruments contain suicide myths, i.e., society’s misconceptions about suicide. According to the World Health Organization, one of these myths and misconceptions is the belief that “only people with mental disorders attempt suicide.” Other myths include: Talking about suicide encourages it; most suicides occur without warning; people who attempt suicide do not talk about it; people who attempt suicide are determined to die .
The Predicaments Questionnaire designed by Shahtahmasebi et al. in December 2016 measures the social attitude toward suicide in all individuals, regardless of any social or socioeconomic classes. It also removes the questionnaire from suicide myths. This study considers suicide as a response to predicaments, and it demonstrates that the questionnaire’s scores have a direct relationship with the suicide rate in a group or population . Multi-centre and international studies in this field are highly required. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the Persian translation of the “Social Attitudes to Suicide dealing with Predicaments” Questionnaire.