Family problems as a contributor to suicide
Not only are family issues difficult to get away from, but they can strike at the core of a person's identity in 2 important ways. First, we derive much of our self-identity from ideas related to family: who we are, where we come from, what we are made of, and so on. Therefore family problems can imbue those who experience them with quite a bit of shame.
Yet the bigger problem is often the message that comes alongside family dysfunction: If I can't even count on family to love me, what hope is there? When a person is experiencing family problems, the core of their world is in shambles, and this can distort their perspective about the world as a whole. Who will be there for support, if not one's family? Who in the world is there to depend on, if you can't even depend on those closest to you? How can I ever survive in the world, when I can't even manage to thrive at home? To a teen who feels like a loser anyway, what hope can there be if even those obligated by law to care about you seem as if they don't? This is the reason family problems are a leading contributor to suicide.
A precipitating event or crisis
Often there is a specific event that pushes a person over the edge. "Most frequently, the pain is related to a very specific loss: the breakup of a relationship, being thrown off a team, or some academic failure," note Slaby & Garfinkel (1994 p. 157). This is also why even though many suicidal people suffer from depression, not everyone who kills themselves meets the clinical criteria for depression. It may simply be a crushing event or something that profoundly aggravates an existing insecurity, thus setting off a cascade of catastrophic thinking that triggers a suicide.
Common precipitating events to suicide: