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Puzzle 1 Intro to Sociology

Julius Tongol, Jackson Liu
Professor Liss
Intro to Sociology
27 September 2021
Puzzle Part I:
Why would someone commit suicide? Write down 3-5 reasons.
Someone might commit suicide due to the following reasons: mental illness,
stress, being bullied, substance abuse/overdose, Loss/fear of loss, abuse or
potentially social isolation. Although these are reasons of why someone might
commit suicide, it is not all the reasons why many might commit suicide. An
example of this where the listed reasons might not be applicable would be where
an anesthesiologist doesn’t fully anesthetize the patient, where the patient will feel
the pain of lets say a scalpel piercing their skin during surgery (very very painful).
2. What is Montana’s suicide rate? Why does Montana have twice the national average?
Write down 2-4 reasons.
a. Montana’s suicide rate as of 2016 is 25.9 suicides per 100,000 people. This is a
38% increase from the suicide rate back in 1999 and almost double that of the
national average of 13.42 individuals per 100,000 (NBCNews). This is caused by
several reasons listed, but not limited to: strong gun culture, high rates of heavy
alcohol consumption, and as does lack of daylight in the winter and high altitudes,
which have been linked to depression. There are a lot of factors also contributing
to Montana’s high suicidal rate, such as facing a projected $227 million budget
shortfall, in addition to the governor cutting the state's health department and
mental health funding. Although Montana officials are studying suicide
prevention, many have feared that this is not enough to prevent suicide.
Puzzle Part II:
“Unhappiness Theory of Suicide”
Montana Suicide Factors
Substance Abuse/Overdose
Montanans love to drink alcohol, consuming
heavy alcohol at high rates. Montana has the
second-highest ratio of bars to people in the
Mental Illness
Due to location, Montana lacks sunlight in the
winter and is located at a high altitude, which
has been linked to depression.
The State of Montana has a strong gun culture
which in turn can be abused if gun control
isn’t taken seriously. It can easily be used as a
weapon to kill or to threaten people into
performing unnecessary actions.
Loss / Fear of Loss
Losing someone can trigger the action of
suicide, espcially loved ones where you cared
and loved for them. In Montana, Veterans and
people who experienced loss are trying to do
whatever than can to prevent loss, especially
after the governor cut mental health fundings.
Even with clients opening to help with this
issue, it is believed that it isn’t enough to help.
Bullying and Social Isolation
In Montana, there is a significant population
of veterans present. As many may know,
veterans are marginalized in the U.S. not
treated equally like others. In Montana, there
isn’t enough care provided to veterans, putting
them in a lower social class than the rest of
the population. [When one veteran was
serving in Iraq, he was hit by a bomb and it
ended his army career. He then tried to
commit suicide to get his frustrations over
with, but his wife prevented it and reached out
for help. When she reached out, they realized
that there was no help in Montana and they
needed to travel to VA (NBCNews).]
Puzzle Part III:
What is the difference between these two columns? Where is the source of the crisis?
The difference between the two columns is that for the column on the left, it tends to be
more of a personal issue. Let's take Mental Illness for an example; there are many people who
have a mental illness and are depressed for many reasons. There are people who are depressed
and rich and there are people depressed due to loneliness or loss. Since there are many reasons
why one would even possibly think about commit suicide, the left column indicated the personal
issues people are going through and not the public pressure that is affecting them. On the right
column however, people are committing suicide due to the culture and social structure of
Montana. Having a strong gun culture and many people abusing alcohol, it is a public issue,
which can potentially force people to perform suicide; more of like a public pressure. The
source of the crisis in the left column would be from the person itself, personal trouble. There is
no way to debunk why one will commit suicide due to one of the reasons listed and why another
wouldn’t eventhough they are going through the same issue. On the other hand, the source of the
crisis on the right is from the social structure of Montana. Having many factors that can cause
someone to commit suicide, many of the cases of suicide are from these factors. This statement,
meaning that people are not committing suicide because it’s their personal issue, but because of
the social structure they are living around.
Works Cited
Flory, Xavier. “Montana and ALCOHOL – an Abusive Relationship.” Flathead Beacon, 9
July 2014,
McCausland, Phil, et al. “Montana Had the Highest Suicide Rate in the Country. Then
Budget CUTS HIT.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 28 Aug. 2018,
Schimelpfening, Nancy. “Why Do People Commit Suicide?” Verywell Mind, 19 Feb. 2021,