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Why is it that only humans commit suicide?

Many animals do 'brave' things to protect their children or family, and some male spiders sacrifice themselves so that they can impregnate the females. However, humans commit suicide without necessarily any intention to help their offspring. Why?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE. I think the answer is along the lines of Because advanced cognitive abilities $\endgroup$ – Remi.b May 4 '15 at 21:39
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    $\begingroup$ Probably not, although it depends on what one mean by "intelligence". Be careful, I guess some people may feel insulted by what you just said as it almost suggest that one need to be stupid to commit suicide. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b May 4 '15 at 21:45
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    $\begingroup$ First, I think we have to question the idea that only humans commit suicide. How do you define 'suicide'? Is the squirrel running out in front of your car committing suicide? $\endgroup$ – jamesqf May 5 '15 at 18:02
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know. Did the squirrel look sad? $\endgroup$ – Ne Mo May 5 '15 at 23:12
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    $\begingroup$ Untreated depression is the most common cause of suicide attempts. Many animals are capable of experiencing depression so this is a very complicated question to answer, however there is no documented case of suicide in non-humans. Perhaps cross post to Cognitive.SE and see if they can help out. $\endgroup$ – James May 6 '15 at 16:17
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Animals can hurt themselves to save their life for example foxes and tigers falling in traps are known to chew their paws to escape from the trap. Thus one can argue that all living creatures want to live and to escape death as well as losing freedom.

looking at how animals live, an animal can always use its capabilities to escape danger or problems as well as to look for food for survival. In humans who commit suicide sometimes it is because there is no "exit". for example some people commit suicide due to being unable to pay their loans it is the feeling of distress losing all hope and the fact that it is hard to escape from problems in a human society that lead to this thinking.

so a person doing so is trying to escape the problems instead of facing them. further, the fact that humans have the concept of "responsibility" and being held accountable by members of the society all these lead to this thinking as the only escape

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    $\begingroup$ You really ought to back up your answer with sources $\endgroup$ – C_Z_ May 6 '15 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ I haven't heard of limb gnawing before. It appears it is at least controversial as to whether this has happened, although I haven't looked at either side in any detail. $\endgroup$ – James May 6 '15 at 16:24

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