I've started reading up on sociology and psychology lately, and found an interesting classical work on sociology, which made me raise some questions.
Now, Emile Durkheim believed that suicide was a result of over-individualism in a society. Her proof was that in Catholic countries, suicide rates are much lower (4/100000), compared to protestant (12.6/100000). Numbers have changed over time, however the countries with highest suicide rates tend to be less religious or belong to more individualistic or less "encompassing" religions than the bottom ones. Proof? The WHO says that the top countries for suicide are Guinea and S. Korea, while the bottom one is Saudi Arabia. Islam, as we all know, is the most encompassing religion out there. Our religion covers all topics from philosophy to medicine, from parenting to studying.
Or take Macedonia and Iran for instance. They are tied for 120th (out of 170) on the list of countries with most suicides. Macedonia is a Christian Orthodox country, with a head of the church, then high and low ranking Bishops and Priests going down, and the higher ones have authority over the lower ones, plus the general population.
In Taqlid, we have our Maraji, then high and low ranking Sheikhs, then people who have passed Muqaadimah, who can propagate Islam to the others. A chain of authority, as the Marja-e-Taqlid is more knowledgeable than the others, meaning everyone follows one source.
Though take away Taqlid. Of the 10 least suicide-prone countries, only Iraq was Shia. Oman, Jordan, Lebanon. These are all SUNNI MAJORITY. But they still have sections of Bukhari telling them the best of foods are things like Thareeb and Dates. They still are told whar is good and bad. There still is some authority coming down from one place. And while they do not have a Marja who is Alim and who we are obliged to follow, they still have their four Imams, they still have Sheikhs in Sufi communities who are followed like Maraji are, and who do plenty of interpretation.
While in S. Korea, with nobody really to judge moral standards, we have an absence of guidance, leading people down a self-destructive path.
And take Kazakhstan (#9) and Turkmenistan (#13) as what happens when a country loses its religious values. They were both Muslim countries, now have become largely secular, and with this void in a source of guidance, they are now seeking Islam more and more, which has led to dissent and the rise of Salafism, which is unfortunate but true. And since all mosques in the country are Hanafi Sunni, no room for Dawah towards the path of Ahlulbayt (as). So suicide, salafism or self destruction.
The United States (#50), Iceland (#35) and France (#47) are proof that "freedom" does not make lives necessarily more fulfilling. Sharia ruled countries like Iran (#120), Pakistan (#76), Afghanistan (#113), Yemen (#142), Mauritania (#150) and Iraq (#163) are all below Canada (#70), a "free country," which bears witness to this concept.
There are more indicators to a fulfilling life, but desiring to keep your life is one indicator that you aren't doing so bad.