Suicide, act of voluntarily taking one's own life. In some societies (notably Japan's) suicide is accepted or even expected in the face of disgrace. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, however, condemn it. Until 1961 the United Kingdom sought to discourage it by making it a crime, and it is still illegal in some U.S. states. Suicide attempts are often considered by psychologists implicit pleas for help and may result from extreme depression.