Suicide Prevention: Suicide is the expression of fuelling one’s own death deliberately. Mental disorders, including bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders and as well as substance abuse – including the use of benzodiazepines and as well as alcoholism, are the risk factors.
An “attempt to commit suicide” implies somebody tried to put an end to their lives but didn’t die.
Scenario 1: You switched on a TV, the anchor on a News channel commences with the headline “farmers committed suicide” in the eastern part of the country?
Scenario 2: Scrolling down the videos on YouTube and came across a viral video of “a doctor committed suicide by jumping from the balcony of a hotel room in the city.”
Scenario 3: Turned the newspaper to check for the latest news and on a corner spot a story which states “a 15-year-old committed suicide due to fear of exams.”
These are a few snippets of the numerous cases of suicide that we come across on a day-to-day basis but turn a blind eye to. But not anymore because suicide is the 3rd leading cause of mortality among young adults all over the world.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the year 2015, around 800,000 suicides were documented. And for every suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts. Every year around one million people dies from suicide. As per the WHO reports, it accounts for one death every 40 seconds and one suicide attempt every 3 seconds across the globe.
All in all, suicides represent 1.4 percent of the world’s premature mortality. Around 84% of global suicides occur in low and middle income countries, of which India and China account for 49% of the total cases.
India was considered to be the “Suicide Capital of Southeast Asia” as it recorded the highest cases of suicides in the year 2012. According to a 2010 study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, the suicide rate in India is 10.3 and it has increased by a massive 43% in the past three decades. Moreover, 37.8% of the cases are from those under 30 years of age and around 71% of suicides are by people who are under 44 years.
Every year, more than a lakh lives are lost due to suicide in India. It is estimated that one in 60 persons is affected by the suicide of a family member or a friend. This is because suicides and suicide attempts usually create a ripple effect which strongly impacts the family, friends, colleagues, community and society. However, what most people are not aware is that suicide can be prevented.
Let’s discuss about suicide and what you can do for Suicide Prevention for your near and dear ones by identifying the signs.
Suicide Prevention: Signs And Symptoms To Be Cautious!
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, knowing about the warning signs and symptoms of suicide can help you to spot a person who is thinking of suicide and help him/her to get the right assistance thereby helping you to save lives. Signs that someone is thinking of suicide or if he/she is:
- Thinking of being trapped in a situation.
- Falling prey to substance abuse or alcohol abuse.
- Devising a plan on how to commit suicide or kill themselves.
- Looking for ways to kill themselves, such as searching online, stocking of pills, buying sharp or lethal materials such as poison, guns, etc.
- Talking about living their life with guilt or shame.
- Frequently talking or thinking about death.
- Saying that they want to die or kill themselves.
- Feeling that there is no reason to live or hopelessness.
- Saying that they are a burden to the family and society.
- Thinking that there is no way out of any situation or no solution for a problem.
- Being more anxious or getting furious or overreacting to a certain situation.
- Showing severe changes in their eating or sleeping habits.
- Not mingling and staying away from family and friends.
- Displaying extreme mood swings in a quick span of time (such as suddenly becoming angry when smiling).
- Suffering from unbearable physical and mental pain.
If you spot these warning signs in someone you know either your friends or family, then get help as early as possible. You can get professional help such as taking the person to a psychiatrist you know about and act as a strong support system of the person.
Ask for help and be there for the person in need. If they do not wish to share their thoughts with you or do not want to meet an expert, personally, then getting help through helpline numbers can also be an option. Help them connect with a mental health professional you know or are aware of or talk to your family doctor about the right expert to get in touch.
Listen to what the person has to say as lending an ear can not only help them share their inner thoughts and feelings, but also help them to vent out their problems and seek help. This can help you to know what the person is feeling and thinking so you can provide the right assistance.
Suicidal thoughts and behavior are quite complex. There is no single known cause of it and however, there are several factors which can act as a trigger. These could range from family history of suicide or mental health condition and depression to chronic pain, certain medical conditions such as HIV, family violence, sexual abuse, etc.
Suicidal thoughts are a sign of extreme distress and should not be ignored. With the help of right expert guidance, medications, therapy and care, the condition can be improved and suicide attempt can be prevented.
Stay strong, nothing is over, nothing is lost, seek help to enjoy this ONE WONDERFUL LIFE to the FULLEST and spread the word ‘Suicide Prevention‘ to anybody you can and may find, anytime!