Suicide is not a mental illness but a serious potential consequence of treatable mental disorders that include major depression, bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa.
Suicide warning signs or suicidal thoughts include:
• Talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as “I’m going to kill myself,” “I wish I were dead” or “I wish I hadn’t been born”
• Getting the means to take your own life, such as buying a gun or stockpiling pills
• Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
• Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next
• Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence
• Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation
• Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
• Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns
• Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly
• Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order when there’s no other logical explanation for doing this
• Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again
• Developing personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated, particularly when experiencing some of the warning signs listed above
Warning signs aren’t always obvious, and they may vary from person to person. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings secret.
Suicide ideation can occur when a person feels that they are no longer able to cope with an overwhelming situation. This could stem from financial problems, the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or a debilitating illness or health condition.
The following risk factors may increase the chance of suicide ideation –
• a family history of violence or suicide
• a family history of child abuse, neglect, or trauma
• a history of mental health issues
• a feeling of hopelessness
• knowing, identifying, or being associated with someone who has completed suicide
• engaging in reckless or impulsive behavior
• a feeling of seclusion or loneliness
• identifying with no family or home support
• not being able to access care for mental health issues
• a loss of work, friends, finances, or a loved one
• having a physical illness or health condition
• possessing a gun or other lethal methods
• not seeking help due to fear or stigma
• stress due to discrimination and prejudice
• historical trauma, such as the destruction of communities and cultures
• having attempted suicide before
• experiencing bullying or trauma
• exposure to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide
• exposure to suicidal behavior in others
• experiencing legal problems or debt
• being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide take an emotional toll. For instance, you may be so consumed by suicidal thoughts that you can’t function in your daily life. And while many attempted suicides are impulsive acts during a moment of crisis, they can leave you with permanent serious or severe injuries, such as organ failure or brain damage.
What Should I Do if I Think Someone is Suicidal?
People who receive support from caring friends and family and who have access to mental health services are less likely to act on their suicidal impulses than are those who are socially isolated. If someone you know is exhibiting warning signs for suicide –
• Don’t be afraid to ask if they are depressed or thinking about suicide.
• Do not leave the person alone. If possible, ask for help from friends or other family members.
• Try to keep the person as calm as possible.
• Ask if they are seeing a therapist or taking medication.
• Rather than trying to talk the person out of suicide, let them know that depression is temporary and treatable.
• In some cases, the person just needs to know that someone cares and is looking for the chance to talk about their feelings. You can then encourage the person to seek professional help.
Treatment of suicidal thoughts and behavior depends on your specific situation, including your level of suicide risk and what underlying problems may be causing your suicidal thoughts or behavior.
If you have suicidal thoughts, but aren’t in a crisis situation, you may need outpatient treatment. This treatment may include:
In psychotherapy, also called psychological counseling or talk therapy, you explore the issues that make you feel suicidal and learn skills to help manage emotions more effectively. You and your therapist can work together to develop a treatment plan and goals.
Antidepressants, antipsychotic medications, anti-anxiety medications and other medications for mental illness can help reduce symptoms, which can help you feel less suicidal.
• Addiction treatment.
Treatment for drug or alcohol addiction can include detoxification, addiction treatment programs and self-help group meetings.
• Family support and education.
Your loved ones can be both a source of support and conflict. Involving them in treatment can help them understand what you’re going through, give them better coping skills, and improve family communication and relationships.
For more informative articles on Psychological health and other health related issues, please visit our website www.santripty.com and feel free to consult with our experienced team of doctors, get benefits and stay healthy.