Suicidal tendencies or fears among loved ones can be a source of stress. Many people feel uncomfortable talking about this. There is a common belief that asking about suicide will lead a person to suicide. This idea is no longer questioned, in many cases the necessary action cannot be taken. Rather, asking about suicide can prevent unintended death. So if you have any doubts about the behavior of someone close to you, you have to talk openly with him about the time.
Now, majority of folks do not wake up one day with the intention of killing himself. Suicide plans normally emerge with time as a result of life events and psychological trauma so serious or extreme that suicide seems to be the only viable option. Individuals who are having “suicidal thoughts” or “suicidal activities” often alter their normal behaviors, which are observable signs of elevated suicide risk. The problem is that these signs and changes are often misinterpreted as natural responses to challenges, stress, and other factors.
The truth is many of the behaviors on the following list are just that: normal responses to life’s pressures. This is why they are referred to as “signs of concern” rather than “warning signs.” When these signs are exhibited individually, most of these give no cause for alarm. If you see any of these changes in someone you know, or if the behavior appears out of character for that person, trust your instincts and start asking questions.
Threats of Suicide
Threats of suicide may be indirect or overt. “I’d be better off dead,” “No one would miss me if I weren’t here,” “Who cares if I’m gone,” etc. are examples of an indirect suicide attack. A person can make a more direct statement, such as, “I am going to kill myself.” These kinds of statements are often made out of frustration or indignation. If this form of statement is odd, or if it is followed by other actions that you are concerned about, don’t be afraid to inquire. Don’t just brush it aside and hope the emotions will go away. Inquire directly with the individual whether these are references to suicide. All remarks or suggestions about suicide must be taken seriously.
Suicide Attempts in the Past
Someone who has attempted suicide before is more likely to try it again. According to Mental Health America, 30 to 40% of people who complete suicide have attempted suicide before. If someone has attempted suicide, they may be in a lot of pain, and they need help. However, recognizing the attempt for what it is can be difficult. High-risk actions, taking unnecessary risks, self-destructive behavior, or half-hearted attempts – such as superficial wounds or overdosing on readily available drugs – may all be signs that someone is seriously contemplating suicide to alleviate their pain. Any intentional self-harm should be taken very seriously, and appropriate measures should be taken.
Around the world, one out of every four people suffers from psychiatric or neurological illnesses, with 264 million people suffering from depression. In Bangladesh, nearly 7 million people suffer from anxiety and depression. Depression can be overcome. Approximately 80% to 90% of depressed people will respond to medication, and almost all who receives treatment will see some relief from their symptoms. Adults sometimes use the term “depressed” to describe a temporary depression or lack of energy. We’ve all had those days when we’re down in the dumps. Depression affects people of all races, racial groups, genders, and ages. The following are some of the most common symptoms:
- Sadness or anxiety that persists
- Hopelessness, pessimism, or a sense of helplessness
- Loss of enjoyment or interest in life
- Sleep or eating habits that have changed
- Reduced resources
- Abuse of alcohol or other substances
Unusual Acts and Behaviors
Many times, warning signs may be mistaken for normal habits because they last for a long time, whether there are several warning signs at once, or if the behavior is “out of character” for the person you know. The following are examples of such behaviors:
- Suicide is brought up in conversation.
- Being preoccupied with death or suicide is a common symptom of depression.
- Loss of trust in previously loved activities
- Removing oneself from families, friends, and hobbies
- Rising their alcohol and tobacco use
- Doing a lot of mood swings
- Feeling irritated or anxious?
- Putting one’s own needs last (i.e. deteriorating physical appearance)
- Excessive guilt/shame is expressed in a variety of ways.
Either of these shifts in action should raise some eyebrows. Even if the person does not have suicidal thoughts, something is going on in their life. Any questions must be asked.
Sometime, in extreme cases, individuals who are contemplating suicide will make “final plans.” They pay visits to relatives, give away cherished possessions, and, in some cases, discuss or write down funeral arrangements. They appear preoccupied with death and the state of affairs after they pass away.
Seek clarification if you’re concerned
Any one of these signals could be misinterpreted as common for the person. However, if you have any doubts or questions about someone’s motives or actions, you can inquire. Don’t be afraid to bring it up, try your best to be a nonjudgmental listener. Stay in touch with the person who is in trouble with you. Parents are parents, companions are companions, friends are friends; Give him time in this role. There is no need to go beyond this and take the role of a judge or a doctor. Help him to try to solve his problem from his own position. Encourage them to bring some positive habits in their daily life, encourage them to sleep regularly, exercise, socialize etc. Ask to go for consultation with an expert. Explain that it takes a lot of time to get treatment for mental distress. In most cases, the cause of suicide is a treatable mental illness, such as severe depression. In these cases, proper treatment of the disease can prevent suicide. When any of these habits have been present for more than two to three weeks, ask for advice and, if necessary, get clinical assistance.
Lend a hand, Save a life.
For more tips on how to talk to a suicidal friend, visit here.