Can We Prevent Most Suicides?
Suicide is a complex public health issue that requires coordination and cooperation among health care specialists, individuals and family members.
Suicide is preventable. If all of us work together, we can raise awareness of this public health issue and get people the support they need.
Suicide Warning Signs:
- Talking about suicide: Any talk about suicide, death, or self-harm, such as “I wish I hadn’t been born”.
- Seeking out lethal means – Seeking access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
- Preoccupation with death – Unusual focus on death or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.
- Changes in sleeping patterns – A shift in how someone sleeps is a sign of depression but also suicidal behaviors. Someone who is feeling suicidal may sleep more than normal, struggling to get out of bed. They may sleep less, and stay up awake all night and then struggle the next day from fatigue.
- No hope for the future – Feelings of hopelessness, depression and being trapped. Belief that things will never get better or change.
- Self-loathing, self-hatred – Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred.
- Withdrawing from others – Withdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.
- Self-destructive behavior – Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks as if they have a “death wish.”
- Sudden sense of calm – A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to attempt suicide.
Suicidal thoughts have many causes. Most often, suicidal thoughts are the result of feeling like you can’t cope when you’re faced with what seems to be an overwhelming life situation. If you don’t have hope for the future, you may mistakenly think suicide is a solution. You may struggle a sort of tunnel vision, where in the middle of a crisis you believe that suicide is the only way out.
There also may be a genetic link to suicide. People who have suicidal thoughts or behavior are more likely to have a family history of suicide.
To help keep yourself from feeling suicidal:
- Get the treatment you need. If you don’t treat the underlying cause, your suicidal thoughts are likely to return. You may feel embarrassed to seek treatment for mental health problems, but getting the right treatment or therapy for depression, substance misuse or another underlying problem will make you feel better about life
- Establish your support network. It may be hard to talk about suicidal feelings, and your surroundings may not fully understand why you are feeling this way. Make sure the people who care about you know what’s going on and are there when you need them. You may also want to get help from your family, friends or other community resources. Feeling connected and supported can help reduce suicide risk.
- Always remember, suicidal feelings are temporary. If you feel hopeless or that life’s not worth living anymore, remember that treatment can help you regain your perspective — and life will get better. Take one step at a time and don’t act impulsively.
Where to get help?
If you know someone who has indicated they are contemplating suicide, take them seriously. Encourage them to seek help from a mental health professional and don’t leave them alone. A psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist can put you on the right path. Therapy can turn out to be extremely useful not only in preventing suicidal actions, but also in turning someone’s life around.
Check out some free resources such as the MSI mini test on Dr. Carla’s website to assess the level of care needed for you or a loved one. This free mental health test will give you an idea of the level of care needed. You can also reach out directly to me to enquire about one of her empowering journeys into self healing using a powerful cutting edge modality, Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT).