Taking one’s life due to external stressors and tragedies can be prevented if you know how it started. By realizing and acknowledging the warning signs of suicide, one would be able to immediately manage it before it gets worse and result in a formidable outcome.
According to Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC, “Not all people who have thoughts of suicide end up acting on those thoughts. But for those who do, generally there is deep emotional pain combined with a belief that things will never improve.” Suicide has many causes. It can be a lot of things. Only the person feeling the suicidal tendencies can adequately explain how it feels to sink to the bottom and decide not to resurface. Some would say that suicide is that jagged-edge feeling of hopelessness and darkness.
A person who considers suicide is someone who needs sufficient attention from their support system. Family and friends should understand that people who are thinking about suicide are experiencing devastating flooding of emotions and for these overwhelming feelings to stop, the person’s last resort is to take his or her life.
If you have ideations of committing suicide or know someone who has suicidal thoughts, the first thing that you should do is to call for help. Suicide hotlines are readily available if the situation necessitates. “Many people who end up killing themselves have mentioned suicide to someone directly or in directly, so take them seriously.” A reminder from Torey C. Richards, LMHC.
Warning signs of suicide
Some of the usual warning signs of suicide are the following:
- Verbally disclosing harmful If you hear someone say, “I want to die,” or “I wish I were gone,” take these statements seriously and act appropriately
- Isolation or the act of wanting to be alone
- Manic-depressive mood disorders
- Preparing for violence or one’s death, like purchasing pills or a gun
- Uttering farewell statements
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Being destructive and erratic
- Putting things in order or voluntarily gives belongings away
- Disturbing and unusual changes in one’s personality
Take note that not all of these signs have to be present to consider someone suicidal. Even one sign is enough. Warning signs also vary from one person to another; while others are vocal about suicide, others choose to keep it to themselves.
Suicide prevention and intervention
Prevention is advocated by medical professionals for suicide to be able to cut the cause before it grows and consumes the person entirely. On the other hand, if a person is already exhibiting suicidal thoughts and impulses and is undergoing crisis, outpatient therapies can be considered.
Preventive measures include:
- Seek medical treatment. With suicide, there is always an underlying reason why it uprooted in the first place. For example, depression. One of the leading causes of suicide is depression. If you don’t deal with your depressive state by seeking the appropriate therapy, it might escalate into suicide.
- Organize a sturdy support system. Support networks are not limited to families, relatives, and friends. It can extend to different support groups and institutions that offer support. As Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. LCPC put it to words, “We only have control of ourselves and our own desire for growth and change. Part of that growth and change is deciding the type of person we allow in our lives, and the positive impact they can have on us.”
Intervention measures include:
- Also known as psychological counseling, psychotherapy explores the different problems or predicaments that created the suicidal thoughts and feelings. Here, the therapist will develop strategies on how to manage your emotions more efficiently and create treatment plans.
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), a kind of treatment that is created mainly to help those who are suffering from a borderline personality disorder, is now being used to reduce suicidal ideations. DBT utilizes mindfulness combined with other coping mechanisms to lessen destructive and impulsive desire of taking one’s life.
Communication is vital
It is not a shame to ask for help. Talking about one’s thoughts and feelings can significantly lessen a person’s inclination to end his or her life.Dealing with the horrors within oneself is not easy. However, knowing that you have people around you who are willing to listen and give support, those who you can have honest conversations with, can help in improving one’s condition and oppose suicidal tendencies.