Understanding Suicide And Saving A Life

Suicide rarely happens in a vacuum. There are often signs and factors that indicate someone is at risk of committing suicide. It's not widely discussed because it's a taboo subject, but there is a scientific field already dedicated to it.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the world, claiming about 1 million lives annually in the world.

Risk Factors

One of the biggest misconceptions about suicide is that it is caused by delusion or psychosis. However, only about 10% of suicides are as a result of such problem. The causes of suicide include anxiety, depression, OCD, borderline personality disorder, addiction, and insomnia.

People with spouses suffering from an addiction, such as gambling or drugs, are at a greater risk of suicide than the average population.

It's true that the majority of people are able to handle those health challenges adequately. But what may not feel like a hopeless situation for A can feel like one for B.

Just because you do not feel something is worth committing suicide for, doesn't mean the suicide risk is not there for someone else. If a close friend or relative mentions something suicidal and he/she is going through a hard time don't assume it's just talk.

Too many people have seen someone they loved take their own life after assuming people who talk about committing suicide do not actually do it.

The people most at risk of committing suicide are those who have attempted it in the past. People who have lost someone to suicide also have a higher risk.

Trauma or loss of someone or an end to a relationship has also precipitated suicide. Suicide can also be precipitated by illness, especially terminal illness. For example, cancer diagnosis doubles the risk of suicide, while a brain injury also increases the risk.

Suicide is also strongly correlated to bullying, especially at a young age or in a prison environment.

It's rare for anyone contemplating suicide seriously not to leave signs.

Signs Of Suicide

  1. If the person suddenly makes a will.
  2. If the person writes a suicide note.
  3. Has a preoccupation with death.
  4. Loss of interest in his/her hobbies or fun activities.
  5. Visits a loved one.
  6. Starts giving prized possessions away.
  7. A sudden period of unexplainable bliss after been depressed for some time. It may indicate that they have concluded that death will put them out of their misery.
  8. Talks about suicide or mentioning it.

People who are at risk of suicide rarely share their thoughts with their therapist and may more likely mention it to a loved or family. It's a chance to save life. Too many people wrongly assume that there is nothing that can be done to help someone who has chosen to commit suicide. The fact the person is still alive is proof that something can still be done and that they are still in doubt. If someone is in imminent danger, call the emergency services.

However, if it's only a suspicion, keep an open line of communication with the person and be there to listen.

Getting help sooner rather than later is preferable and reduces the chances of completed suicide. Those at risk of suicide often fear they will be rejected, or thought of as foolish and keep to themselves. Seeking professional help or helping them seek help on time will greatly minimise the risk.

If they are acutely suicidal, do not leave them alone and try to remove anything that may be used for such purpose.

Most people have suicidal thoughts at a point in their life. However, less than 2% of deaths are due to suicide. Most of the conditions suicidal people suffer from will pass with time or with the help of a professional. These simple steps in this article can save lives and reduce human suffering.

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