We, as humans, naturally tend to work together and look after each other. We naturally create support systems with one another within our families, communities, and friends. However, for some of us, this instinct is hard to find or hard to maintain.
Suicide, the act of ending one’s own life intentionally, is often seen as the only ‘solution’ for pain and suffering. In 2011 alone, over 39,000 Americans committed suicide, and across the globe there are anywhere between 10 and 20 million suicide attempts yearly. We have learned that 90% of those who commit suicide have mental illnesses that were probably treatable. In most cases, those illnesses had gone unrecognized and untreated.
Causes and Risks of Suicide
There can be many different causes and risk factors for suicide. Untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide. Someone who is suicidal could be in so much physical or emotional pain that they see no other option for themselves. These people usually have feelings of self-loathing and helplessness. Older, single, white males are the leading demographic for committing suicide. There is also a heightened risk for homosexuals.
Some other risk factors for suicide include unresolved trauma, history of abuse, recent breakup or divorce, alcohol or drug abuse, lack of social support, gambling problems, or family history of suicide/genetics.
Suicide is devastating for everyone, but it can be prevented by applying the right approach of working together to get through tough times.
-Dr. David Buch of Carrier Clinic®
A person who is suicidal may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want it. The most important part of preventing suicide is knowing the warning signs and taking them seriously.
Talking openly and calmly about suicidal thoughts is a great place to start and could possibly even save a loved one. The best way to start the conversation is by telling someone their behavior or actions have been of concern lately. Ask important questions such as how long they’ve been feeling this way and make sure to let them know they are not alone. Do not start an argument with someone who is suicidal, it could just make them feel worse. Remove all potentially life-threatening items including, guns, knives, pills, and razors. Support from friends and family is vital in recovery. This is your opportunity to make a difference and save a life. However, this does not need to be done alone. There are people to help and there is hope.
How to Get Help
A change of attitude, a new season, a promotion at work, etc. won’t cure depression. It requires serious attention, including medication and therapy treatments, which will not only save a life but will make living so much more pleasurable.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, it is imperative to get help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available to call 24/7, every day of the week at 1-800-273-8255. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is also a valuable resource for those seeking help. Calling 1-800-273-8255 will connect anyone to a trained crisis counselor close by. Getting into therapy is also a good idea. Having an unbiased professional to talk to as many times a week or month as necessary could just be the ticket to feeling better.
Suicidal thoughts from you or a loved one should always be addressed. At Carrier Clinic®, an NJ behavioral health center, there are also trained counselors available 24/7 to talk to and to get help from at 1-800-933-3579. There is no reason that anyone should have to deal with these feelings alone. Make the call and believe that we can work together to help.
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