Suicide is the act of taking your own life by whichever means available. It is typically prompted by external factors but may not be foreshadowed by any extreme indicators. Suicide is a latent drive that manages to manifest itself in even the most unsuspecting of individuals, and as such, it is important to be treated sincerely.
Several factors may contribute to a person committing suicide; mental disorders such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, clinical depression and substance misuse are all common contributors. Depression caused by substance misuse is usually temporary but in certain individuals can be long lasting. It is important to identify those who have tried and failed as suicide, as they are at an extremely high risk of attempting to do so again.
How to know when someone is feeling suicidal.
A large percentage of people omit warning signs when they are considering suicide. Some may confide in another or exhibit common indicators. Professionals on the subject are divided on how to differentiate between those who are seriously considering suicide and those who are contemplating the idea. The best course of action is to offer help to any individual who is having these thoughts.
You can spot suicidal thoughts when a person begins using fatalistic comments, some of which may sound like:
“People will be better off without me”
“Take this [an item he/she values greatly], I do not need it anymore”
“I won’t be in your way much longer”.
These examples are not exhaustive, but offer an idea of the kind of comments which are made by those considering suicide. Suicide is also the most fatal symptom of an individual suffering from severe, or clinical depression. Clinical depression is a recognized mental disorder which manifests when the individual is exhibiting the following symptoms:
- An unending sadness
- Drastic change in sleeping patterns
- Inertia of action and thought
- Loss of interest
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Self depreciation, illogical feelings of guilt.
- Fascination with the concept of self harm and suicide.
These signs are usually easy to spot. When in insolation, the symptoms may be harmless. It is when these symptoms manifest for longer periods of time, or appear all at once that there is cause for concern. At this stage, immediate intervention by family and friends is advised.
Depression and its downward spiral.
Usually when an individual identifies their depression, they turn to other coping mechanisms such as alcohol or drugs to try to distract themselves. Whilst such substances help to temporarily ease the effects of depression, the patient will find themselves sobering up to the reality of their illness. At this stage, the risk of suicide is at its highest and serious intervention is required.
Suicide is a very serious problem and can occur in the most unsuspecting of people. It is important never to ignore the warning signs from loved ones. Try to make yourself available for them when you see these signs beginning to manifest.