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TAKE A U TURN: WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY, SEPTEMBER 10TH, 2018



Life is all about challenges and beating them to keep it moving. It is said that all problems come with their solution; but, sometimes, when people are not able to find out solutions to life challenges or problems they decide to end the life. It’s a state of mind when people are fully convinced that all their issues in life are only going to resolve with the end of their lives. Ending life is the end of all problems. And this act of ending one’s own life is termed as “Suicide”.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention claims suicide as one of the leading cause of death in United States ending life of approximately 43,000 Americans each year. Also, the rate of attempted and complete suicides is noted to be higher among younger people as compared to older ones.

According to research findings approximately 90% of the suicidal behaviors are explained by major depression or bipolar disorder. Major classification of causes of suicidal behaviors includes biopsychosocial causes, environmental causes and sociocultural causes.

Biopsychosocial causes involve mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and personality disorders. Other than this, the category includes substance abuse, childhood trauma or history of abuse, family history of suicide, and chronic life threatening illnesses such as HIV, AIDS and cancer.

Environmental causes that explain suicidal behavior are loss of significant relationship and grief caused by that loss, access of lethal means by which one can attempt suicide like knives, rope, poisonous things and drugs, exposure to suicide, physical abuse, and bullying.

Sociocultural causes involve lack of social support, difficulty seeking help in society, inability to access or unavailability of mental health care services, and believing that suicide is the ultimate solution of all the existing problems.

There are many individuals who feel helpless and unable to find right way to solve their problems. Suicide is nothing but a silent cry for help. Every now and then millions of people are deciding to end their lives. Some of them attempt suicide but somehow survive, and many of them commit suicide successfully. Many times, people around are shocked to see that someone very own of them has committed suicide and pity if they could stop that. It only takes a little time to know about the early warning signs of suicide and if we know about them, we can definitely help someone who really needs our attention. If someone has suicidal thinking you might notice following things in their behavior or conversations:

Expressing feelings of hopelessness: “It’s all finished now; it’s never going to be alright”.

Expressing helplessness: “I can’t do anything, I am all alone, and nothing is in my hands now”.

Expressing death wishes: “If I die all my problems will be resolved, there is no reason to continue living, it’s better to die”.

Avoidance of social interactions by people, who used to enjoy such interactions earlier,

Searching for self-harming means and collecting information on the internet or other sources,

Excessive use of substances, and alcohol or other drugs,

Doing legal procedures to make will, telling family members about life insurance, other financial status, savings etc. increased or decreased sleep and appetite (along with above mentioned signs).

There are many organizations all over the world working for the prevention of suicide. Many organizations run helplines to support such people. Mental health care practitioners have developed treatment models for suicidal behaviors focusing upon enhancing social support, life style changes, and family cohesiveness, problem solving skills, motivation enhancement and crisis management.

If you see anyone around you showing the above mentioned signs, talk to them, listen to them without any judgment, and motivate them to make a fresh start, help them to recall their success stories rather than focusing only on their failures, and most importantly, motivate them to see a mental health professional and bring them to existing mental health care facilities. By doing so, you will become one of the hands who are working for the noble cause of saving many lives. “Help them to take a U turn from the path that ends with life”…and motivate to see the life again from a different perspective altogether.

If you have any query related to this article or any other mental health issue, feel free to write me back at info@talktocure.com

Neelam Verma, Clinical Psychologist

Talk to Cure

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