Suicide and Suicidality

 

Suicide and Suicidality Suicide is the act of taking one's own life on purpose. Suicidal behavior is any action that could cause a person to die, such as taking a drug overdose or crashing a car on purpose.

People who try to commit suicide are often trying to get away from a life situation that seems impossible to deal with. Many who make a suicide attempt are seeking relief from :

Feeling ashamed, guilty, or like a burden to others
Feeling like a victim
Feelings of rejection, loss, or loneliness

Most suicide attempts do not result in death. Many of these attempts are done in a way that makes rescue possible. These attempts are often a cry for help.

Some people attempt suicide in a way that is less likely to be fatal, such as poisoning or overdose. Males, especially elderly men, are more likely to choose violent methods, such as shooting themselves. As a result, suicide attempts by males are more likely to result in death.

Relatives of people who attempt or commit suicide often blame themselves or become very angry. They may see the suicide attempt as selfish. However, people who try to commit suicide often mistakenly believe that they are doing their friends and relatives a favor by taking themselves out of the world.

Causes of Suicide and Suicidality Suicide and suicidal behaviors usually occur in people with one or more of the following :

Bipolar disorder
Borderline personality disorder
Depression
Drug or alcohol dependence
Schizophrenia
Stressful life issues, such as serious financial or relationship problems

Suicidal behaviors may occur when there is a situation or event that the person finds overwhelming, such as :

Aging (the elderly have the highest rate of suicide)
Death of a loved one
Dependence on drugs or alcohol
Emotional trauma
Serious physical illness
Unemployment or money problems


Risk factors for suicide in teenagers include :

Access to guns
Family member who committed suicide
History of hurting themselves on purpose
History of being neglected or abused
Living in communities where there have been recent outbreaks of suicide in young people
Romantic breakup

Symptoms of Suicide and Suicidality Often, but not always, a person may show certain symptoms or behaviors before a suicide attempt, including :

Having trouble concentrating or thinking clearly
Giving away belongings
Talking about going away or the need to "get my affairs in order"
Suddenly changing behavior, especially calmness after a period of anxiety
Losing interest in activities they used to enjoy
Performing self-destructive behaviors, such as heavily drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs, or cutting their body.


Pulling away from friends or not wanting to go out
Suddenly having trouble in school or work
Talking about death or suicide, or even saying that they want to hurt themselves
Talking about feeling hopeless or guilty
Changing sleep or eating habits
Arranging ways to take their own life (such as buying a gun or many pills)

diagnosis of Suicide and Suicidality Do not hesitate to talk about suicide. If you think that someone you know is considering suicide, raise the subject. People are often relieved to talk to somebody about it. Recognizing their agony helps to ease the distress of carrying the burden of pain alone. It is important to listen to what somebody has to say without passing judgment on his or her feelings. Keep in mind that having no opportunity to talk about how badly he or she feels will only make a person feel more isolated.

You may sometimes worry that bringing up the subject of suicide will give ideas to an individual who is already depressed. On the contrary, showing your concern lets a person in distress know that somebody is listening to them. If that person really is considering taking his or her own life, talking provides an outlet for intense, often overwhelming feelings.

Ask direct questions - avoiding the topic may show that you do not take a person's threats seriously enough to inquire. Find out if suicide has been considered, and if they have thought out how and when they want to do it. The more details that have been worked out, the greater the danger that someone plans to commit suicide.



Suicide attempts are often a cry for help. While suicidal people are still alive, they may be holding out hope that they will find the means to cope with their emotions. Urge anybody who is considering suicide to get the Counseling and medical or psychological support that they need as soon as possible.

treatment of Suicide and Suicidality People who are at risk for suicidal behavior may not seek treatment for many reasons, including :

They believe nothing will help
They do not want to tell anyone they have problems
They think asking for help is a sign of weakness
They do not know where to go for help
A person may need emergency treatment after a suicide attempt. They may need first aid, CPR, or more intensive treatments.

People who try to commit suicide may need to stay in a hospital for treatment and to reduce the risk of future attempts. Therapy is one of the most important parts of treatment.


Any mental health disorder that may have led to the suicide attempt should be evaluated and treated. This includes :

Bipolar disorder
Borderline personality disorder
Drug or alcohol dependence
Major depression
Schizophrenia