Are you or someone you know thinking about suicide?
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
People turn to suicide when emotional pain overwhelms their coping resources. Suicide is felt most often when people are in the depths of depression, a common but treatable mental health concern.
There is help for suicide - right now. Why get help? Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Most people who try and commit suicide and don't succeed later look back at their attempt as being at the very bottom of their depression. In retrospect, most people are glad they were not successful.
How do I help a loved one?
While some suicides occur without any outward warning, sometimes people who are suicidal do give some sign they are thinking about suicide. By knowing these signs - and what to do if you if you see them in yourself or another person - you can help prevent suicide.
What are the signs?
Threatening to cause harm to oneself
Looking or referring to ways to kill oneself
Feelings of hopelessness or uncontrolled anger
Acting reckless seemingly without thinking
Increasing alcohol or drug use
Withdrawing from friends, family and society
Giving away possessions
Experiencing dramatic mood changes
Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life or values to others
What should you do if you or someone you know shows these signs?
Take action by seeking help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional, a parent, or by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255). If you feel someone is in immediate danger of taking their own life, call 911 or the Lifeline right away. If you are with the person you think is in imminent danger of taking their life, stay with that person until help arrives.
If you are worried about a friend who is thinking about suicide, click here.
Remember that it’s important to look out for these types of suicide warning signs in order to create a healthy environment for your friend, yourself, and others around you.
For more information:
What are the emotions of suicide grief?
To lose someone to suicide is complex and confusing. It’s unique from other ways people die because someone ended his or her own life. They made a choice and that leaves those of us left behind wondering if there was something we could have done to change that choice. Often, there were mental health issues involved that also could have included substance abuse. There is not one factor that goes into a suicide death.
Our reactions to suicide loss begin with our view and attitude of suicide. If we were raised to believe it is a sin (culturally and/or through religion) or a crime, we often still feel that stigma. And we feel fear that we don’t know where our loved one went after he or she died or what will become of us because we fear telling anyone what happened. Or if our loved one coped with a mental illness, we might believe the suicide was inevitable. Many of the emotions we feel can be traced back to our past experiences of death and suicide (Do we have any? What have they been like?). Even death is a taboo in many families and to top it with suicide makes people more uncomfortable.
Who we are and what’s going on in our lives when the person dies also affects how we grieve. We could be going through some difficult circumstances in our lives, but we also might be experiencing happy events (like a new marriage, new job, or the birth of a child) and the loss tempers them. What was our relationship with the person who died? Were we close to them? Had we shared a history with them? There are many factors to sort through during the processing of a loss and what it means in our lives.
By Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D.
Are you in need of information on grief and grieving? Click Here
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