On World Suicide Prevention Day
Learn, Observe and Stepup You could Save a Life
Suicide Warning Signs: To live or to Die
We all encounter feelings of loneliness, helplessness and hopelessness that make us depressed. At some or the other point of life we all face life changing events like loss of a loved one, breakup of a relationship, financial setbacks, loss of dignity, property or personal failures that lead to feelings of worthlessness. These negative life experiences are common but they are unique to each person; depending on their emotional state of mind and endurance threshold they respond differently. Some people are overwhelmed by their situation and they may feel like ending their life. To them ending their life seems to be the only solution to end their difficult situation.
Why would someone want to die?
People going through negative life experiences respond to their situations in different ways. Some may feel all their efforts are futile and are not making a desired impact they may look at death as the only solution to end their misery. Here are some reasons people chose to end their life.
- The death of a loved one.
- A divorce, separation, or breakup of a relationship.
- Losing custody of children, or feeling that a child custody decision is not fair.
- A serious loss, such as a loss of a job, house, or money.
- A serious illness- mental as well as physical.
- A terminal illness.
- A serious accident- leading to permanent disability.
- Chronic physical pain.
- Intense emotional pain.
- Loss of hope- depression, teenage depression, postpartum depression.
- Being victimized (domestic violence, rape, assault, etc).
- A loved one being victimized and feeling responsible for them or feeling unable to help them (child murder, child molestation, kidnapping, murder, rape, assault, etc.).
- Abuse- Physical, Verbal, Sexual abuse.
- Unresolved abuse (of any kind) from the past- childhood sexual abuse, humiliating experiences from childhood.
- Feeling “trapped” in a situation perceived as negative such as a bad marriage; constant blackmail/sexually exploitative relationship; unending debts.
- Feeling that things will never “get better.”
- Feeling helpless.
- Serious legal problems, such as criminal prosecution or incarceration.
- Feeling “taken advantage of.”
- Inability to deal with a perceived “humiliating” situation, like loosing face in the public, social dishonor
- Inability to deal with a perceived “failure,” example poor performance in examination that is critical for future course of life such as, board exams, entrance tests etc.
- Substance abuse- Alcohol and drugs.
- A feeling of not being accepted by family, friends, or society- disapproval of life choices by significant others such as, love marriage disapproved by family.
- A horrible disappointment- loss of job, failing in school
- Feeling like one has not lived up to his or her high expectations or those of others- failure in school or at work.
- Bullying- being teased incessantly, being picked on (adults, as well as children, can be bullied).
- Low self-esteem.
Suicide Warning Signs:
Large majority of people who commit suicide give some clues as to their intentions before they make an attempt. Being aware of these clues and comprehending the severity of person’s troubles can help prevent such a tragedy. A small minority may not exhibit any signs just little awareness on the part of friends, family and colleagues may help save precious lives.
- Appearing depressed or sad most of the time.
(Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.)
- Talking or writing about death or suicide. Many people convey their intentions directly with statements such as, “I feel like killing myself,” “I don’t know how much longer I can take this.”
- People contemplating suicide often have a plan and access to resources required to execute their plan like, chemicals, weapons, vehicle etc. Some may even describe their suicide plan like, “I’ve been saving my pills in case things get really bad,” “I can get some sankhiya (arsenic) from X source (shop, friend, lab etc)” “These days I like to drive as if nothing matters anymore.”
- Withdrawing from family and friends. The person starts preparing for the final exit he/she start detaching themselves from their near and dear ones.
- Feeling hopeless and helpless. In despair they only see darkness and no other alternative to their situation.
- Feeling strong anger or rage.
- Feeling trapped — like there is no way out of a situation. For a person who feels stuck and trapped their thinking is clouded they see no other alternative to their situation.
- Experiencing dramatic mood changes. Sudden changes in mood like, serious one minute and cracking jokes the other.
- Abusing drugs or alcohol. After making the decision to end their life some people start abusing drugs and alcohol in an attempt so as not to change their mind.
- Exhibiting a change in personality. Angry people all of a sudden start behaving friendly and congenial once they make a decision to end their life. Some people who are pleasant and agreeable exhibit signs of aggression as if they no longer care. In a way they are convincing themselves they don’t matter and don’t want others to ever think about them after they are gone.
- Acting impulsively. They make rash decisions regarding money, sex and personal safety. People go on expensive shopping sprees, have unsafe sex and take to adventure/risky sports.
- Losing interest in most activities.
- Experiencing a change in sleeping habits.
- Experiencing a change in eating habits.
- Losing interest in most activities.
- Performing poorly at work or in school- it could be due to ongoing depression and fear of failure but it is an important sign to look out for as it becomes a cause for suicide.
- Giving away prized possessions, I remember our dear friend Durgesh Nadini, the day before she and her boy friend killed them selves she gave away her favorite sterling belt and other expensive stuff to friends. None of us could see it coming.
- Writing a will.
- Feeling excessive guilt or shame. Our friend Mahendra Singh, fatally shot himself on the day he was to be engaged against his wishes to a woman his parents chose for him. His sense of guilt towards his lady love was so strong that he could not bear to live in shame for marrying someone he did not love.
- Acting recklessly. Driving recklessly.
People contemplating suicide may exhibit combination of these warning signs; it is never just one sign. Being aware of these clues may help save precious lives.
Myths and Facts About Suicide
People who talk about suicide are just trying to get attention.
People who attempt suicide, and died by suicide talk about it first. Until in extreme emotional or physical pain, and often thanks. They reach out for help, because they do not know what to do and have lost hope. Always, pay attention to anyone talking about suicide. Always take any such talk seriously.
People who talk about suicide, do not kill themselves.
People who talk about suicide and wanting to die oftentimes kill themselves.
Suicide occurs, without warning signs.
Warning signs always precede a suicide. Seldom, suicide, without signs is observed.
Once people make a decision to die by suicide, no one can stop them. People who are suicidal definitely want to die. People who are suicidal do not seek help.
Suicides are preventable. Most suicidal people, do not want to die, all they want is to stop the pain, be it physical or emotional as the case may be. They want to stop the pain. Many people who are suicidal reach out for help.
Only people of certain gender, race, financial status, age etc. commit suicide.
Suicide can strike anyone. There are scientific studies that draw patterns and profiles of people who may commit suicide. But the fact remains, suicide can strike anyone.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24. Sometimes children under 10 die by suicide. Insert India study.
Those who attempt suicide and survive will not attempt it again.
Those who attempt suicide and survive will oftentimes make additional attempts.
People who attempt suicide crazy.
People are attempting suicide are experiencing emotional distress, due to number of reasons, some not even known to many of us. It could even be a chemical imbalance in their brain. They are not crazy. Anyone could attempt suicide.
Only weak people attempt/commit suicide.
People who attempt/commit suicide in excruciating physical or emotional pain, all they want is, for their pain to stop. Many “strong” people die by suicide.
People who talk about suicide or make threats about killing themselves are trying to manipulate others.
That is not true in most cases. Those who talk about suicide are in pain and in need of help; telling them that they are trying to beget sympathy or influencing another person’s decision about something is both ignorant and insensitive. Often people talk about suicide, before dying by suicide. Always take such talks seriously.
Yes, in some desi families often parents use threat of suicide as a tool to influence their adult children from doing something they do not approve of. At the same time, even children as young as teenagers use similar threats to get their way. It is important to put an end to any such behavior, and not only because they are manipulative, but are dysfunctional. It is a good idea to probe the person about their plan and resources to execute their threat. On such questioning, often times the threat makers who does not have any intentions of dyeing strats rambling , and one can see they are trying to manipulate people around them. But it is wiser not to ignore their threats rather repot them to the law enforcement and medical intervention. It will be a good idea to seek medical and other professional help for them. Often times putting them on the suicide watch, bugs them into mending the ways. It also opens an opportunity to learn constructive way is of meeting pne’s needs and negotiating relationships, rather than emotionally manipulating and blackmailing the near and dear ones.
When people become suicidal they will always be suicidal.
Most people are suicidal for a limited period of time. But it is important to note, suicidal feelings can recur.
When people who are suicidal feel better, they are no longer suicidal.
Sometimes, suicidal people feel better, because they have made a decision to die by suicide that decision-making, gives them a sense of relief that the pain will soon be over.
One should never talk to a suicidal person if they are thinking about suicide, or have a magnet because it can give them an idea.
Talking about suicide to people who are suicidal does not give them an idea for suicide. It is important to talk about suicide with people who are suicidal, in order to learn more about their mindset and intentions and allow them to defuse some of the tension that is causing their suicidal feelings.
There is little correlation between alcohol or drug abuse and suicide.
Oftentimes people who guided by suicide, under the influence of alcohol and drugs. These substances are used as a method of suicide, or the decision to kill oneself is influenced their use.
If you are suicidal please seek help. What ever is overwhelming too shall pass. Please read this for ideal methods and success rate.
If you are a young woman who is jilted by a lover or you are pregnant so you want to hide your secret believe me once you are dead your secret will by posted all over the town and women like my ex-MIL will be gossiping about it for years to come. Find a nearest planned parenthood clinic and seek help. Desi Girl wants you to watch Kamla Ki Maut before you make your decision.
Desi Girl will soon add more information in this page for now she has to get it to you in this form as it has been sitting in her drafts for too long. Thanks for bearing.
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