Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering, disappointments and general issues of life, that has become unbearable. It is blinded by the feeling of self- loathing, hopelessness and isolation. A suicidal person can’t see any way of finding relief, except through killing themselves, but despite their desire for the pain to stop they become deeply conflicted about ending their lives. They wish that there was an alternative to suicide but they just can’t see anyone. We all have a responsibility to help someone that is depressed or suicidal. it is important we don’t ignore or neglect people especially when we know they are going through some difficult time. To those who are not in the situation of suicide, depression or despair, it is always difficult to understand the driving force behind many individuals that want to take their own lives. Most times it is difficult to see that a suicidal person is in so much pain than you can imagine.
Some reasons for suicidal thoughts
Sometimes it is difficult to understand what reasons someone has to commit suicide; everyone has different problem but it depends on how we all can handle it.
The following reasons might include:
- Problems from work or financial issues
- Excessive use of drugs or alcohol
- Acute emotional distress
- Anger at other people often due to perceived or real mistreatment
- Stressful life events like a relationship ending or losing a job
- Difficult life events such as experiencing a traumatic childhood or physical and emotional abuse
- Having physical health condition, especially if this causes chronic pains.
Some thought a suicidal person might have
some of the thought that go through the mind of someone that wants to commit suicide includes:
- I’m useless
- I have lost everything
- I’m weak I can’t bear this pain anymore
- No one needs me
- I’m a failure
- I’ a burden
- I’m not good enough
- There’s no point in living
- I will never find a way out of this situation
- Things will never get better
- Nobody cares about me
- If I die, it will be the best for everyone.
Some warning signs to look out for
Not everyone who is having suicidal thoughts will show any outward signs.
The following are the warning signs to lookout for and they include:
- Emotional outburst, like talking about ending it all or seeking revenge
- Withdrawing from people they usually connect with
- Withdrawing from their regular activities such as work or school
- Describing feeling of hopelessness, helplessness or being worthless and saying they wish they had never been born
- Restlessness and increased agitation
- Refusing to do what they usually enjoy doing
- Finding it difficult to sleep or sleep a lot than usual
- Refusing to reply messages calls or emails or being distant
- Always talking about not being around any more
- Having self-destructive behaviors
- Increased use of alcohol and drugs
- Saying unusual goodbyes or unexpected calls to family or friends, saying goodbyes on social media as if they won’t be seen again.
How to help someone considering suicide
- Ask them questions: Ask them question like “are you considering suicide”? communicate with them in a way that they are open to talk to you about their thoughts, like a more supportive way, don’t be judgmental. Ask them question in a direct, unbiased manner, as these can create a more effective dialogue about their emotional struggles. It can help everyone involved to take the needed step to help them. Make sure you take their answers seriously and do not ignore them especially if they indicate they are experiencing suicidal thoughts. Help them focus on their reasons for living and avoid trying to impose your opinion for their reasons to stay alive.
- Be there for them: This means you need to be physically present for them or speaking with them on the phone can’t be with them physically. Show them support in any way you can, make sure you follow through with the way in which you say you’ll be able to support them. Make sure you are not committed to anything you are not willing or able to accomplish. If you are not going to be available, make sure you involve other trusted individuals that can be there for them.
- Keep them safe: Ask the if they know how they want to carry out their suicide plan and the timing they have in mind. Separate them from anything they could use to hurt themselves. Find out if they have already done any thing to try to kill themselves before. For instance, if they have access to firearm, medication or any harmful chemical, make sure you take all these things away from them. Involve those that are closer to them to keep an eye on them.
- Help them connect: To support them, it is important you reach out to their family members, friends, clergy, couches or co-workers, doctor or a therapist. This support can help them establish a safety net for those moments they find themselves in a crisis. Explore some possible support with them like helping them find a good therapist that can help them with their struggles.
- Follow up: Reaching out to them even after the days and weeks of their crisis, can make a meaningful difference- and even help save their life. Make sure to see how they’re doing , leave a message, send a text or give them a call. Check with them to see if there is more you are capable of helping them with or if there are things you’ve said you would do and haven’t yet had the time to get it done for them. This kind of contact can continue to increase their feeling of being connected to a good support from you.
Things you should never say to them
- Don’t say, “I know how you feel”: Even if you have been severely depressed or suicidal before, know that every one’s situation is different. It’s very likely that you do not know or understand how this person feels
- Don’t say, “Get over it”: Suicidal thoughts or depression are not simple to get over. Depression is a complex medical and emotional condition. a person cannot “get over it” own their own.
- Don’t say, “Be thankful for what you have and realize other people have it worse than you do”: This may make the depressed person feel like their pain and sadness is further diminished in importance.
- Do not allow their suggestion to keep it a secret: Even if the depressed or suicidal person ask you not to tell anyone after confiding in you, don’t keep it a secret. It is better to get them help than to keep the secret and they eventually hurt themselves or someone else.
Hearing about someone you know that has committed suicide can be very devastating and painful, we all have a part to play to help somebody in preventing such a painful situation. It is important we don’t ignore any warning signs when we discover someone is feeling depressed and desperately seeking a way to end it all. Make sure you take action when you have to.