There is no single underlying cause for suicide. Suicide often occurs when life stressors far exceed the current coping abilities of an individual who is battling a mental health disorder.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Communities come together and share their stories and resources to help spread awareness about suicide in hopes of preventing another individual from taking his/her life.
More than 41,000 individuals each year commit suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the United States and the second leading cause of death among individuals 10-24 years of age.
Suicide is highly linked to mental health disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders.
Suicide Prevention can be done by reducing the stigma, making treatment more affordable and easily accessible and improving treatment inclusivity to individuals regardless of their sexual orientation, gender or skin color; it may be possible to prevent suicide attempts and as a result, save more lives.
Is Suicide a Selfish Act?
Unfortunately, our society considers suicide to be a selfish act, and many people believe that suicide is a way of robbing loved ones who are left behind on earth.
This viewpoint may be related to how suicide is discussed in certain religions and cultures, worsening the stigma associated with suicide.
For someone who is depressed or feels extremely hopeless, his or her suicidal impulse or attempt is far from selfish.
Often, these individuals firmly believe their loved ones would be much better off without them around. They are unable to imagine a world in which they are not in endless pain, and do not believe that they bring any value to those around them.
Suicide is often a way to end extreme suffering when an individual can no longer endure their pain.
Suicide Prevention – How To Deal With Suicidal Thoughts
Suicidal thoughts formally referred to as suicide ideations, are more common than you may think. Many successful individuals who seem to be happy on the surface are struggling immensely.
You are never alone, and you may be surprised by how many others have contemplated suicide in trying times.
Understanding that these thoughts and emotions are temporary is essential. Suicidal thoughts may not disappear overnight.
Suicide can be prevented with the right support system, therapy approaches, and coping skills; it is possible to break away from suicidal attempts and find the strength to live a full life again.
There are people who need you, places where you can make a difference, and experiences that can remind you that life is worth living.
- Promise Yourself You Will Not Act On These Suicidal Thoughts: Remember that feelings are temporary, but actions can have long-term consequences.
If you are experiencing immense emotional pain, give yourself some space between your thoughts and actions. Your suicidal thoughts do not have to become a reality.
- Avoid Drugs & Alcohol: Drugs and alcohol can be an unhealthy crutch to cover up unwanted emotions, but using drugs or alcohol can increase the risk of suicide attempts.
- Make Your Home Environment A Safe Space: Remove any items you could potentially use to hurt yourself, such as pills, knives, razors, or firearms.
If you are unable to do so, go to a place where you can feel safe. If you are contemplating overdosing on medications, then give your medicines to someone who can return them to you one day at a time as you need them.
- Speak To Someone: It is essential not to keep these suicidal thoughts and feelings a secret. Reach out to someone you trust whether it is a family member, a friend, or a doctor.
Share with them what you are feeling and allow them to offer help. Talking through your feelings can help relieve some of the tension and sadness.
If you do know whom to confide in, then call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Do not let fear, shame, or embarrassment prevent you from seeking help that you deserve.
While these tips may help you manage your daily thoughts and emotions if you’re struggling, you may need more intensive treatment over the long-term.