ADDICTION AND SUICIDE
Warning Signs of Suicide - Suicide Prevention Tips - Helping a Suicidal Person - Common Risk Factors - Resource Links
A suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. Most people who commit suicide don’t want to die, they just want to step hurting. Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously. If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, you might be afraid to bring up the subject. But talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.
The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide. What drives so many individuals to take their own lives? To those not in the grips of suicidal depression and despair, it's difficult to understand what drives so may individuals to take their own lives. But a suicidal person is in so much pain that he or she can see no other option.
Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable.
WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE
Most suicidal individuals give warning signs or signals of their intentions. They best way to prevent suicide is to recognize these warning signs and know how to respond if you spot them.
Major warning signs for suicide include talking about killing or harming oneself, talking or writing a lot about death or dying, and seeking out things that could be used in a suicide attempt, such as weapons and drugs. These signals are even more dangerous if the person has a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder, suffers from alcohol dependence, has previously attempted suicide, or has a family history of suicide.
A more subtle but equally dangerous warning sign of suicide is hopelessness. Studies have found that hopelessness is a strong predictor of suicide. People who feel hopeless may talk about “unbearable” feelings, predict a leak future, and state that they have nothing to look forward to.
Other warning signs that point to a suicidal mind frame include dramatic mood swings or sudden personality changes, such as switching from being outgoing to being withdrawn or from well-behaved to rebellious. A suicidal person may also lose interest in day-to-day activities, neglect his or her appearance, and show big changes in eating or sleeping habits.
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Suicide Prevention Tips
- Talk to the person, if you see warning signs.
- Respond quickly in a crisis.
- Offer help and support.
Helping a Suicidal Person
- Get professional help.
- Follow-up on treatment.
- Be proactive.
- Encourage positive lifestyle changes.
- Make a safely plan.
- Remove potential means of suicide.
- Continue your support over the long haul.
Common Suicidal Risk Factors
- Mental illness
- Alcoholism or drug abuse
- Previous suicide attempts
- Family history of suicide
- Terminal illness or chronic pain
- Recent loss or stressful life event
- Social isolation and loneliness
- History of trauma or abuse
Find a Licensed Christian Care Counselor:
National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)