World Suicide Prevention Day: Never Give Up!
- Dr Neeraj Raj
- 3 Min Read
- Fact Checked
Suicide is derived from the Latin word, suicidium which means self-murder. It is an act of self-harm that’s done with an intention to die. There is a range, however, between thinking about suicide and acting it out. Some people have ideas of suicide that they will never act on; while some others may plan for days, weeks, or even years before acting on it. There may be others that take their lives seemingly on impulse, without premeditation.
Perhaps the most important observation regarding suicide is that it is almost always the result of mental illness, usually depression, and is amenable to psychological and pharmacological treatment.
Some of the most common triggers for suicide ideation are:
- Mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression or paranoia
- Stress or anxiety
- Depressive cognition like guilt, hopelessness, worthlessness, and helplessness
- Lack of self-worth and low self-esteem
- Substance abuse that induces hallucinations or extreme emotional crashes
- Betrayal, abandonment or a painful breakup
- Societal, peer or familial pressure to do something that one is against doing
- Eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia, which disturb the brain’s chemical makeup
- Inability to cope with bereavement due to the death of a loved one or one’s critical illness, etc.
- Extreme emotional pain that affects cognition and decision-making ability
- Societal rejection because of one’s beliefs, sexual orientation, way of life, etc
How to avoid get suicidal thoughts
Suicidal thoughts can be very overwhelming and scary. Sometimes they can be fleeting but most other times, they can become stronger urges that promise relief from the current “unbearable” pain. Some of the things you could do, if you’re clouded with suicidal thoughts are–
Believe that it gets better from here
Suicidal thoughts are best dealt with by believing that it isn’t the end of the road. At that moment, it might get a little hard to convince yourself to do so, but you will be amazed that it is indeed the truth. No matter how hard things get, there is always a way out & ending things abruptly is not a solution.
Give yourself one more chance
Never stop giving yourself another chance. It doesn’t matter how many you have already given yourself, there is always room for one more. And that one chance is all it takes to bring you home!
Talk to someone
Get yourself out of that lonely moment. Reach out to a family member or a friend. It could even be a doctor as well. If you are not up to talking to a person close to you, use a suicide helpline. Do not be alone. Tell another person what is on your mind. By merely talking or opening up, you will notice that things start easing up within you. Eventually, seek an expert counsellor and confide in them. There is no shame in telling yourself and the world, “I need help. Help me.”
Wherever you are, remove yourself from danger. Step away from heights, keep sharp objects away, stay distant from anything that could potentially and fatally harm you. It is often noticed that when one is near anything dangerous or harmful, suicidal thoughts get even stronger. Stay away from such triggers.
Take slow, deep breaths. Slow breathing slows down your heart rate and your brain is supplied with more oxygen. This will help you move your attention away from the thoughts you might be having.
Focus on your loved ones
Gather yourself and try to steer clear of all negative thoughts in your mind. Try to focus on things that are dear to you. Think of happy memories and your loved ones. Try and relax your muscles. Often, they tighten when you are feeling overwhelmed. Loosen up by stretching your arms and legs. When negative thoughts cloud your brain, do not forget that your life is too precious a thing to give up on. Suicide has several implications and none of them are positive. Think of the people that matter to you and to whom you matter – an act like this affects them all.
Seek professional help
Identifying underlying difficulty and finding solutions is very important. Keep in mind that seeking help from a therapist can improve your ability to cope more effectively when future crises arise. If signs and symptoms of a mental disorder are suspected, you will be prescribed medications that can help with your mental health problems. People require long term support involving multiple therapy sessions of sufficient duration and medication in order to allow the person to deal with his or her current difficulties and mental health problems.
So, if something is bothering you – remember that you are never alone in your misery and there will always be somebody out there who will extend a helping hand – all you have to do is don’t give up.
Believe in yourself and all that you are.
Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.