DISCLAIMER: If talking about suicide is a triggering topic for you, please don’t continue reading.
More than 800,000 people have died due to suicide, which is one person every 40 seconds.-World Health Organization
I made a post on my Instagram about this at the beginning of the month but I like to share more information on this topic on my blog. We need and can’t be afraid of talking about suicide. Since my content is more geared to people my age, I want to talk about this for people to care more. I believe that we need to be able to have this conversation and help people in the process. I would love to share signs, their thinking process, and ways you can help them. I hope this helps people learn more about this topic. If this is a triggering topic for you, please don’t continue reading.
Also, I’m no way a professional, and this is only to help people understand a little bit more.
People who have the mindset of wanting to kill themselves believe that is their only solution for their situation. They lose interest in things they care about the most. Examples are family, hobbies, their future, etc. They tend to believe themselves as a burden to everyone. This perception leads to the belief that others would be better off without them. They might feel unable to cope with the difficult feelings they are experiencing. These feelings may build over time or might change from moment to moment. And it’s common for them to not understand why they feel this way.
How They May Think Or Feel
- hopeless, like there is no point in living
- tearful and overwhelmed by negative thoughts
- unbearable pain that you can’t imagine ending
- useless, not wanted or not needed by others
- desperate, as if you have no other choice
- like everyone would be better off without you
- cut off from your body or physically numb
- fascinated by death.
What They May Experience
- poor sleep, including waking up earlier than you want to
- a change in appetite, weight gain or loss
- no desire to take care of yourself, for example neglecting your physical appearance
- wanting to avoid others
- making a will or giving away possessions
- struggling to communicate
- self-loathing and low self-esteem
- urges to self-harm.
The Warning Signs
Sometimes it is hard to see the signs of someone that feels suicidal. They can hide it or be outspoken about it. It all depends on the person that is suffering from it. Knowing the signs of a suicidal person will help you find a way to help the person. This is some possible warning signs that the person may be at risk for suicide:
- Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
- Talking about feeling trapped for being in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
What You Can Do To Help
If you think that someone is feeling suicidal, encourage them to talk about how they feel. It can be hard to make them open up but allow an open mind and comfort might help make them feel confident to talk about it. You might feel uncomfortable talking about suicidal feelings but this is normal and understandable to feel this way. So here is a list of things that might help you when talking to a suicidal person.
- Let them know that you care about them and that they are not alone.
- Empathize with them. You could say something like, ‘I can’t imagine how painful this is for you, but I would like to try to understand.
- Be non-judgemental. Don’t criticize or blame them.
- Ask about their reasons for living and dying and listen to their answers. Try to explore their reasons for living in more detail.
- Ask if they have felt like this before. If so, ask how their feelings changed last time.
- Reassure them that they will not feel this way forever.
- Encourage them to focus on getting through the day rather than focusing on the future.
- Ask them if they have a plan for ending their life.
- Encourage them to seek help that they are comfortable with.
- Follow up on any commitments that you agree too.
- Make sure someone is with them if they are in immediate danger.
- Try to get professional help for the person feeling suicidal.
What won’t help someone who is feeling suicidal
- Try and find an easy solution
- Telling them to ‘cheer up’, ‘pull themselves together’, or ‘snap out of it’
- Change the subject
- Telling them they have no reason to feel like that
- Telling them that they should be grateful for having a good life
What to do if someone wants to commit suicide
If you see someone that wants to attempt suicide here are some things you can do to help them.
- Don’t leave them on their own
- Remove items that they can end their life with
- Call 911
- Tell a family member or friend right away what’s going on
- Encourage the person to call a suicide hotline number
- Get help from a trained professional
Thank you for reading this week’s blog. I take suicide seriously, and I hope this helps you understand more about this topic. I’m not a professional, but I just wanted to share information with people. I got my information from the World Health Organization, Rethink Mental Illness, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Click on the links if you need any more information. I love you all and see you next week. 🙂
If you are feeling suicidal thoughts please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255).