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Understanding Suicide

Updated: Jun 16, 2023




There are signs a person may be experiencing suicidal feelings; these are exhibited in behaviours such as:


  • Making threats of suicide

  • Suicide attempts

  • Gestures of suicide




A threat is usually before or when an individual has planned an attempt. Statements like, “You’ll be alright without me.” “I can’t take anymore.” “I’ll soon be gone.”


A threat is an indication the person is experiencing thought processes but a decision hasn’t been made.


A suicide gesture is what we know as a cry for help.



They are thinking of ways they can be rescued from a suicide attempt.


  • They may call or text someone to tell them they have taken an overdose or done something which has put them at risk or harmed them.


Personal Example:


In 2018, I posted a picture of myself and dated it - from the date I was born to that present day; the present day being the end of my life. I posted this during what was my decision-making process. My post was immediately questioned and was likely what I was desperate for because I wanted to be rescued.

I have come a long way since therapy and to notice these things is powerful.




Behaviour:


  • The person’s usual self changes greatly very suddenly. They may start spending more money than they earn or giving money or valuables away, often as a gift donation or as a way to thank someone.



Crisis:


  • The point the usual problem-solving and decision-making methods no longer work and are inadequate.

  • During crisis, they may decide suicide is the only way to solve the problems and struggles they face.




Causes leading to potential suicide


Depression:


  • Feelings of sadness.

  • Despair and discouragement



  • It may be disruptive to the individual e.g. brain fog.

  • Decreased ability to think.

  • Lower physical ability, including sexual desires.

  • Guilt.

  • Hopelessness.

  • Self-blame or condemnation.

  • Eating and sleeping disorders.




Intervention


Intervention refers to treatment by professionals to support individuals with coping methods using resources available to them. Self-Care is a large contributor to coping with suicidal feelings.



Myths & Facts




Suicide attempts are any actions taken that would result in death if uninterrupted.

Personal loss is a possible cause of suicide, including:

  • A relationship breakdown or end.



  • The death of a loved one, partner, child, parent, sibling, friend or pet.


There is a great deal of misinformation around suicide, and we want to change that.


Myth:

"People who talk about it won't do it."


Fact:

About 80% of those people who talk about it end their life.

  • Someone who talks about it may be giving an indirect warning.



Fact:

If you ask someone about their feelings, whether they are suicidal or not, they are likely to be relieved someone is concerned or has noticed they are actively struggling.


Myth:

"Suicidal people are mentally unwell."



Fact:

They are desperately unhappy, not necessarily mentally unwell.

  • Depression, however, is a mental illness and is a large contributing factor to suicide.



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