Stop Suicide, Grow Up Youngsters!
One of the biggest reasons for deaths in the world besides illnesses such as cancer and heart diseases is Suicide. There are more and more people who are deciding to end their lives foolishly and in a cowardly manner. In Perth Alone, there has been a rise in the number of suicide cases. What is the reason?
There are so many young people, who are unable to cope up with the facts of life and decide to end it. Suicide is becoming alarmingly common these days and there needs to something done about it.
It’s Important to Understand ‘Why suicide….?’:
Increasing population, Globalisation, competition, lack of privacy problems are some reasons that are increasingly driving people to contemplate a step as extreme as suicide. Of the usual demograph, the 20-something age group seems to be the most volatile of the lot.
Unrealistic goals coupled with the desire to have more never seemed to end. Today I want money, then I want more money and thereafter I want even more money. Nothing is good enough, nothing is enough. And that is what frazzles their nerves and makes them fragile.
Break up of the joint family system, increasing number of one parent families, nuclear families, have made parents take the easy way out- giving material gifts in the place of time, communication and emotional stability, as a result the child’s coping skills are not fully developed and this makes them vulnerable to all and any stress-causing stimuli.
Youngsters suffer from a severe loss of a confidence. When they do confide their suicidal tendencies to their friends and family, the warning is usually not taken seriously and sometimes even brushed off as emotional blackmail. The affected individual feels unimportant, emotionally bruised and uncared for. And that’s when the concerned individual decides to act upon the warning. The suicidal feeling can subside with emotional care, communication and concern. Callers can get emotional support for their suicidal pain, they are assured of confidentiality and anonymity.
A few facts…
- Suicide survivors are not attempters.
- There are also family members, others who survive following the death of their loved one by suicide.
- About 1 lac people die by suicide in India every year.
- Each suicide leaves at least 7 people devastated.
- 7 lacs people become survivors every year in India.
What factors make suicide Grief and Bereavement different?
- Suicide death is sudden and unexpected.
- Death by suicide often leaves unfinished, irresolvable issues.
- Death by suicide is often violent.
- Suicide often occurs in systems already experiencing stress.
- Survivor Grief
- Shock and Numbness
- Search for a reason for the suicide … Why?
- Guilt and Responsibility
- Loss and Depression
- Isolation and Confusion
- Loneliness and Social Isolation
- Heighten Suicide Risk
HOW WOULD I KNOW IF SOMEONE IS THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE?Depression and suicidal feelings are very treatable. The adolescent needs to be assessed by a mental health professional and treatment instituted. When in doubt whether an adolescent has a serious problem, choose to get an assessment.
If one or more of these signs of depression persist, help should be sought;
- Frequent sadness, tearfulness, crying
- Decreased interest in activities; or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
- Persistent boredom; low energy
- Social isolation, poor communication
- Low self esteem and guilt
- Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
- Increased irritability, anger, or hostility
- Difficulty with relationships
- Frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches and stomachaches
- Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school
- Poor concentration
- A major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
- Talk of or efforts to run away from home
- Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self destructive behavior
Adolescents who are depressed may say they want to be dead or may talk about suicide. Depressed adolescents are at increased risk for committing suicide. Depressed adolescents may abuse alcohol or other drugs as a way of trying to feel better.
Many of the signs and symptoms of suicidal feelings are similar to those of depression. Signs of adolescents who may try to kill themselves include:
- Change in eating and sleeping habits
- Withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities
- Violent actions, rebellious behavior, or running away
- Drug and Alcohol use
- Unusual neglect of personal appearance
- Marked personality change
- Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork
- Frequent complaints about physical symptoms, often related to emotions, such as stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, etc.
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Not tolerating praise or rewards
A teenager who is planning to commit suicide may also:
- Complain of being a bad person or feeling rotten inside.
- Give verbal hints with statements such as: I won’t be a problem for you much longer, Nothing matters, It’s no use, and I won’t see you again.
- Put his or her affairs in order, for example, give away favorite possessions, clean his or her room, throw away important belongings, etc.
- Become suddenly cheerful after a period of depression .
- Have signs of psychosis (hallucinations or bizarre thoughts).
HOW CAN YOU HELP? WHAT YOU CAN DO?
If you notice these signs and symptoms or an adolescent makes statements about harming him or herself, committing suicide or not wanting to live always take the statement seriously and immediately seek assistance from a qualified mental health professional. People often feel uncomfortable asking the question, “are you thinking about hurting yourself” or “are you suicidal” but it is absolutely necessary. These questions will actually provide assurance that somebody cares and will give the young person the chance to talk about the problems.
HOW CAN I HELP SOMEONE DEALING WITH FEELINGS OF SUICIDE:
- Listen, Listen, Listen. We often undervalue the power of active listening. Help them to hear themselves by rephrasing word and feelings. For example: In other words, what you’re feeling/saying is…”
- Be Supportive: Show that you care. Clearly communicate this support. Say, “I care about you.” “You are important to me.”
- Avoid being judgmental or arguing about moral issues regarding suicide
- Take every complaint or re4ference to suicide seriously.
Be direct when addressing suicidal intentions. Ask: “John, are you thinking about suicide?” If the person is suicidal, studies show that such a question can be a relief. Her or she may actually welcome the chance to express painful feelings. If the person is not suicidal you have still expressed care and concern.
- Evaluate the immediate risk: If suicidal thoughts are present, assess for three major predictors for immediate risk:
- 1. The presence of a suicide plan.
- 2. Possession of means for suicide.
- 3. A time schedule.
- With the presence of each progressive predictor, the chances of immediate harm increase. Specifically ask:
- 1. Do you have a plan?
- 2. Do you have the means?
- 3. When do you plan to kill yourself
- Never leave a person alone who has secured a means for suicide.
- Do not allow yourself to be one helping a suicidal person. Share your concerns with those who can help. Do not be bound by secrecy. An angry friend is better than a dead one.