Updated: Sep 10, 2019
We need to talk more openly about suicide.
No its not a positive topic but imagine how many peoples lives could be saved? No more whispers, no more taboo, no more stigma. We need to make a change. Suicide IS preventable, you can make a difference. Educate yourselves on suicide, if you're thinking why would i do that? Then let me tell you. Every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide. That number is more than doubled counting suicide attempts. 17% of people experience suicidal thoughts in their lifetime. So what are the chances of knowing one of these people or even experiencing thoughts of suicide yourself? The common perception is that someone who attempts suicide wants to die but this is not the case. Events causing someone to experience these thoughts can vary but often they are a cause of a mental health issue. When I say that most people think of depression and even though depression is a leading cause (and very valid one) it is not the only mental illness that can cause it. Other illnesses such as: - Generalised Anxiety Disorder - Social Anxiety Disorder - Obsessive Compulsive disorder (OCD) - Panic Disorder - Bipolar Disorder - Anorexia Nervosa - Borderline personality disorder (BPD) - Body dysmorphic disorder - Schizophrenia - Low mood Something to understand is any of these mental illnesses can cause someone to have suicidal thoughts, these are involuntary and very very scary thoughts about yourself or your life. The most commonly known thought by others is ‘i have no other option’ or ‘i want to end my suffering’ but these thoughts can also be ‘I am a horrible person’ ‘I do not deserve to live’ ‘my loved ones would be better off without me’. It’s important to understand someone can be feeling high levels of guilt, fear, and as if they have betrayed others. You might be thinking that there is no reason for someone you love to be feeling this way but that’s often what suicidal thoughts are: illogical. They’re caused by their mental illness making suicide a symptom of a treatable illness. Suicide is not someone ‘throwing away their life’ it is someone suffering so badly with their mental health. Experiencing thoughts which are beyond scary. It is not their fault. They do not choose these thoughts. The good news is there is something you can do about it. Spot the signs, if someone is struggling with their mental health help them find support. Offer kindness and understanding. If they already have mental health support but seem to not be okay, ask them. It is okay to ask someone if they are feeling suicidal. In fact it is a good thing to ask, it might take some courage but it could save someone's life. Asking them will not make them be more likely to do it, it will not put the idea in their head. People are likely to be too scared to tell someone they having suicidal thoughts because they don’t want to upset a loved one, they don’t want them to get angry or panic, and they don’t want to seem ungrateful. This is why it is even more important to ask someone if they are okay and if you think they are suicidal then ask them. This will make them feel like they are able to discuss it with you, it gets the elephant out of the room straight away if you be direct. If the person is experiencing suicidal thoughts you will need to work out if they are in immediate danger and go from there. Most of the time when someone has suicidal thoughts they are not planning to act on them, however you never know so it’s always good to ask.
If you have experienced suicidal thoughts THANK YOU so much for fighting them. You are so worthy of life and strong enough to beat the thoughts. Be proud of your battle it is so brave, you can keep battling this. Make sure you keep yourself safe,use the links below for support.
If you do not know how to help someone who is suicidal please take this online training by Relias (a company that provides online training for healthcare.) It will take around 20-30 mins of your life but one day you could save someone else’s life. I will issue a warning if you have lost someone to suicide this could be a sensitive thing to watch/complete.
Here are some resources to use for more information: https://www.mind.org.uk/…/suicida…/about-suicidal-feelings/…