Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable. In other words, it is an impulsive step taken when a person is blinded by feelings of self-loathing, hopelessness, and isolation. A suicidal person can’t see any way of finding relief except through death. But despite their desire for the pain to stop, most suicidal people are deeply conflicted about ending their own lives. The dilemma, which is faced by suicidal people, is like choosing to stay underground or step up to enter the end’s game.
The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide. What drives so many individuals to take their own lives? To those not in the grips of suicidal depression and despair, it’s difficult to understand what drives so many individuals to take their own lives. Nevertheless, a suicidal person is in so much pain that he or she can see no other option.
A suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. People who take their lives don’t want to die—they just want to stop getting hurt.
Suicide Prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously. If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, you might be afraid to bring up the subject. But talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.
Signs of a person looking forward to suicide:
Talking about suicide – Any talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as "I wish I hadn't been born," "If I see you again..." and "I'd be better off dead."
Seeking out lethal means – Seeking access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
Preoccupation with death – Unusual focus on death, dying, or violence and writing poems or stories about death.
Hopeless for future – Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped ("There's no way out"). A firm belief that things will never get better or change at any cost.
Self-loathing, self-hatred – Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, self-hatred and a burden (“Everyone would be better off without me”).
Getting affairs in order – Making out a will.Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family members.
Saying goodbye – Unusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again.
Withdrawing from others – Withdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.
Self-destructive behavior – Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks as if they have a "death wish."
Sudden sense of calm – A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to attempt suicide.
All of us can do our part to prevent suicide. Reaching out means first paying attention and noticing when people are showing signs that they could be at risk, and second, taking the time to let people know we care.
When you suspect someone is in trouble, you can offer them support and assistance getting help. If you’re concerned, you should ask directly if they are having thoughts about suicide. Open up the subject, look them in the eye and show them you care and want to be there for them. You should do what you can to help the person feel safe and free to talk. You should be careful not to put the person off by trying to talk him or her out of it. Instead, you should really listen and try to hear what people in crisis are feeling. What is the present crisis as they see it? You should reflect back to them what you are hearing to show that you really want to understand. As you get them talking, you also want to look for signs of the part of them that wants to live. You can ask them what has made them feel better in the past and offer to help them try those things now. You can take a walk with them or just sit and breathe together, anything that will help them start to calm down. This might mean just sitting and being with them in their pain. It is important not to leave them alone.
If you want guidance on how to help someone, or if you are in trouble yourself, you can always call us or National Suicide Prevention Number.