Suicide is a serious and preventable public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. Suicide prevention methods are based on risk factors in light of underlying conditions in addition to prevention of suicidal thoughts and acts.
Suicide is the intentional taking one’s life or killing oneself. The name comes from the Latin word “suicidium” literally meaning “to kill oneself”. In most countries, it is a criminal offence to commit suicide. Most people who see no hope in their life commit suicide or they are suffering from some mental illness such as depression. Suicide can be committed due to various reasons ranging from mental illness to social condition or from unemployment to heartbreak. There are several causes for a person to harm oneself. Read on the article to know about types of suicides, Suicide Reasons and Remedies, symptoms of suicidal tendencies and ways of Suicide Prevention.
Suicide falls under many categories due to the reason behind them. Some types of suicides are:
1. Egoistic Suicide
Egoistic suicide is committed by a person who feels alone or an outsider in his/her society or social circle or work area. As they feel alone in their peer group, they have low social interactions, resulting in depression and emotional void.
2. Altruistic Suicide
This type of suicide is committed by a person who is extremely devoted to their social group. Mostly such groups are a religious group or a cult, which require extreme sacrifice from the member to show their devotion.
3. Anomic Suicide
Anomic suicide is committed by an individual during a phase of extreme stress and frustration. Such individuals are successful or well-liked in their social and professional circle. They feel responsible for the severe consequences of their actions resulting in a loss for others, and when finding no way out, succumb to suicide.
4. Fatalistic Suicide
Fatalistic suicide is committed by those people who have lived their life under tight regulations. The tight regulations could be by their country or their family. Fulfilling someone else’s expectations and living their life as per those expectations, make them depressed and they consider suicide as an escape.
5. Guilt Suicide
Sometimes a person commits such an act which is shameful or will disgrace to them. They feel it’s better to escape the world rather than face the consequences of their actions. At times, the person is not guilty of any crime or harming other, but is the victim of such an act. These people too at the time think of harming themselves as they feel they will be shamed by the society or the society won’t accept them.
The main causes of suicide or suicidal tendency are depression and loneliness. However, there are many factors which cause depression. Some of the reasons are:
- Psychiatric/Mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder,
- Post Traumatic Stress disorder
- Social conditions
- Substance abuse
- Tragic life instance
- Socio-economic problems such as poverty, unemployment, etc.
- Child abuse
- Sexual abuse
Symptoms & Warning Signs
There are warning signs that are indicators of a person suffering from depression or having suicidal tendency. Look out for these traits to provide early help and Prevent Suicide.
- Enquiring about weapons or other lethal objects
- Talk about self-harm or death
- Feels helpless or hopeless
- Self-loathing/ worthlessness or self-hatred or guilt or shame
- Withdrawal from near ones or isolating
- Getting their affairs in order, creating will
- Increased substance abuse/reckless behaviour
- Extreme mood swings
Most people are clueless, about what how to Prevent Suicide of someone near to them or their family if showing symptoms of depressions or harming oneself. Here are some cues that will guide you to Prevent Suicide to help a person showing signs of depression.
1. Be considerate of their feelings
Sometimes you may feel the person is overacting or their depressing feelings are not serious enough to result in them harming themselves. Even though you don’t take their feelings lightly. Be very careful to not dismiss any emotion or experience however vaguely related to suicidal thoughts or depression. Always take any talk related to depression or taking one owns life or harming oneself seriously.
2. Be patient and a good listener
Most people want others, especially their near ones to listen to them. Being a good listener means you are attentive to them and their feelings. You are someone they can trust with their innermost feelings and unburden themselves. When they can share their feelings, they feel relieved and free from their troubles, resulting in making them happy. You don’t need any special skill or training to be a good listener. Just be attentive to what they are saying, don’t trivialize their feelings nor offer simplistic solutions to show their concerns are not important. Simply be there and listen to them attentively to show you care about them is the best way to prevent suicide.
3. Understand their cry for help
When a person talks about suicide, it is not an indication that they want to end their life. They are feeling depressed or are in such a situation where they see no escape apart from ending their life. The person who doesn’t know how to deal with a situation and is in deep emotional pain talks about suicide or harming themselves. They just want someone to listen to their cry for help and suggest them Remedies to Prevent Suicide to help them to cope with their emotional pain or situation; they don’t know how to deal with.
4. Encourage them to seek professional help
Suicide mostly is the result of depression or emotional pain. So when you see any person suffering from depression or in emotional pain, give them your support, listen to their issues and then suggest them to seek professional help for to prevent suicide. You can be their emotional pillar; however an expert or professional is more suited to treat them and help in suicide prevention. Encouraging near ones to get out of the stigma around mental illness or depression is the best support you can give. Proper treatment will help them to cure their depression or mental illness and lead a happy life.
5. Don’t leave them alone
Though sometimes people might not seem in any imminent danger or seem they might hurt themselves, still if you know someone is depressed, don’t leave them alone. Their feelings of depression might seem harmless, however, one can never know when they escalate and the person feels lonelier. So for suicide prevention make sure there are no pills or objects near them with which might harm them and they are not alone.
6. Ask about their feelings and depression
You may feel it’s wrong to bring up your near one’s depression or suicidal thoughts, however talking about them openly gives them the opportunity to be open to you and works well for prevention of suicide. Don’t think you’re bringing up their self-harm feelings will give those ideas or prompt them to harm themselves. Their depression thoughts are there, irrespective of whether you ask about them or not. However, when you ask about their feelings, they feel close to you and will allow you to know to help them with their emotional pain.
7. Don’t keep their depression a secret
When you come to know that a friend or near one is suffering from depression and might have self-harm feelings, don’t keep those feelings or depression a secret from their family or their near ones. Sometimes the depressed person makes you promise to not tell their family about their depression, as they fear their family might look down on them. Don’t give in to such sentiments, and tell their near ones about their condition. Breaking a promise or secret is good if it helps them to get a healthy and better life.
8. Suicide National & State Helplines
suicide prevention hotlines “provide phone-based services for individuals who are at risk of suicide or concerned about someone at risk of suicide. The helper behaviors and intervention styles that were found to be associated with better short-term outcomes among young and elderly users of crisis hotlines include an attitude of empathy, support, respect, and collaborative problem-solving rather than active listening.
There are several reasons for suicide and it is a complex issue. Each individual is different and has their own reasons for harming themselves. Though mostly suicide is caused by depression or depressive thoughts resulting from loneliness or any tragic event, the best way to stop suicide is to recognize it at the onset. Recognizing the symptoms and taking considerate steps to help your near ones in their time of need is the most effective method of preventing suicide.