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coping with suicide

Coping With Suicide

Coping With Suicide – Not many people are comfortable to talk about suicide yet the cases of people taking their lives are on the rise. It is such a highly stigmatized issue that people do not seek help even when faced with suicidal thoughts. What people do not seem to understand is that suicidal thoughts do not indicate that you are mentally insane. For the unfortunate family members who lose a loved one, coping with suicide can be a big challenge since they may not know where to seek help.

coping with suicide

Coping With Suicide

Dealing with Suicidal Thoughts

Normally, suicidal thoughts are brought about by intense feelings of depression or pain that may be too overwhelming for you to deal with alone. Many people have these feelings at some point in their lives but most of the times they are not too intense as to compel you to act on them.

Many of the reported suicide cases could have been averted had someone reached out to help the victims in coping with suicide. Some victims try to reach out to their friends and loved ones at some point but the sad reality is that people do not know how to handle such situations. However, before you attempt to help such a person in coping with suicide thoughts, you need to know how to identify the tell-tale signs.

How to Tell if Someone is Suicidal

Many times a suicidal person will display changes in their behavior, attitude or routine. If your loved one displays sudden changes such as loss of appetite, sleep deprivation or too much sleep and mood swings, these may be indications that he or she is depressed, which could lead to suicide. More conclusive symptoms include phrases and remarks such as:

• This too much for me
• I am tired of everything
• You will miss me when I am gone
• You are better off without me
• I will not be around much longer
• I have nothing to live for
• I just want all of this to end once and for all

You should be alert if your loved one suddenly starts giving away valuable possessions such as an iPod that he or she always carries around as it may be a parting gift. Actions such as changing of a will or paying off debts suddenly should also raise suspicions.

coping with suicide

Coping With Suicide

Helping Someone with Suicidal Thoughts

Most suicidal people do not really want to die but they do not know how to deal with their pain, or do not believe anyone understands them. They may not always ask for your help, but if you notice any of the above symptoms, you can try to help them in dealing and coping with suicide thoughts.

The way you talk to a suicidal person will determine whether you will connect with them him/her or not. You should never argue or lecture someone who is contemplating committing suicide but instead empathize with them. Try to find out what prompted these feelings using kind and sensitive phrases such as, “Did something happen that made you feel this way?” It may not help to claim to understand how he/she feels, but you can express that you care about his/her welfare enough to want to help.

While you may try to talk your loved one out of this situation, you should know that you may not get through to him/her, which calls for other measures. You need to first determine the extent of his/her resolve by asking if they already have a plan. This is very important because if the plan is well thought of to the last detail, there is a good chance that he/she will attempt suicide sooner rather than later. At this point you need to remove any potentially dangerous item from your loved one’s reach such as knives, pens or any firearms that may be within their reach.

The most important course of action you should take after establishing that the suicide thoughts are severe is to seek professional help on his/her behalf. Depending on how profound the feelings are, the person may be put in an institution where there is round the clock monitoring and counseling sessions. Once he or she is allowed to go back home you still have to support them by making sure they take the prescribed medication and giving them moral support. You need to reassure him or her that you still love and respect them.

coping with suicide

Coping With Suicide

Recovering and Coping with Suicide

Sometimes all your efforts may be futile in convincing a suicidal person not to give in to their thoughts, while other times it may take you by surprise when someone commits suicide. Either way, family members, friends and the community in general are usually devastated by such an unfortunate event. The death of a loved one is hard enough to comprehend, but losing someone by suicide takes quite a toll on the bereaved.

What to Expect When Grieving over a Loved One’s Suicide

In order to heal, you need to understand that it is normal to experience a myriad of emotions, but they will all pass with time. They include:

Shock: You will probably be in denial about the death of your loved one once you learn of the incident.

Anger: It is normal to be angry with the deceased as you feel like they intentionally abandoned you. It is also common for people to be angry with themselves for not being able to see the signs or not doing enough to stop the incident.

Guilt: You may blame for yourself for triggering the emotional duress that the deceased suffered from and go over numerous scenes in your mind. In rare and unfortunate situations, the deceased may have blamed you directly or indirectly for their emotional condition prior to their death. This is often the most difficult scenario when coping with suicide, but it can also be overcome.

Grief: Once you have accepted the situation as it is and settled into the fact that you will never see your loved one again; you are bound to feel lonely and hopeless. Sometimes the emotions may be so intense that you may suffer from depression yourself.

When coping with suicide, you need to know that these feelings are perfectly normal under such circumstances and work towards healing and recovery. If you feel that you cannot handle the emotional turmoil do not be afraid to seek professional help from a grief counselor.

coping with suicide

Steps Towards Healing and Coping With Suicide

Reach out to your Family and Friends

The last thing you need when coping with suicide is to be alone. The emotions may be too much for you to bear alone especially if you have no one to talk to and spend most of your time thinking about the incident. Having family and friends around will help you in coping with suicide by keeping your mind off things for a while, and day by day it will get easier.

Allow Yourself to Grieve

You are likely to be tempted to immerse yourself in work and other activities in order to avoid thinking about the ordeal. However, this may not be the best in helping you in the process of coping with suicide because suppressed feelings will later on emerge when everyone else has grieved, leaving you alone in such a volatile situation.

Find a Support Group

Being in contact with other people who are also coping with suicide could go a long way in helping you come to terms with the situation. There are many support groups of people who are helping each other in coping with suicide. Sharing your experiences and thoughts with other people may help you realize that it can happen to anyone and that you can and will eventually move on.

Coping With Suicide

Coping With Suicide

suicide prevention

Suicide Prevention

Suicide prevention is not only a possibility…suicide is 100% PREVENTABLE! While people who intend to take their own lives can be hostile, they can still be convinced to reconsider their intentions through suicide prevention. More often than not, suicide victims reach out before they take their life, because deep down inside…they really don’t want to do it. This article is about suicide prevention and should be read be everybody because suicide prevention SO important!

suicide prevention

Suicide was ranked tenth in the top causes of death in the US in 2010. In that year, suicide accounted for 38,364 deaths. Statistics show that for every 100,000 deaths, 11.3 are suicides. Even worse is the fact that for every suicidal death, there are approximately 11 attempted suicides. SOMEBODY dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes in the United States alone!!!

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) defines suicide risk factors as “characteristics and conditions” that increase chances of a suicide occurring. The foundation says that suicide is most likely to happen if a person exhibits more than one of the following risk factors:

• Substance abuse
• Anti-social or borderline personality disorder
• Conduct disorder (prevalent in youths)
• Schizophrenia
• Depression
• Psychotic disorder
• Aggression and impulsivity especially where mental disorder exists
• If the person has attempted suicide in the past
• A history of murder or attempted murder in the family
• Extreme pain or a serious medical condition

Other factors might include:

• Violence in the family including physical and sexual abuse
• Existence of firearms in the home
• Incarceration

The environment where the person spends most of his or her time can also increase the possibility of suicide. High stressing moments, such as the loss of a loved one, trouble with the law or financial problems may mentally disorient the victim. Unemployment and harassment/bullying. as well as relationship conflicts, have also been found to increase chances of suicides. Finally, exposure to suicide, whether in real life or in graphics, can also influence a victim.

suicide prevention

Suicide Prevention

The breakdown of risk by demographics can be summarized as follows:

Gender — there are more male than female suicides in the US with statistics showing that for every female suicide, there are four male suicides.

Age — adults aged 65 years or more are at the highest risk of suicide with 14.3 suicide deaths for every 100,000 deaths. In young people, those aged between 20 and 24 are at the highest risk with 12.7 deaths per 100,000 compared to 0.9 and 6.9 per 100,000 for age groups 10-14 and 15-19, respectively. It is not surprising that the highest risk is associated with 20-24 year olds, as discussed in Military Suicide in America.

suicide prevention

Suicide Prevention

There are conditions or characteristics that may help decrease suicide risks. As an example, individuals who posses certain skills or abilities, can be encouraged to get involved with solving problems, helping others and regain confidence and self-meaning. The administration of meaningful heath care is also an important component in helping potential victims. Most important are positive relationship with peers, family members, the community and other social institutions, as these groups may help people at risk lean to be resilient.

Many times there are warning signs and you need to be aware of them. When recognized, suicide prevention should be approached boldly. Someone who is contemplating suicide may say it directly “I am going to commit suicide” or indirectly “I see no other way out.” Such a person will show at least one of the following signs:

• Talking about how he/she intends to take his/her life.
• Looking for tools of suicide such as guns and medicines.
• Loss of interest in things.
• Social isolation
• Desperation
• Humiliation, rage, agitation and irritation

Most important is to take it seriously! About 75% of people who commit suicide tell someone about it before it happens. If the person shows any of the warning signs above, do not hesitate to take action. You can contact AFPS or any of the suicide prevention societies in the US including the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide (SPTS), the American Society of Suicidology (ASS) and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) among others.

suicide preventionsuicide prevention

Talk to the person. Start by telling this person how much you are concerned about their well being. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask whether they are planning to commit suicide and what methods they plan to use. Ask if they are on medication so that the doctor can be consulted. Finally, instead of urging them out of suicide, make them know that you care about them.

As a part of suicide prevention, ask them to seek professional help. Try to convince them to see a mental health professional or a physician. Most people on the brink of committing suicide usually believe they can no longer be helped. If they agree to see a professional, you should offer to go with them.

Suicide prevention requires YOU TO ACT! From the moment you know about intended suicide, you should stay as close as possible to the person and never leave them alone. Keep away all drugs, firearms, sharp objects and any other object that could be used for suicide. You should also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Alternatively, just call 911.

suicide prevention

Suicide prevention requires you to follow up on the person’s progress! Where medication is prescribed, you should help them take it as prescribed. Keep in touch with the doctor and updates regarding the person’s progress. Your continued encouragements and support will be needed for the entire process of suicide prevention.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

suicide in America

Military Suicide In America

The problem of suicide in America, especially among veterans, is real concern today. On the average, the United States loses one veteran to suicide each 65 minutes or 22 veterans per day, according to a study by the VA. Unfortunately, these estimates are likely low, as they only include information from the 21 states willing to share their statistics and data collected between 1999 and 2011.

Soldiers are exposed to the horrors of war. They may have seen a best friend die in a battle or a child, native to the country where the war is occurring killed by a land mine. When they return home, they often come with a vacant stare in their eyes. If called back, some choose to go AWOL and receive less than honorable discharges. As the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder grows, they lose hope and see no way out of the condition, becoming another statistic of suicide in America. Some of these soldiers are not a part of the VA system and their death may not be reported.

suicide in america

Military Suicide In America

The mental stress of veterans with untreated disorders has caused many to become homeless. They may be involved in illicit drug use or alcoholism, as they try to numb the pain of war. If they die in this state, there may be no one to attest that the individual served in the war effort. Others may not be counted in the statistics concerning suicide in America as families may place pressure on coroners to not list their death as suicide due to the stigma of mental illness. Vets who die of overdoses or crash cars without a note may not be included in the suicide statistics either.

For many of these soldiers who honorably serve their country, the mental cost is too high. They come home and like Macbeth, feel they cannot wash the blood off their hands. The guilt of war may plague them for the rest of their lives. Night terrors make the problem even worse, as the vet is unable to find relief, even in sleep. For many, suicide in America seems the only out.

The problem is not just with veterans. In 2012, the number of active duty soldiers who committed suicide outnumbered those killed in battle. While they may not have committed suicide in America, their death, in their place of service should be added to the cost of war.

These stories of suicide in America come from an all volunteer militia. For many of these men and women, joining the particular branch of the military had been a life long dream. From their earliest memory, this has been their plan. Some join as soon as they reach age 17 and head to boot camp directly out of high school. Yet, somewhere in the time they are on active duty, these men and women with the most honorable of plans begin to develop problems. Either while on active duty or in the years that follow their discharge, they become another statistic for suicide in America.

Military psychiatrists have who have worked with soldiers and studied the problem attribute the rise in suicidal thoughts to moral injuries. They use this term to describe what happens when something is done to the soldier or the soldier must do something to another which breaks their moral certainty or their understanding of right and wrong. This damage is not attributed to fear of the task that is a natural part of serving, but to feelings of shame. The most likely cause of this feeling is the loss of the life of one of their own people. Friendly fire or the loss of life of women and children can make the symptoms even worse.

Unfortunately, it is not just the soldier who is affected. When he chooses to take his life, it affects the parents, spouse and children. The loss of life at one’s own hand may have the greatest long term effects on the offspring who are least prepared to deal with the cost of war.

Currently, both the VA and the Pentagon are looking at the problem of suicide in America that affects the troops. However, they certainly do not have all the answers. Some of the psychiatric medications often used have a side effect of increasing suicidal thoughts. The problem is likely to continue at least a decade after the troops return home. These soldiers need help and support of the military, government and family if they are to survive the damage they suffered to keep their nation safe. Stop suicide in America and get involved!

Military Suicide In America

Military Suicide In America