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
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
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
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.
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.