10th September is a day dedicated to awareness and prevention of suicides by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, in collaboration with WHO.
There are many activities and programs conducted the world over to bring about awareness by educating people about suicides, signs of suicide and how it can be prevented.
With the kind of stress that we all live with today, suicides seem to have become a disease.
Mental illnesses are definitely major risk factors, but suicides are also an impulsive act, committed in the spur of the moment by a person who may have been suffering from unbearable stress and displayed signs which people around may have failed to notice.
Today, I host my friend, Mahevash Shaikh, a blogger who writes on mental health at her blog, Mahevash Muses, to share this post on the warning signs of suicide.
Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about culture, society, and mental health. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. Do visit her here at www.mahevashmuses.com to download her free book, ’30 Powerful Affirmations To Boost Your Mental Health.’
You can also find her at https://firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over to Mahevash…
When someone commits suicide, one of the first and most common responses to it is something along the lines of “I never saw this coming” and “if only they had reached out to me (then this wouldn’t have happened).”
Knowingly or unknowingly, most people tend to shift the blame onto the victim as he or she never expressed how urgently they needed help.
But the thing is, the person who is now gone probably did leave signs that they were thinking of ending their lives.
It takes a trained eye and some lived experience to be able to see these signs for the red flags that they are.
I have thought of committing suicide many, many times, thanks to my depression and to ensure I don’t act on the thought, I have made myself and my loved ones aware of certain signs to look out for.
To prevent suicide, it is important to recognize these signs and address them in the right manner.
So without further ado, here are 4 signs someone you care about is thinking of committing suicide:
4 WARNING SIGNS OF A SUICIDE:
Sign #1 – Losing interest in everything they used to love
If your friend has suddenly stopped caring about all the things that previously held their attention, it’s a dead giveaway that they are feeling suicidal.
Losing interest in hobbies and life, in general, is also a symptom of depression, which often accompanies suicidal ideation and the act of suicide itself.
Sign #2 – Becoming reclusive and aloof
No, your coworker has not suddenly turned into a cold, distant stranger because of something you did.
Chances are high that for some reason, she is thinking of taking her own life.
When a person is in a suicidal state of mind, they tend to feel physically and emotionally drained.
They also believe that nobody is going to understand their feelings anyway, so why bother trying to talk about them?
Sign #3 – Behaving recklessly
So you think your uncle is having a mid-life crisis because he is suddenly spending money on things he doesn’t need, like the SUV he just bought or the branded (read: overpriced) suits he has recently taken a strong liking to?
While behaving uncharacteristically is a sign of a mid-life crisis, it is also a sign of a person feeling suicidal.
An individual in a suicidal frame of mind thinks that they can get away with pretty much anything because they are going to leave this world very soon anyway.
Sign #4 – Actually talking about it
If you find your partner often making statements like “What’s the point of living?” or even joking about the topic, do not treat it lightly or excuse it as a passing stage of sadness or even depression.
The fact that they are talking about suicide is actually a cry for help and should be treated as such.
You could start by having an honest conversation about it and then consult a professional.
There is a common misconception that talking about suicide makes a suicidal person want to commit the act.
This is far from true; in fact, it is conversations like this that help prevent suicide.
So go ahead and be as direct as you can be.
Please bear in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of suicidal signs.
Always consult a mental health professional if you or your loved one is exhibiting suicidal behavior.
Don’t worry if it turns out to be a false alarm, for it’s better to be safe than sorry.
In your experience, which signs of suicide do suicidal people exhibit?
Do let me know in the comments below.