All about the mind

World Suicide Prevention Day

10th of September is recognised world over as World Suicide Prevention Day.

Suicide is one of the biggest killers of people aged between 16 and 44 years. More people die committing suicide than in motor vehicle accidents [Source]. In 2009, more than 2000 people died due to committing suicide here in Australia [Source]. More men successfully commit suicide than women because men tend to use more lethal means [Source]. 

On this day, I’d like to do my bit by encouraging people to do the following:

Talk about suicide: It is a myth that asking someone if they are suicidal will “give them ideas” and hence it is “better to not talk about it”. Rather, talking openly about it, reduces the stigma attached to suicide and mental health in general. Most people will have some thoughts of death some time in their lives. That does not necessarily mean they will commit suicide. However, an attempt significantly increases the risk of future attempts, and of course, the chance that they may be successful in their attempt.

Not just for attention: Suicide is not a coward’s act. Sadly, it takes a lot of hopelessness and worthlessness for a person to take that step. If someone tells you they are thinking of killing themselves, don’t fob it off as “attention-seeking behaviour”. It could be a cry for help.

Look for signs: Generally people who commit suicide tend to have mood disorders (depression or bipolar), psychotic disorders, borderline personality disorder or substance abuse problems. Having said that, there may be others without any of these but who are impulsive and may see no point in living. Suicide is generally resorted to because there is no hope, no other way out and nothing to live for. If you notice signs that a loved one is more withdrawn or more isolated, go talk to them. Check on them.

Recommend they see a professional: Remember, if you are not a trained professional, it’s not up to you to save their lives. Yes, you can help them by being there and supporting them. But part of the support involves referring them to see a psychologist.Being a mental health professional, we are asked to conduct risk assessments with every client. We need to check with every client whether they have had thoughts of suicide, thoughts of self-harm, suicide attempts, self-harm attempts and finally, plans for suicide. And of course, we can work through the other issues.

So do your bit this World Suicide Prevention Day: Talk about it. Face to face.

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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No Comments

  • Reply
    Swaram
    September 10, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Thanks for sharing PB.

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      My pleasure Swar! 🙂

  • Reply
    Swaram
    September 10, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Thanks for sharing PB.

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      My pleasure Swar! 🙂

  • Reply
    phonakins
    September 10, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Yes.

    I think also talking OPENLY in person about it, rather than just seeing something about it online is less “Triggering” (for me anyway….)

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      I agree Fiona… 🙂

  • Reply
    phonakins
    September 10, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Yes.

    I think also talking OPENLY in person about it, rather than just seeing something about it online is less “Triggering” (for me anyway….)

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      I agree Fiona… 🙂

  • Reply
    Bikramjit
    September 10, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Well lets hope we can help people and stop one to do or take this drastic step ..

    Bikram’s

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Together, we can Bikram!

  • Reply
    Bikramjit
    September 10, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Well lets hope we can help people and stop one to do or take this drastic step ..

    Bikram’s

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Together, we can Bikram!

  • Reply
    Magali Vaz
    September 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you for this post PB. I recently started to chat with a guy from Bangalore online just for fun. He seemed like a nice guy, & suddenly one day he opened up about his life & told me he’s been through a lot & he’s sure he’ll commit suicide, just not yet as his brother is very young. I’ve had people tell me they wanted to do so in school but then it was easily recognisable as just attention seeking. This guy seemed so serious & I had absolutely no idea what to say. I of course used common sense & told him to see a shrink but he told me that he has & it didn’t help, & antidepressants are dangerous. It was a very different experience for me, I was shaken up for a couple of days & now I’ve been avoiding him.

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Unfortunately, the thought of suicide does scare people. And sadly, in India there is still a lot to be done when it comes to having proper therapy. There still exist several misconceptions around mental health and from the sounds of it, even medication. I can understand you being shaken up though. Let’s hope he has sought some kind of help…

  • Reply
    Magali Vaz
    September 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you for this post PB. I recently started to chat with a guy from Bangalore online just for fun. He seemed like a nice guy, & suddenly one day he opened up about his life & told me he’s been through a lot & he’s sure he’ll commit suicide, just not yet as his brother is very young. I’ve had people tell me they wanted to do so in school but then it was easily recognisable as just attention seeking. This guy seemed so serious & I had absolutely no idea what to say. I of course used common sense & told him to see a shrink but he told me that he has & it didn’t help, & antidepressants are dangerous. It was a very different experience for me, I was shaken up for a couple of days & now I’ve been avoiding him.

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Unfortunately, the thought of suicide does scare people. And sadly, in India there is still a lot to be done when it comes to having proper therapy. There still exist several misconceptions around mental health and from the sounds of it, even medication. I can understand you being shaken up though. Let’s hope he has sought some kind of help…

  • Reply
    Avada Kedavra
    September 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Thanks for the post PB. Even to commit suicide, one needs lot of courage probably. I still wonder how someone can actually give up their life!

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      Yes Ava…I used to mistakenly think it was a cowardly act but I realise it’s not.

  • Reply
    Avada Kedavra
    September 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Thanks for the post PB. Even to commit suicide, one needs lot of courage probably. I still wonder how someone can actually give up their life!

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      Yes Ava…I used to mistakenly think it was a cowardly act but I realise it’s not.

  • Reply
    Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu
    September 13, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Don’t know how talking about the “issues” can sort them out. Sometimes things are just beyond anyone’s control. Nobody can change them. No person is insane enough to consider suicide if there really was anything to look forward to in his/her life. And talking about it usually evokes the same response as Magali mentioned above. People start avoiding that person, giving him/her further reason/motivation to quit life.

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Chicky, even if things are not in someone’s control, talking to someone can help them accept it or put things in perspective. Not all problems can be solved. Unfortunately for some people, due to being depressed, their life does start to look hopeless even though in reality, there may be things that they can do and can look forward to but in their state of mind, they cannot see any of it. Unfortunately, in India, most people do avoid the person who talks about suicide. There is still a huge stigma associated with mental health. Sadly, only when that changes will people’s attitude change.

  • Reply
    Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu
    September 13, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Don’t know how talking about the “issues” can sort them out. Sometimes things are just beyond anyone’s control. Nobody can change them. No person is insane enough to consider suicide if there really was anything to look forward to in his/her life. And talking about it usually evokes the same response as Magali mentioned above. People start avoiding that person, giving him/her further reason/motivation to quit life.

    • Reply
      PsychBabbler
      September 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Chicky, even if things are not in someone’s control, talking to someone can help them accept it or put things in perspective. Not all problems can be solved. Unfortunately for some people, due to being depressed, their life does start to look hopeless even though in reality, there may be things that they can do and can look forward to but in their state of mind, they cannot see any of it. Unfortunately, in India, most people do avoid the person who talks about suicide. There is still a huge stigma associated with mental health. Sadly, only when that changes will people’s attitude change.

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