10th September is recognized around the world as World Suicide Day. Close to 8, 00,000 people die from suicide every year making it the 18th leading cause of death around the world, that’s one suicide every 40 seconds and this data is worrisome. What drives so many individuals every year, to end their lives?
When a person is going through intense grief and hopelessness, when they feel that living isn’t worth it anymore, they feel that dying would be better than continuing to live. Despite this, suicides can be prevented as most people thinking of committing suicide are deeply conflicted about it and with a little professional help suicide rates can be brought down drastically.
WHO DOES IT AFFECT THE MOST?
It has been noted that suicide is a leading cause of death amongst young people, which could be due to pressure in professional lives, debt, bullying, etc.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that old people are not affected. Suicide may not be a leading cause for them, but it is still a problem. With old age comes loneliness and it might evoke a feeling of worthlessness and meaninglessness in life.
Suicide rates are higher for men than for women in all countries. As a matter of fact, men are twice as likely to commit suicide as women. This could be due to career pressure and not seeking out help.
The suicide rate in men can be as much as ten times higher than in women. In India the ratio is 1:4.
Warning Signs of Suicide:
Talking about it: they try to hint at it by using phrases like “I wish I hadn’t been born”, “you won’t see me again”, or other similar things.
Preoccupation with death: unusual focus on dying, self-harm or suicide. Romanticizing death/suicide by writing about it, talking or consuming media that romanticizes it.
Hopelessness about the future: a feeling of things not getting better, feeling there is no way out of despair, feeling of being trapped in a situation forever.
Self-loathing and self-hate: a feeling of worthlessness or guilt, feeing like a burden on others and thinking it’ll be better if I die.
Saying Goodbye: calls and meetings with friends and relatives like they are going to meet for the last time.
Withdrawing socially: not meeting people, self-isolating and having the desire to be alone.
Self-destructive behavior: increased use of substances like alcohol and drugs, reckless driving, unsafe sex, etc.
These behaviors are fairly common amongst suicidal people, and may vary in intensities.
As a friend/relative, one should always look out for these signals of distress. A person who is contemplating suicide often asks for help through their behavior, therefore one must be vigilant and notice them. Speaking up and offering support, such as listening to their problems, letting them know that you are concerned, and offering to accompany them to see a professional, can really help and bring down suicide rates drastically.
It’s #WorldSuicidePreventionDay. Spread the message that we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide. Be open to talking about suicide & mental health with others. We need to reduce the stigma about suicide to save lives. #WSPD #SuicidePrevention #WSPD2020 #StepCloser
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