Suicide is a term we all are aware of, but this lockdown made us feel what really suicide is, it made us feel what does to not only us but to our loved ones and how it affects their mental health as well. The Cambridge dictionary defines suicide as, “a simple act of killing oneself intentionally.” Suicide is a desperate effort to escape suffering that has become insufferable. Clouded by feelings of self-loathing, hopelessness, and loneliness, a suicidal person can’t see any way of finding solace except through death.
In any case, notwithstanding their craving for the agony to stop, most self-destructive individuals are profoundly tangled about taking their own lives. But there is more to it, it is about what led an individual to that stage and how it affects us and everyone who cares about us.
Suicidal thoughts tend to appear in one’s mind when a person ends up losing hope in an overwhelming situation and is no longer able to cope up. However, there are certain genetic, physical and environmental factors that contributes to the situation.
A person may have suicidal ideation as a mental illness passed down from parents and their ancestors genetically putting an individual at the risk of developing suicidal tendencies. Chemical imbalances in the brain can also contribute to the development of mental diseases such as depressive disorders and bipolar disorder, both having strong tendencies to put an individual at a high risk of suicide.
The environmental factors have a major role in reinforcing the suicidal thoughts because we as an individual are exposed to all the things present in our environment that may influence us in a positive or a negative way.
People who are subjected to unhealthy environments are placed at a higher risk of developing thoughts and behavior patterns because of their own emotional pain and personal struggles. Also going through trauma and other life stressors upon which an individual has no control can also result in development of suicidal thoughts and mindset.
A person having a family history of suicides, violence or depression will have higher chances of developing suicidal tendencies as compared to a person having a cheerful family life. A person having a sexual orientation which the society doesn’t consider or acknowledge, a person who suffered physical, sexual or even emotional abuse and neglect, a person who experienced significant trauma or a loss of a family member or a closed one can all have bad effects on mind and result in suicidal tendencies.
Children who experienced violence because of disciplinary, social or school are also prone to depression and suicide. Also abuse of substances and addiction can also result in suicidal tendencies because they significantly interfere with person’s brain chemistry. Failed suicide attempts also be another reason for such behavior.
On an average daily 381 people commit suicide in India which means 1,3,9,123 people lose their life per year. Suicide counted for 1.4% of total deaths caused worldwide making it the 18th leading cause of death in 2016. It is reported that suicide rate in cities is higher than the suicide rate in rural areas indicating that the stressful and busy lifestyle can have adverse effect on an individual.
Suicide is something that not only affects the person who commits it but to those who are related to that individual. It changes their lives forever and mostly in a negative way. Family and friends are often left with the question that why the person chose to end their life.
Shock, numbness, anger, confusion, helplessness and disbelief that there was no chance to say goodbye are some of the initial feelings person feels after losing someone to suicide. Some may feel guilt that they could have done more, they should have picked up the warning signs or might blame themselves for passing of their close one. Many even feel anger and betrayal.
Suicide can be prevented if the person gets proper help. In the majority of the cases suicidal people are dealing with conditions that will pass in time and is not that major. Friends and family can do a lot in the meantime to help the person who is depressed or contemplating suicide.
Prevention requires recognition of warning signs that can include mood swings, hopelessness, loss of interest, talking about death or calling themselves a burden. Don’t discount their feelings even if their problem is small, it is important to know how they perceive their problem.
Be a good listener and try to listen to what they are trying to say. It is a way by which people try to unburden themselves. Don’t leave them alone as there is a danger that the person may end up harming themselves. A past suicide attempt may be a significant sign that suicide could be contemplated by anyone in the future.
Some could speak concerning feeling hopeless or having no purpose in life and feel unfree. They might say such things as “being a burden to others.” They will increase their alcohol or drug intake; some are often terribly restlessly agitated and may have sleeping problems. They either sleep an excessive amount of or insufficient.
Some could exhibit extreme mood swings. And last but not the least always seek professional help whenever you see the situation going out of your hand and make sure they follow up with the appointments with their therapist. In the future, education and awareness among individuals might reduce suicide rates. The one who commits suicide dies once but those left behind die every day trying to survive over those horrible moments and raise why.
Sometimes suicide attempt necessarily doesn’t mean that a person wants to dies. Instead it might be an indicator that they are in great emotional pain and might not know how to deal with it as a result suicide is the only option to escape their situation. They are, however, seeking an alternative to death, and their way of reaching out and saying they need help might be to try suicide.