“It is so important to talk about suicide. It makes it so much easier when everyone feels like it’s okay to talk openly about suicide because this is how we heal.”-Dr. Christina Hibbert
As promised, my next post would be about suicide. As a therapist serving adolescents and adults, and having had those close to me affected by suicide thoughts and attempts, one being successful, this weighs heavy on my heart. Please do not read this and think it fully covers all information regarding suicide. My posts tend to highlight major points, but it’s important as a society we learn to educate ourselves and support others who are struggling to exist. With that, let’s begin.
What is SUICIDE and forms of?
Suicide- Death caused by self directed behavior with intent to die.
Suicide attempt- Self-directed behavior with intent to die.
Suicidal ideation- Thoughts of considering or planning suicide.
How REAL is suicide?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2016:
Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.
Suicide was the 2nd leading cause for children ages 10-14.
There are 2x as many suicides in the U.S. as there were homicides.
Men are more likely to die from suicide, while women are more likely to attempt suicide.
Firearms and suffocation are the two leading methods.
What are some of the SIGNS?
Talking about suicide
Feelings or talk about hopelessness and helplessness
Feeling numb and having no motivation to live
Talking about extreme guilt and shame
Isolation and withdrawing
Increase in use of drugs and alcohol
Intense mood swings
Giving away possessions
Saying goodbye to family and friends
Writing goodbye letters
Extreme lack of focus and concentration
Poor hygiene and appearance
Loss of motivation
Lack of interest in activities
Pessimistic and hopeless thinking
Planning and researching methods to kill self
Feeling like a burden or feeling trapped
What places someone at RISK?
Prior suicide attempt
Depression and other mental health disorders
Substance abuse disorder
Family history of mental health and suicide
What can I do if I or someone else is having suicidal thoughts?
Contact 911 immediately if you or someone else is at immediate risk.
Seek treatment (therapist, psychiatrist, hospitalization, etc).
Seek support from close and trusted family and friends.
You can contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for confidential, free, 24/7 support.
Who is suicide most likely to affect?
ANYONE. Suicide does not discriminate. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT ON GETTING HELP.
Please copy and paste the following link for additional resources: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/suicide-faq/index.shtml. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) provides an ample amount of resources for people posting on social media, locating providers in your area and more information about suicide.
Live mindfully, hopeful and persevere.
Until next time!
Claudia Stanley, LMSW