Working Together To Prevent SUICIDE !

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What is Suicide ?

Suicide is defined as intentionally taking one’s own life and comes from the Latin suicidium, which literally means “to kill oneself.”

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide and rates of completed suicide are higher in men than women—with men up to four times more likely to kill themselves than women. However, the rates for non-fatal attempted suicide are four times more likely in women than men and are more common in young adults/adolescents.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals aged 15 to 34 and in 2017,—that’s one death every 11 minutes.

Causative Factors

Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk. Suicidal behavior is complex, and there is no single cause.

The most cited factors for suicide include:

  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Genetics
  • Substance abuse
  • Family and social situations.

Psychiatric Disorders: Mental disorders play an overwhelming role in the increased risk of suicide—with estimates suggesting up to 90% of individuals who take their own life suffer from some type of psychiatric disorder.

The mental disorders with the greatest prevalence of suicide risk associated with them include major depressive disorderbipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders.

Substance Abuse: Behind major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, substance abuse ranks as the second-highest risk factor for suicide.

Genetics: is thought to play a role in risk of suicide—such that a family history of suicide tends to indicate an increased risk of suicide among other family members—accounting for up to 55% of suicidal behaviors.

Family and socio-economic problems: are also contributing factors to suicide risk. Unemployment, homelessness, poverty, childhood sexual abuse, social isolation, loss of a loved one, and other life stresses can all increase the likelihood of suicide. Sexual abuse alone is thought to contribute to 20% of the overall risk of suicide.

Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. It is important to note that suicide is not a normal response to stress. Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention, and should not be ignored.

WARNING SIGNS

Often, family and friends are the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide and can be the first step toward helping an at-risk individual find treatment with someone who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions.

  1. Talk

If a person talks about:

  • Killing themselves
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Having no reason to live
  • Being a burden to others
  • Unbearable pain
  1. Behavior

Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Aggression
  • Fatigue
  1. Mood

People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of interest
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation/Shame
  • Agitation/Anger
  • Relief/Sudden Improvement

 

Suicide Risk Factors

Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. It is important to note that suicide is not a normal response to stress. Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention, and should not be ignored.

Risk factors are characteristics or conditions that increase the chance that a person may try to take their life.

  1. Health Factors
  • Mental health conditions
    • Depression
    • Substance use problems
    • Bipolar disorder
    • Schizophrenia
    • Personality traits of aggression, mood changes and poor relationships
    • Anxiety disorders
  • Serious physical health conditions including pain
  • Traumatic brain injury
  1. Environmental Factors
  • Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs
  • Prolonged stress, such as harassment, bullying, relationship problems or unemployment
  • Stressful life events, like rejection, divorce, financial crisis, other life transitions or loss
  • Exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide
  1. Historical Factors
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide
  • Childhood abuse, neglect or trauma
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