What is suicide?
Suicide occurs when a person intentionally ends his or her own life.
Who Commits Suicide?
Suicide affects everyone, but some groups are at a higher risk than others. According to the CDC, men are about 4 times more likely to die than women from suicide and 3 times more women than men report attempting suicide. It is the 11th leading cause of death among all age groups and second leading cause among ages 14-24.
What are signs someone might be suicidal?
· Not enjoying activities that were previously enjoyable
· Overeating or loss of appetite (Loss or gain in weight)
· Oversleeping or insomnia (Awakening during night)
· Tiredness, constantly feeling exhausted
· Sense of worthlessness
· Talk about life not being worth living
· Guilt about past failings
· Verbalizing a plan about how to commit suicide
· Withdrawal- socially isolating oneself
· Sadness, tearfulness, “Down in the dumps”
· Irritability, “Cranky mood”
· Intense anger towards someone
· NOTE- Alcohol/Drug abuse may be a sign of self-medication, and an “I don’t care” attitude, that can lead to an indirect suicide.
WHAT CAN TRIGGER SUICIDAL FEELINGS?
· Hopelessness – Feeling there is no solution to a problem
· Hereditary – Family history of Depression
· Victimization- Being emotionally, physically, or sexually abused by a perpetrator. BULLYING
· Displaced anger- Inability to properly express anger towards someone who is hurting you, and turning that anger inwards, towards oneself.
· Physical illness: depression, chronic pain, other ailments
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP SOMEONE WHO IS SUICIDAL?
· Be a loving and supportive listener and do not leave them alone
· Ask if they have a plan
· Get help and don’t try to do it alone (parents, pastor, teacher, etc)
· Get professional help or call the national helpline1-800-273- TALK
How does suicide affect health?
By its definition, suicide is fatal. There is no going back and no opportunity to fix any problems the person is struggling with. Those who attempt suicide and survive may have serious injuries like broken bones, brain damage, and organ failure. They also often may have other mental health problems. Clearly suicide is a very serious matter and everything should be done to help these people.
Why should we care if someone else wants to end his or her own life?
We should care about every human life and do everything in our power to help them find a different answer than death. Often, suicide is not what a person considering suicide truly wants, but it is the only answer they can find to their situation. Anywhere from one-third to 80% of all suicide attempts are impulsive acts, according to The New England Journal of Medicine; and 24% of those who made near-lethal suicide attempts decided to kill themselves less than five minutes before the attempt, and 70% made the decision within an hour of the attempt.
Suicidal urges are sometimes caused by immediate stressors, such as a break-up or job loss, that go away with the passage of time. 90% of people who survive suicide attempts, including the most lethal types like shooting one's self in the head, don't end up killing themselves later. That statistic reflects the "temporary nature and fleeting sway of many suicidal crises," reports The New England Journal of Medicine.
A 1978 study of 515 people who were prevented from attempting suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge between 1937 and 1971 found after more than 26 years 94% were still alive or had died of natural causes.
An example of this would be: Then-28-year-old Ken Baldwin who survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge recalled “I instantly realized that everything in my life that I'd thought was unfixable was totally fixable — except for having just jumped”
As fellow friends, siblings, coworkers, and citizens we need to help them find a different answer than death to their problems and feelings. This is a life and death issue and we should care about all humanity. Look up, look around, and help people love life.
Why is suicide a public health problem?
As a leading cause of death, this is a national health issue particularly since it pertains so acutely to young people. It is the 11th leading cause of death in all ages, 3rd in ALL young people, and 2nd in ages 14-24 years of age. Every 25 hours an active service man commits suicide and a veteran every 65 minutes. These rates are epidemic and as a society we need to help. We need to find a solution for society that promotes life not death to their problems.
What if I feel uncomfortable talking to someone I think may be struggling with suicidal thoughts?
Talking about suicide is hard. It has become a major taboo issue and because of it the rates are climbing every year. It is tough to be the person in the situation, the friend, or the parents, but every life is worth it. Many times people who are attempting suicide are trying to be heard, so listen and engage. Speak up to save lives; you will never regret showing some extra love.
Every person is unique and has something to offer society. Every person was purposed and created by God and their life is precious. We are all different for a reason, so let us help you find yours.