In every 40 seconds, a person commits suicide, leading to over 800,000 suicides every year. Albeit every suicide is a personal tragedy, its effect on family, friends, and communities are far-reaching and devastating. As per World Health Organization (WHO), it is the second leading, yet preventable cause of death among 15-29-year-old globally.
Tragically, suicide failed to be recognized as a serious public health concern despite its growing statistics. The taboo and stigma encircling it stood intact. People struggling with a mental cramp barely could stand to speak up about their condition. Fearing, they could be estranged from the society or look down upon as not normal.
The idea of a happy and satisfactory life varies from person to person. While some muddle through the thorns with proper guidance and support, most others fall flat on them. Thus, is normal for anyone to experience suicidal thoughts at some stages of life.
A number of factors can collaborate to intensify a person’s vulnerability to suicidal behavior or suicide. These includes personal, social, psychological, cultural, biological, and environmental.
Furthermore, a person who plots to end his/ her miseries through suicide, exhibit a number of clues or signs to demonstrate their sufferings. Some of these signs see light, while others get choked, poisoned, bled, or drowned in hopelessness and despair.
Below are some of the warning signs that can save a life if acknowledged at the right time.
Alteration in one’s personality or behavior:
A person who considers suicide will display strange behavior like acute sadness or lost amid their own mind, speaking or moving with unusual speed or slowness, abnormal sleeping habits, distraction from everyday chores, eating disorders, involvement in unsafe sex, and increased use of drugs or alcohol.
Visible signs of mental distress:
Enduring with a prolonged grief, sudden and persistent mood swings, and unexpected rage are some of the common signs that should not go unseen. Besides, major mental health issues like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia are recognized as the leading cause of suicide worldwide. This is because people who undergo these depressive phases find it difficult to connect with the happiness string of life. They are wired to feel less pleasure from life and difficulty to match steps with everyday routine.
Shifting to a tranquil state abruptly after a period of depression is a serious sign that the person has found a way to put an end to his or her sufferings.
Due to loss of interest or pleasure from life, a person fighting with his/her inner demons, often isolate himself/herself from social influence. They will find excuses to constrain from interacting with family or friends.
Recent trauma or life crisis:
Traumatic life events like rape, sexual abuse, war, break up, divorce, or death of a loved one can trigger feeling of helplessness, guilty, or ashamed. An individual, under such distressing circumstances, is likely to seek peace through suicide.
Self-mutilation, past attempts to suicide, or covering a family history of suicide can inevitably increase one’s risk to suicide. A person who considers suicide will engage in unusual affairs that they normally do not do. These include visiting friends and family members, making a will, giving away personal possessions, putting businesses in order, and so forth.
Respond to the warning signs at the earliest
Suicides or suicidal thoughts are desperate attempts to escape from a pain. When that plea for help fails miserably, locking all doors of a new beginning, people consider suicide as their final destination. Thus, it is imperative to understand the signs and give the person a chance to talk out their feelings and help in dragging them out of their griefs.
So the next time you find someone losing track with reality, talk to them. Help them find their lost routes.