Suicide & Suicidal Behavior

Suicide & Suicidal Behavior

Hopeless, worthless, no other solution to life's problems - these are thoughts that lead to suicide. A suicidal person feels that there is no other answer to their problems. If anyone you know is talking about suicide, take it seriously. While fleeting thoughts are common, anyone with a suicide plan needs help. Don't ignore suicidal behavior. Encourage them to see a doctor - someone who can help them with their problems.

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  • 1 Answer
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    A Marriage & Family Therapy, answered on behalf of
    If your child says something that sounds suicidal, such as, "I don't want to be here" or "I'm going to kill myself," it's worth checking out. It doesn't mean that the child is suicidal. It's not worth freaking out, but it certainly is worth checking out. If your child has said it a couple of times, calmly, ask your child, "How? Have you thought about how you would do it? Have you thought about when you would do it?"

    If the child has specifics, then it's something you absolutely need to get checked out with a professional. If the child doesn't have specifics, then it's not as much of a concern, but always take it somewhat seriously if your child is talking about not wanting to be here or actively killing himself or herself.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Self-injury does not involve a conscious intent to commit suicide, though many believe that people who harm themselves are suicidal. Self-injury (SI) is any deliberate, non suicidal behavior that inflicts physical harm on one's body to relieve emotional distress. There is no simple portrait of a person who intentionally self-injures. This behavior is not limited by gender, race, education, age, sexual orientation, socio-economics, or religion.
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    A , Social Work, answered
    The signs and symptoms that accompany suicidal feelings in bipolar disorder include the following:
    • Talking about feeling suicidal or wanting to die
    • Feeling hopeless, that nothing will ever change or get better
    • Feeling helpless, that nothing you do makes any difference
    • Abusing alcohol or drugs
    • Putting affairs in order (such as organizing finances or giving away possessions to prepare for your death)
    • Writing a suicide note
    • Putting yourself in harm's way or in situations where there's a danger of being killed
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    Too many youth are taking their lives. Did you know that suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4600 youth take their life each year. How can we help these troubled youth? An important thing we can do is identify the warning signs associated with suicide and get help for those who present them.

    Did you know that 4 out of 5 teen suicide attempts occurred after clear warning signs were present?
    • Deterioration in personal hygiene
    • Frequent physical complaints: migraines, stomach aches
    • Episodes of crying
    • Sudden happiness after a long period of depression
    • Self-mutilation
    • Giving away personal possessions
    • Hopeless or vague comments: “I wish I was never born” or “I won’t be around much longer”
    • Direct statements about wanting to kill oneself
    • Themes of death or depression in conversation, writing, artwork, or music
    • Change in eating and/or sleeping habits
    • Drug and/or alcohol use
    • Fatigue
    • Withdrawal from family and friends
    • Violent actions
    • Rebellious behavior
    • Running away
    • Loss of interest in favorite activities
    If you or someone you know shows warning signs for suicide, please seek professional help immediately. 
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Suicide remains very common among teens and children with bipolar disorder. With treatment, the painful thoughts and emotions can be kept under wraps. The sooner they get help, the better. So keep your eye out for several warning signs. Be aware of a child or teen that stops caring about his appearance, seems to lose interest in activities or topics that previously were the coolest thing ever, and gives away cherished possessions such as electronics or a favorite shirt. A child who withdraws socially and isolates himself may also have suicidal thoughts. If a child or teen talks about hurting himself, or about death or suicide, seek help from a trained professional.
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    A , Psychology, answered

    Suicide is the voluntary and intentional act of taking of one’s life. While some suicides may occur without any warning signs, most people who are suicidal do give warnings, such as:

    • Increasing their alcohol and/or other drug use
    • Taking unnecessary risks and impulsivity
    • Threatening suicide and/or expressing a strong wish to die
    • Exhibiting rage and/or anger
    • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
    • Fascinating over or preoccupying oneself with death
    • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
    • Talking about being a burden to others
    • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
    • Isolating or withdrawing oneself
    • Displaying mood swings
    • Telling loved ones goodbye
    • Setting one's affairs in order
    • Giving things away, such as prized possessions
    • Referring to death via poetry, writings and drawings
    • Exhibiting dramatic changes in personality or appearance
    • Changing eating or sleeping patterns
    • Declining in performance

    If you or someone you know shows warning signs for suicide, please seek help.

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    If messages are framed and targeted strategically, raising public awareness has the potential to reduce stigma, shame, and discrimination, and to change community attitudes about mental illness and suicide prevention. Even in countries with more accessible mental health care, emphasis on an awareness that treatment works can lead to increased help seeking behaviors. In addition, public awareness can lead to understanding the need for training of primary and mental health care practitioners in suicide prevention practices.
    Public awareness can be harnessed to achieve political ends. Champions along the political and social spectrum, at the national through the neighborhood levels, can give people permission to discuss mental disorders and suicide openly, without shame, guilt, or fear of embarrassment, and to seek help. That public message has potential to inspire behavioral change throughout the system, including among health care providers, neighbors, and family members of a person with a mental illness. Voluntary grassroots organizations have inspired, organized, and implemented many suicide prevention initiatives around the world. They have started help lines and other local initiatives. In China, for example, long before anyone in the government dared mention the word suicide, communities had funded and operated a national toll-free suicide prevention help line headquartered in Beijing.

     
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    If your relative with serious mental illness (SMI) has shown suicidal tendencies in the past, it is likely that she/he may show these again in the future. For this reason you should be as prepared as possible. The family crisis plan described here is for advanced planning. Though it is not possible always to forestall suicidal action, the plan may enable quick hospitalization and treatment.
     
    • It is recommended that the whole family, including if possible, the ill person when they are having a good period, have input into the Family Crisis Plan. Write it down in simple language and put it where you can easily find it. Give each member of your support team a copy of the Plan. This work is exhausting. Do not try to work with your unwell relative by yourself. Involve your family and any mental health professionals who care for your relative.
    • Watch out for continuing symptoms that signify unrest or anxiety in your relative.
    • Note the names and telephone numbers of those willing to keep the person and the family safe in crisis situations.
    • Note down how hospital procedures work; know the names and telephone numbers of the professionals you need to call. If your relative is admitted to hospital find out the name of the doctor in charge of your relative and be prepared to talk to him in a calm and business-like manner to make sure you are kept informed.
    • If your country has mental health laws, learn about how these laws will affect you if your relative needs involuntary hospitalization or if s/he attempts suicide.
    • Learn in advance whether a doctor will be able to admit your relative for treatment as a willing or unwilling (involuntary) patient. Learn the best way to attempt to admit your relative, e.g., through his doctor or through the emergency department.
    • Some police forces have emergency task forces that have specialists in suicide available. Find out whether this is available from your police service.
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    A number of countries have established national suicide prevention plans or strategies. Their principles and action steps represent good sources for developing specific policy recommendations to present to governmental and legislative leaders. Common elements of these plans and strategies include:
    • Campaigns to increase public awareness of suicide as a preventable problem, to develop broad based support for prevention efforts, and to reduce stigma
    • Community development to support creation and implementation of suicide prevention programs
    • Improved access to services to suicidal people and their loved ones, and improved service delivery efforts through development of guidelines and linkages
    • Media education to improve reporting and portrayals of suicide in the media
    • Training for caregivers to improve recognition of at-risk behavior and delivery of effective treatments
    • Incorporation of licensing standards for professional caregivers
    • Development and promotion of effective clinical and professional practices
    • Means restriction initiatives to reduce access to lethal means and methods of self harm
    • Research and evaluation to promote and support research, improve surveillance systems, and evaluate the effectiveness of new or existing suicide prevention interventions
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    To help reduce the risk of self-harm or suicide at home, here are some things to consider:
    • Guns are high risk and the leading means of death for suicidal people. Take guns out of the home and secure them.
    • Overdoses are common and can be lethal. Take pain relievers -- including prescription medications, aspirin, Advil, and Tylenol -- out of the home. If you must keep them in the home, only keep small quantities or consider locking them in a container.
    • Alcohol use or abuse can decrease inhibition and cause people to act more freely on their feelings. Take alcohol out of the home or only keep small quantities.
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