This is a sensitive issue that India now and again fails to address. Mental health is been mocked and underscored. People in India still ridicule going to psychologists for help; instead they think family members should gather and consult because ‘why go to a stranger and share issues?’ People are failing to understand that someone who is facing mental health issues needs professional help.
When Sushant Singh was believed to have committed suicide, these are the statements that I often heard:
‘Why did he commit suicide? He was such a smart person and a talented actor.’
‘He should have been stronger.’
‘What reason does he have to be depressed? He had so many achievements.’
Instead of actively speaking about the mental health issues and how they need to be improved, all that was heard was the noise of people wondering ‘why was such an accomplished person depressed and what would have been so bad that lead HIM to be like this.’ These are the same exact words that echoed everywhere. This shows how our country really needs to have some significant and drastic measures in order to ensure the common mental goodwill.
Understanding the Cause
The WHO has estimated that approximately a million people die each year from suicide. And that’s not counting the failed attempts made. The first thing that everyone thinks when someone commits suicide is, ‘why did they do it? What would have been so bad that it drove them to take their own lives.’ Life is priceless; hence it is very difficult for those who aren’t going through depression to understand why one would choose this path.
Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape the pain and suffering that has eventually or burgeoningly become difficult to bear. People who are suicidal see no hop and end of suffering and can’t think of a better way than death to relieve that pain. They don’t want it to be that way, they want to see the other doors but they are completely blinded by the feelings of hopelessness and self-loathing to see those doors.
There are a few things that need to be understood when it comes to suicide.
Almost everyone that attempts suicide gives you clues or warnings. They say things like, ‘you’ll miss me when I am gone,’ and ‘I don’t see any options’.
People who try to kill themselves AREN’T crazy, they are just deeply hurt and are going through a lot.
People who are suicidal can be talked out of doing suicide if done the right way. They have fluctuating feelings about wanting to live and dying. They want the pain to stop.
Contrary to popular belief, talking about suicide doesn’t give someone the idea of committing suicide. Instead, open conversations about suicide can help save a life.
Warning Signs of Suicide
Like aforementioned, almost everyone who attempts suicide gives warning signs. It can be worse if there is a history of suicides in the family, or if they have mood disorders. The common warning signs are as such:
Talking about Suicide: If they are talking about things like how they shouldn’t have been born, or any talk about dying or suicide.
Self-destructing coping mechanisms: They would do self-destructing actions such as reckless driving and drug abuse.
Hopelessness: Researchers has found that hopelessness is one of the strong predictors of suicide. They will feel trapped and have no hopes for the future.
Self-hatred: They feel guilty and worthless. They believe that everyone is better off without them.
Fixation on Death: They have an unusual focus on death and dying. They think about that more than anything else.
Withdrawal: They tend to withdraw from family and friends.
Suicide Prevention Tips
These tips will help you save a person’s life. People who are suicidal feel extremely vulnerable and are subconsciously seeking help.
Tip #1 Talk to Them
If you see the warning signs, you might be thinking, ‘should I talk to them?’ The answer is yes, you should. It can definitely be difficult to talk to them about it but if you are unsure whether they are suicidal, the best thing to do is ask.
The Dos: Start the conversation by saying something like, ‘I have been concerned about you lately,’ or ‘I feel like you haven’t been like yourself lately.’ You should ask them how they would like your support and if they have decided or thought of getting professional help. Let them know that you care about them and that they matter to you. Tell the, that even if they won’t believe it now, things can and will get better. Listen to what they have to say. Be sympathetic and non-judgemental.
The Don’ts: Don’t act shocked or argue with them about having suicidal thoughts. They are upset and in a lot of pain. Don’t offer solutions and ways because they don’t want you to figure out their life, they just need someone to be there. Don’t promise them that you won’t tell anyone; a life is at stake.
Tip #2 Take action in crisis.
There are four major questions: Do they have a suicide plan? DO they have the means to carry out the plan? Do they have a time in mind? And finally, do they intend to take their own life? The answers to this will tell you the range of danger they are in and if it high or severe, then you need to take quick action. Call the suicide helpline or take them to the emergency room. However, at no costs, should you leave them alone.
Tip #3 Offer Help
It takes a lot of courage to help someone who is suicidal, and here are a few things you can do to help you navigate through it with an easier perspective.
Get professional help. Don’t think that meeting up with other family members is going to solve it. People often find it very hard to understand them and a professional is what someone needs. Try to do whatever’s in your power to get the person professional help.
Encourage positive lifestyle changes. Suggest changes like a good diet, or healthy sleep schedules.
Remove possible means. Remove any means of suicide, including but not limited to sharp object, cleaning products, drugs, belts, chords, wires, and ropes.
Make a crisis plan. A crisis plan aims the person to think about what support someone would need during a crisis. Some things that can be done: Don’t leave them alone, remove the means, talking to a professional or calling a helpline, distraction techniques and reasons why they would want to live (family pictures).
*Note: Please add a note with suitable helpline number for the person to reach if they are feeling suicidal or if they know someone who is*