How to Help Those Considering Suicide
After every suicide that takes place those who are left behind are full of grief and of course always wonder what happened and how they could have helped. Often times, according to them, they never saw it coming. Soon, the deceased’s loved ones and other survivors feel confused or betrayed. This is because there were no warning signs hence the event comes as a shock to everyone around them. Some of the early signs of depression include lack of motivation, subdued mood, and other outward signs such as feeling lonely and even sad. All these things make it easy for loved ones and friends to seek appropriate treatment and maintain a support network and positive outlook on life. See more on suicide risk factors here.
Why there is an increase in the suicide rate
According to recent studies, the internet has been pointed out as the main factor contributing to the increased rate of suicide. Instead of the traditional risk factors such as depression, social media allows normal people to start feeling isolated and inferior. This creates a deep set of changes with the actual changes in a relationship, lifestyle, and economic status. For instance, a person can browse the internet while feeling very lonely.
Unfortunately, traditional gender roles have created a very bad environment for discussing issues such as suicidal or depressive issues. Even with several suicide cases and online chatter about seeking help, there is a lot of stigma associated with antidepressants, mental health issues, and other causes such as relational distress, personal insecurity, financial pressure, and other feelings of loss.
In many cases, those who have suicidal feelings tend to keep their feelings because of shame or stigma. This only deepens their loneliness and sense of isolation. Instead of looking for help, they choose to fight it out silently until they realize that coping is no longer possible. This is why identifying those who are at risk is a bit hard. However, this does not mean that all hope is lost.
How to help
The first step towards seeking help is talking with those who are affected about their struggles and thoughts. In most instances, those who talk about their thoughts can eventually be helped. In fact, there are many stories of those who have survived these suicide attempts. This means everyone wants to be loved, helped and live again. While hopelessness may be overwhelming it’s mostly a temporary thing. Depending on the level of emergency and risk, a suicidal person may need to be protected or hospitalized until the emotions subside.
Unfortunately, most people who have suicidal thoughts do not face their struggles head-on. According to studies, suicide and depression are not very much connected the way many people want to believe. This may be because those who are displaying their outward emotions leads to involuntary or voluntary treatment options that ultimately assist them to defeat depression.
Most suicidal individuals bury their feelings until they cannot be able to hide them anymore that is why it is so important you talk about it! Get them to talk any way you can. Empathize and show you care. This can be a long process but so worth it. Most people contemplating suicide also act on impulses that can be triggered by an event or single conversation thereby preventing them from seeking any help. Although this really is hard to understand, it means those who are affected should be put on ongoing awareness of all their co-workers, friends, and relatives. Anybody can find themselves in such situations hence it’s very important to be REAL and aware of the capacity for all of us to struggle. For more details, read careersinpsychology.org
Instead of allowing things to reach a point where they cannot get controlled, we should strive to make everyone aware and treat each other better. A breakup, a lay off, or a loss of a loved one is often enough to completely change someone who has suicidal thoughts. Thankfully, there are many reasons for anyone who may be considering this route.
Although you may be thinking that you’ll see the warning signs and other conversations that may lead to suicide, we should treat everyone as if they need help. We should engage ourselves in constant talking and conversations that can help us live well. In fact, the easiest and the simplest way to help someone who has suicidal thoughts is to listen and empathize with them and if possible ask questions so that you can understand them. If a friend shows any sign or says anything that shows they might be struggling, do not leave the conversation to stop there. Instead, listen attentively and ask them to elaborate further. Express grace, compassion, and sympathy towards them.
By simply listening to your friends and being present for them, you can help them overcome any darkness that they may be facing.