In the United States, there are nearly 800,000 homeless people, and just about half of them have a mental disorder. Sadly, most of the mentally ill homeless people, are receiving no professional help for their serious mental disorders. Almost 50% of those in the world with mental illness go untreated. In Britain, its reported that as much as 75% of the mentally ill, are not being treated for their mental disorders. This lack of treatment contributes greatly to the high suicide rate among those with mental disorders.
People with mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, unipolar, alcoholism, and substance abuse, are often in a state of distress as a result of their illnesses. Such mental disorders cause depression, feelings of hopelessness, distress, and these feelings are often a trigger for suicide.
There are some major warning signs to look out for that alert a risk of suicide. Here are a few major ones:
- A person talking about killing or harming themselves. Do not believe the myth saying, people who are talking about killing themselves never do.
- It's not just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide, it's a cry for help.
- A person that is talking or writing a lot about death or dying.
- A person seeking out things that could be used in a suicide attempt, such as weapons and drugs.
- Giving away their most prized possessions.
|Reaching out for help|
These are major signs of suicide, and if the person also has schizophrenia, unipolar, alcohol or substance abuse problems, a mood disorder like bipolar, or depression, or has previously attempted suicide, these signals are even more dangerous.
True Life Accounts of Actual Suicides:
- An 18 year old from India hangs himself: Suffering from depression, feeling useless and unaccomplished.
- Kurt Curbain age 27 commits suicide by gunshot: Suffering from drug addiction, mental illness and depression.
- Virginia Woolf age 59 drowned herself in a river : Suffering from mental illness and depression and the feeling that there was no help for her suffering.
- A teenage boy takes overdose of antidepressants: His father revealed his son had bipolar disorder was being treated for depression, and was dealing with bullying at school.
- A 15 year old boy jumps from the rooftop of his school: His suicide note revealed that he was dealing with severe depression.
- A senior ROTC Cadet battling depression takes his own life: He kept his illness a secret because he did not want the Army to know of his illness. This cadet told others that he felt like his brain didn't work anymore. He said that guys were supposed to suck it up, and that he saw himself as a failure.
- Christmas night 2012 a 21 year old young man posts a message to his family and friends on a social media site stating that he was going to end his life. Christmas night soon after the posting he drove his car onto an Amtrak railroad crossing and was struck by a train ending his life. In early November this young man had posted on the same site that "I hide all of my problems behind my smile. Behind my smile is a world of pain. You think you know me, but you have no idea."
In these few examples of tragic suicides all of them were rooted in feelings of hopelessness about life. All of them were dealing with the illness depression. All of them unfortunately felt like killing themselves was the only answer. It is extremely sad to read such accounts of people killing themselves to end the despair and pain that they felt. If you are reading these accounts of suicide and have been having suicidal thoughts, know that there is another answer. No matter how bad you may be feeling there is help available. "Life is Precious Suicide is NOT the answer"
Most Common Suicide Methods:
- Gun shot- Is the method used for suicide 43% of the time.
- Poisoning- Is the method used for suicide 26% of the time.
- Suffocation- Is the method used for suicide 26% of the time.
- Remaining percentages of methods for suicide include drowning, hanging, jumping or cutting
- Suicide is the third leading cause of years of life lost, trailing only heart disease and cancer.
- For every two people murdered in the world, three lives are lost to suicide.
- Per age group, the elderly have the highest risk rate for suicide.
- Eight out of ten people considering suicide give some sign of their intentions.(MHA)
- September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.
- A suicide occurs about every 17 minutes in the U.S. (CDC)
- There are four male suicides for every female suicide. (CDC)
- About 1100 college students commit suicide every year.
- Alcohol is found to be present in 30% of all suicide victims.
- Nearly three-fourths of all suicide victims visit a doctor in the four months before their deaths, and half in the month before. (MHA)
- Those who are depressed and suicidal will sometimes hide their real feelings.
- By your being alert to the triggers for suicide it could help you save a life.
- Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among children that are 5-to-14 years old (AFSP)
- People who threaten suicide, talk about suicide, or call suicide hotlines are 30 times more likely to kill themselves. (MHA)
- Individuals with early onset of bipolar disorder are at high risk for suicide. (JAMA Psychiatry)
- Wyoming had the nation’s highest suicide rate in 2012, and has been in the top 5 per capita for years. According to The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention "there’s less access to treatment, more guns and isolation". There is also often a stigma about accessing mental health treatment in such rugged individualist rural lifestyle areas.
According to a recent study on suicide risk factors from Lund University, the following showed increased risk for suicide:
- Those with depression (32-fold risk)
- Anxiety (15-fold risk)
- COPD (3.05-fold risk)
- Asthma (2.25-fold risk)
- Cancer (1.72-fold risk)
- Stroke (1.67-fold risk)
- Those who have poor social networks are also at higher risk of suicide (e.g. divorced 2.25-fold risk)
If you are feeling suicidal reach out for help. In addition to reaching out for help by talking to somebody how about you take the advice that has been helpful to many others who were having suicidal thoughts, every day say to yourself I'm not saying I won’t ever take my own life by suicide, but I won’t do it today. Refuse to be another suicide statistic, refuse to give into those thoughts, there are much more reasonable solutions to your problem(s) although you may not feel so right now.
When I am feeling overwhelmed and thinking about suicide or self-harm , I’ll take the following steps:
1. Take a deep breath and try to identify what’s troubling me right now.
2. Write down all of the feelings (sad, mad, lonely, helpless, scared, etc.) as a record for later.
3. Try and do things that help me feel better for at least 30 minutes (e.g. have a bath, phone a friend, walk the dog, listen to music).
4. Write down individual negative thoughts and provide an alternative response that changes the perspective.
5. If suicidal thoughts continue, I will call my emergency contact person who is…… at ……….
6. If that person is not available, I will call the 24-hour crisis line at 800 273 TALK or the 1 800 SUICIDE line.
7. If I still feel suicidal and out-of-control, I will go to the nearest hospital emergency department
Those who feel that suicide is the answer are wrong. The answer is to seek professional help for how you are feeling. With professional treatment and medication the likelihood that you can be helped is great. Depression is a horrible illness, but its treatable in many ways. Suicide is a drastic and final decision for a temporary problem. Experts say that examining the lives of those who had committed suicide often reveals a set of contributing factors that could have been productively addressed.
Feeling Suicidal? These Tips can Help:
- Avoid all alcohol and drugs as they are strong precursors to suicide.
- Make yourself talk to other people about your suicidal thoughts. Tell someone how you are feeling. Reach out because help is available for you.
- Stay busy in pleasurable activities.
- Start exercising daily. Exercise has been proven to release endorphin's, and relieve stress.
- Spend a little time each day outside in the sun. Enjoy the beauty of nature each day.
- Remove yourself far away from any means of suicide. Remove guns, knives, drugs, or any other means of suicide far away from yourself.
Note: On December 13th, 2012, researchers at Michigan State University and an international team of investigators wrote an encouraging report titled "Countering Brain Chemical Could Prevent Suicide" In this article they present evidence obtained by their research studies that glutamate is more active in the brains of people who attempt suicide. This discovery offers hope of new treatment efforts for the mentally ill, and holds great promise in countering the high rate of suicides among the clinically depressed. full article here.
In the world almost 3,000 people each and every day commit suicide. Are you depressed? Are you having suicidal thoughts? If so please seek help, don't become another addition to the troubling rising suicide statistics. Get help, people really do care about you and can help you get through this.
"The world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming " Helen Keller
*Click Here to View YouTube Video on Suicide Help and Prevention.