Just like Voldemort’s name could not be spoken in Hogwarts outrightly, similarly the term ‘suicide’ is not a part of our common parlance. There’s so much silence and stigma surrounding the term that our alert system goes on the moment we hear it. But the harsh truth is that suicide continues to affect the lives of thousands around the globe – of those who commit it and those are related to these people. Our silence not only blocks people who wish to commit it from seeking help but also it does not let those related to such individuals grieve or mourn, theirs is disenfranchised grief. So, here is our attempt to start some informative conversation around suicide. Hope it helps!
Suicide Does Not Discriminate
Suicidal thoughts can come to anyone completely irrespective of caste, creed, gender, race, religion and status. Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Alan Turing are just a few examples of people who were thought to have achieved some great successes in their life and they all did commit suicide. However, some people are at a higher risk of developing suicidal thoughts and tendencies due to their biological, psychological, economical and social background.
Frequent Warning Signs Exist
Suicidal people are usually undergoing high emotional distress and experience anxiety, extreme mood swings. They feel like a burden on others. Their sleep and appetite is affected. Such people also resort to others in person or on social media to talk about hopelessness and wanting to die. They feel trapped, isolated and might abuse substances.
You Can Help Someone Who Is Suicidal
- Do not assume that the person is acting suicidal to seek attention
- Ask the person if they are thinking of killing themselves (Asking someone this question does not plant the seed of committing suicide in their head. Such people are looking for an outlet, please become one)
- Ask them if they have planned on how to do it (this might be slightly disturbing for the listener)
- Listen to them carefully and without any judgement
- Cut their access to things they can use to injure themselves
- Immediately inform a primary caregiver (this is often the parents or a close relative)
- Get in touch with a Suicide Prevention Helpline
- Stay in touch with them during and after a crisis or any treatment. Show them your love and support.
Suicide Is Treatable
With the right medication and/or counselling, suicidal symptoms are treatable to a large extent. If you find yourself in such a situation, please seek help immediately.
Thinking Of Suicide As A Selfish Act
To think that someone who committed suicide did not care about others and was completely selfish to have done so, does not take into account the emotional, physical and mental distress the person went through before deciding to end their life. Such an approach only looks at the surface, doesn’t dig deep enough. Suicide is often a result of distorted thinking, feeling and behaving. And people most often kill themselves because the pain becomes unbearable, so unbearable that death seems better than living.