Suicide is a topic we do not like to talk about. It may make us uncomfortable or we may assume that it is not appropriate “dinner table” conversation. The sad reality is that this causes a lot of misconceptions and untrue facts too surround the topic. There is no single cause for suicide. It is a major health problem and a leading cause of death in the United States, according to the NIHM.
What is the Difference Between a Suicide and a Suicide Attempt?
To begin, the definition of suicide according to the National Institute of Mental Health or NIHM is, “Suicide is when people direct violence at themselves with the intent to end their lives, and they die because of their actions.” However, a suicide attempt is when people harm themselves with the intent to end their lives but do not die.
Who is Most Vulnerable?
Above all, everyone is at risk for suicide. That is to say that, there are certain risk factors that may increase your risk for suicide, like the following:
- A prior attempt
- Depression and other mental health disorders
- Substance abuse disorder
- A family history of a mental health or substance abuse disorder
- Family history of suicide
- Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
- Having guns or other firearms in the home
- Being in prison or jail
- Being exposed to others suicidal behavior, such as a family member, peer, or media figure
- Medical illness
- Being between the ages of 15 to 24 years or over the age of 60
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) men are more likely than women to die by suicide. Women are more likely to attempt suicide. That is to say that men are also more likely to commit suicide by means of a more lethal methods such as: firearms or suffocation. Women are also more likely to attempt suicide by means of poisoning. For more information, follow the link.
What are the Warning Signs to be on the Look out for?
- Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
- Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
- Planning or looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online, stockpiling pills, or newly acquiring potentially lethal items (e.g., firearms, ropes)
- Talking about great guilt or shame
- Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
- Feeling unbearable pain, both physical or emotional
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Using alcohol or drugs more often
- Acting anxious or agitated
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Taking risks that could lead to death, such as reckless driving
- Talking or thinking about death often
- Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
- Giving away important possessions
- Saying goodbye to friends and family
- Putting affairs in order, making a will
For more information about what treatment options Embracia Clinic offers or for setting up a consultation with our medical staff, follow the link!