What are the warning signs of suicide and why is it important to know them? Suicide is the l0th leading cause of death in the United States and its 100% preventable.
Knowing the Warning Signs of Suicide will help reduce rates
Suicide should never be taken lightly and even the most subtle mention of death needs to be looked at as one of the warning signs of suicide. Concern should immediately be shown to your loved one if they bring up the topic of death regularly, discuss ideas of suicide, or hint at the desire to hurt themselves. Another symptom might be that your loved one has already been seeking out ways to commit suicide, like resorting to searching how to do so on the internet. This is why parents, siblings, and other family members should take notice of what their loved ones may be looking up. Catching potential suicide behaviors before they turn into actions is ideal because it very well may result in saving their life.
Some other warning signs of suicide may not be as obvious, which is why professionals are quick when jumping at the idea that thoughts of suicide are really just attributed to its own specific sort of mental illness. Depression, for example, has many overlapping symptoms with suicide. Feeling like a nuisance, avoiding friends and family, losing interest in previously enjoyed activities, and over or under sleeping are prime examples for both displaying a depressed and potentially suicidal individual. These signs can be displayed at any age from younger to older but they may be most noticeable in people whose age ranges between 15 and 34 since suicide is the second leading killer of that group.
Prevention and Awareness
So can awareness of these warning signs of suicide help minimize this as a significant leading cause of death in the nation? “When we invested in HIV/AIDS and breast cancer, we dramatically reduced the rates of death," began Jill Harkavy-Friedman, who is the vice president of research for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “If we invest in suicide prevention — really invest in it — then we have a good shot at bringing it down.”
Dr. Georg Northoff has remained hopeful for patients with suicidal ideations and tendencies. He began to explain what his findings showed, “We observed in these patients that they show very often abnormally increase in neural activity in a certain set of regions right in the middle of the brain, right beneath your forehead that is also there even during the night, that probably you have sleepless nights, you have all these ruminating thoughts…your thoughts are continuously circulating, ruminating, and it’s all about your own self, you’re not worth it, you may have a feeling of hopelessness, and you are stuck in your own self. You have no ability to reach out to a different kind of self.” With drugs like ketamine and its byproduct hydroxynorketamine (HNK) showing improvement on participants as an effective treatment for depression in research studies, there is hope in the future for innovative medication and treatment options. As pertaining to patients that have an ongoing fixation with suicidal thoughts, Dr. Northoff found that a majority had an increasingly difficult capacity to envision the outcome of the rest of their life. He saw that it was as though the patients were simply unable to even fathom their own future and that they couldn’t picture not being in a state of catastrophic depression. It was as though they were utterly hopeless. Dr. Northoff believes that it is possible to correct such a malady, as there are ways of coping with mental illness and finding healthy ways to resort back to a form of stability in life to function effectively throughout the course of life.
Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health Issues
With suicide comes an unjust stigma. A lack of understanding and knowledge can lead to the stigma of suicide, which is why there is a need for far more education to be brought to the attention of the public. Situations in life do not make your loved one immune to suffering from a mental illness and/or from living with depression. It doesn’t matter how much or how little money your loved one may make, what kind of job title they may or may not hold, where they come from, what they look like, or anything – mental illness and suicide does not discriminate.
Need more information about suicide prevention?
If your loved one is displaying any warning signs of suicide, please do not hesitate to reach out and tell somebody now. Suicide is not a matter you can afford to wait on.