Suicidal Ideations

Suicidal Ideations / Suicidal Tendencies – Recognize and Respond

Knowing The Signs 

We all make mistakes. Hopefully, we can learn  from them – but suicide is one mistake that the victim can never learn from.  Suicide in the United States is a serious epidemic, one of the top five killers  of young people today. It is very important in today’s society that we take  steps to recognize the causes of suicide, the diseases that sometimes create  suicidal tendencies, and the signs that may warn of suicide. Remember that an  early warning could be the difference between life and death. If you feel  depressed and find yourself thinking life is hopeless, or if you have a friend  who seems preoccupied with death, please educate yourself! Whether you recognize  a suicidal tendency in yourself or in a friend or loved one, you could save a life.

Myths about Suicide

Myth — People who commit suicide really want to die.

Fact — Most people who commit or attempt suicide really  don’t want to die. It’s just that they feel overwhelmed by negative feelings and  hopelessness, often as a result of clinical depression, and believe that death  is the only way to end their suffering. Suicidal people don’t want to die; they  want to be helped.

Myth — People with suicidal ideations are weak-willed.

Fact — People with suicidal ideations are sick, predominantly with  clinical depression and often with anxiety disorders as well. These conditions  are diagnosable by a doctor, and are not the victim’s fault any more than  leukemia or cancer would be. With treatment, these diseases and the suicidal  urges can be controlled, and even cured. Suicidal tendencies are not some sort  of personality flaw and are NOT the victim’s fault!

Myth — Talking about suicide is just a cry for attention — people who talk about it never go through with it.

Fact — Yes, talking about suicide is an attempt to get  attention, but not for any selfish reasons. People who talk about committing  suicide are often at a stage of depression where they feel alone and helpless,  and are desperate for someone to reach out to them. NEVER assume that any threat  or consideration of suicide is “idle talk!” Any such behavior should be taken  very seriously, as should any thoughts or urges you may have toward suicide, and  immediate action should be taken.

Myth — If you talk about suicide with a suicidal person, it  makes them more likely to make an attempt on their life.

Fact — Not true! Confronting someone about their intent to  commit suicide actually relieves fear and anxiety surrounding the event and can  prevent a suicide attempt, or at least stave one off until the individual can be  taken to professional help.

Myth — When a person seems happy and calm after a bout of  depression, it means the danger has passed.

Fact — Actually, this situation can be an extreme warning  sign for suicide. Often, when a person decides to commit suicide, making the  decision itself makes them calm because it relieves anxiety and promises an end  to suffering. Even if someone seems better, they should be watched — especially  if the change from depressed and anxious to happy and calm seems very abrupt.

Myth — It is a bad idea to tell someone else about your (or  a friend’s) suicidal ideations / thoughts.

Fact — This is not true. No one can help you if they don’t  know anything is wrong. Talking about how you feel, or even telling and  authority figure about a friend’s suicidal ideations / thoughts, could save their life. Some  people feel embarrassed about their depression and suicidal ideations / thoughts, and don’t  want others to know — but feeling a little embarrassed is much better than  dying.

Warning Signs of Suicidal Ideations / Suicidal Tendendencies

These are common signs that can mean that you  or someone you know is moving closer to suicide.

Depression, particularly extreme or prolonged depression

  • Listlessness, lack of interest in normal activities
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feeling completely overwhelmed, useless, or helpless
  • Talking about suicide
  • Preoccupation with death
  • Ignores responsibilities like work and school
  • Ends relationships, distances friends and family
  • Sudden behavior changes after a period of depression

These are some of the most common  signs of suicidal tendencies, but anyone who is depressed and exhibits unusual  behaviors should be monitored closely and have plenty of support. If you see  these signs in someone else, talk to them about how they feel and offer to help  them. If you are exhibiting these behaviors yourself, talk to a friend or call a  suicide hotline right away! Remember that depression is not permanent and  suicide is not the only way out. Anyone who is depressed and considering suicide  can be helped, and can move past the low period to live a normal, happy life.  Please don’t give up — call someone now.