Hi there party goers, sorry to bring the mood down, I dont think this post will be a long one, but this post is really important, especially after the year most of us have had. Suicide can be prevented, the more we talk about it, the more we educate ourselves the more we can help some one at their most dire time of need.
Firstly, if the situation is urgent, please do not leave the person alone, call 000/911 what ever you emergency services number is and tell them that the persons life is at risk.
It's assumed in that the suicide rate rises over Christmas, but that is not true, the suicide rate actually drops over Christmas but rises over the New Year period.
People who attempt suicide do not necessarily want to die, they simply want to end the intense emotional pain that follows them day by day. The thought of bringing that pain in to another year, or living another year of intense pain and hopelessness can be unbearable, So why bother?
A lot of loved ones of a person who has fallen to a completed suicide often say that they never saw it coming, or that they were always so happy, for a lot of people who attempt to take their own lives are often showing signs that are painfully obvious, some times not obvious, here is a short list some signs a person may be suicidal:
- Threatening to hurt or kill themselves or Looking for ways to kill themselves: seeking access to pills, weapons, or other means
- Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide: This might be also an outlet of feelings, but it vital to talk the person about what they are talking or writing about, let them know your thoughts, let them open up to you.
- Hopelessness: one of my favourite saying is 'where there is life, there is hope' but not everybody can see the hope in their future, its gone, and to the person at risk, there's not getting it back.
- Rage, anger, seeking revenge
- Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
- Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out
- Increasing alcohol and drug use
- Withdrawing from friends, family or society
- Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
- Dramatic changes in mood: This can go either way, the person at risk, might become sad and depressed as their date of choice nears closer, but they may also grow excited that the pain will soon end.
- Giving away their stuff: There might be something special that the person at risk might give away, so a specific person. Or just giving things away in general, it could be a form of spring cleaning or something a whole lot worse.
- No reason for living, no sense of purpose in life
It's one thing to suspect some one is at risk of suicide or self harm, its another to know what to do, Here are some do's and dont's:
- Do not dispute the person's thoughts of suicide: a simple "Oh come in you dont feel like that" can be more harming then you realise,
- Tell them Suicide is wrong: We all know that suicide is sad, and it leaves people behind hurt and upset, but this is not the time or the place to debate this, this is a life or death situation, your thoughts on the act are not what's important right now.
- use guilt or threats to prevent suicide: do not tell the person they will go to hell or ruin other people’s lives if they die by suicide.
- Minimise the suicidal person’s problems: Their problems might be trivial to you, you might have been through worse, or over come a similar thing, good for you, I'm proud of you but take a walk in their shoes, this is the worst for them.
- Interrupt with stories of your own: I in no way mean to minimise your story, i know you have been through a hell of a lot but it doesnt mean shit right now, if your friend or loved on is at risk of suicide, your stories are not going to help, If you do need help, please come talk to me,
- Don't give insincere reassurance: statements such as Dont worry or everything is going to be okay do not ease the pain, this person has lost all sense of hope, right now, the cant see a possible way that everything can be okay..
- call their bluff: if you do this, you suck! Like, you can be 100% certain that the person is not going to do anything to harm themselves, doing this would be such a slap in the face regardless of their plans.
- give a diagnosis of a mental illness: Read this carefully, People at risk are not necessarily mentally unwell, but menally unwell people are a higher risk of suicide, please do not put a diagnosis on them, its not what they need right now.
- Do not avoid using the word suicide: discuss the issue directly without fear or negative judgement.
- Positive body language: Only 7% of our communication is spoken, that leaves 93% left to other means, one of out biggest communicators is our body language try to hold a positive attitude through this.
- Be patient: It's hard to express our deepest darkest thoughts to some one else, if some one has trusted you with this please, be patient.
- and calm while the suicidal person is talking about their feelings.
- Listen openly: the person at risk is trusting you with their absolute darkest thoughts and feelings, be calm and listen openly and acceptingly to what they are telling you. It's helpful to show you are listening by clarifying important points, or summarising what the person is saying.
- Ask open-ended questions: When talking to the person at risk it's important to give them a place to feel safe and opportunity to explore, closed questions can be answered simply with a 'no' explore with your questions,
- Express empathy: Please know the difference between Sympathy and Empathy, Sympathy is sorrowful and pittying, Empathy is understanding and sharing ones feelings. If you're going to show Empathy, mean it! The Person At risk will know if you dont.
This is literally a do or die situation, if you are afraid somebody is going to attempt suicide please contact authoroties, the person at risk might not like you for it but hopefully soon enough the will thank you for it. It's not easy to be the person who is responding to a person at risk, please be careful, and make sure you talk to some one as well.
Like I said earlier Suicide can be prevented, the more we talk about things like this the more we educate ourselves, the more we educate each other on the risks and what to do the more we will be able to help people.
If you're feeling hopeless please reach out to some one, click below for a list of worldwide prevention numbers. These people don't sit on the other end of these phones for fun, the do it because the genuinely want to help people like you get through this hard time. Reach out to me if you'd like, i'm always happy to listen and give advice. There are many ways to contact me, just hit the contact button at the top of the page!
New Year is a time where most of us feel joy and happiness, we enjoy our families, we celebrate the good things in our life. For many it highlights the divisions, the distance and the loss. Please if you are worried about a work mate, friend or loved one, reach out. They’ll be thankful that you did.
Thanks my post for today guys, I know I said in the beginning it would be a short post and it really wasn't, but i dont mind because it's something I am really important that i feel not enough people talk about this will not be the last post i make on Suicide. Start a conversation, If you think i have missed something please comment it below.