Cases of suicide, especially among young persons, seem to be on an upward trajectory. A week barely goes by without a mention of a suicide case in the dailies. Leading causes of suicide revolve around romance, substance abuse, finances, bullying, and disillusionment.
While some cases of suicide catch close friends and relatives by surprise, most result from protracted problems. Suicidal persons are likely to show some tendencies that you can spot and help them before it is too late. Here is what to watch out for.
Most suicidal individuals will often describe to close confidants how they are hopeless or are going through unbearable circumstances. Others will say that they feel they’re a burden to family and/or friends.
In some cases, suicidal persons will get into substance abuse. Those already abusing drugs will start taking more than usual.
Suicidal persons often threaten to hurt or kill themselves. Others will often talk about death in a manner bordering on obsession.
Social media posts
Most young people often lead a double life; the carefully guarded real life and an open and rash one social media. Such persons are more likely to post on social media about death and wanting to take their own life.
Querying about death
Some will innocently inquire how one can take their own life. This can be in real life or on social media.
How to Help
- Do not act shocked. Getting shocked may agitate a suicidal person more and may drive them to take drastic actions. Act calm and matter-of-factly try to tell them what they are going through is normal. Once they calm down, get professional assistance.
- Listen to the person as much as you can without judging. At times all a person needs is an understanding ear. Try to offer words of encouragement whenever appropriate.
- Remove anything that may aid in committing suicide. Keep objects such as razors, knives, firearms and medication safely locked away.
- Take suicidal comments seriously and call an emergency hotline in your area.
- Call the police immediately if the person owns a firearm and they are threatening to use it.
Always remember that suicidal persons need help, even if they do not ask for it. Seek outside assistance if you feel you are unsure of how to handle someone who has shown suicidal tendencies.
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