Suicide, or killing oneself is the ultimate act of despair. People with suicidal thoughts or behavior experience dangerously extreme feelings of hopelessness in reaction to problems in life like loss, disappointment and failure. For most, suicide becomes a permanent solution to problems that are often only temporary.
Girls are more likely than men to attempt suicide. Older adults are the highest at-risk population in the United States. Suicide among adolescents and young adults has declined in recent years however, continues to be a troubling occurrence.
Suicide is closely linked to major depression and spontaneous behavior. Untreated significant depression poses the best threat of suicide, but many distinct factors may increase a person’s risk. These include other mental illnesses (like borderline personality disorder [BPD] and substance abuse), chronic or terminal physical illness and ecological elements. In particular, emotional disorders (e.g., melancholy, BPD) that coexist with substance abuse, pose a substantial risk factor for suicidal thinking and behaviour. Additionally, low levels of serotonin in the brain are correlated with both depression and suicidal behaviour. Past suicide attempts and a family history of suicide may also place a person at risk for suicide.
Many people who commit suicide provide some type of warning to people around them. The indications are very similar to those of melancholy and may include a loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, isolation and a preoccupation with death. In general, a particular strategy for suicide using a date/time and access to lethal methods indicate a very clear threat of suicide.
Suicide prevention includes educating people to comprehend and react to the warning signs of suicide. Physical or mental health evaluations may help identify disorders regarding the suicidal thoughts/behavior. In extreme and rare cases, electroconvulsive therapy may be recommended.
Friends and relatives of a suicidal person might have to intervene in case a loved individual poses a direct danger to himself or herself. This can include contacting a doctor, mental health provider, hospital emergency room or emergency providers. Inpatient psychiatric care may at times be necessary.
Individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts/behavior can do several things to stay on course with their treatment. These include creating a security plan, creating a support system, removing lethal methods or methods from their home, and preventing alcohol or drug usage. Anyone with thoughts of suicide can contact national or local suicide prevention crisis hotlines.