“The person who completes suicide dies once. Those left behind die a thousand deaths, trying to relive those terrible moments and understand why?” Clark
Have you ever felt suicidal because the pain and despair seem too overwhelming to continue? Have you had someone you love express feelings of anguish that later lead them to end their life as a solution? Or you may be a survivor of suicide where you wish your loved one had communicated their misery so you could support them.
Whether it is you who is feeling suicidal or your loved one, there is help and resources available. It is imperative to know that if someone is talking about suicide, they have probably been thinking about it and should be taken seriously. The action you take may be what saves their life.
What you can do to combat your own feelings of desperation or support others with theirs:
Keep the conversation going, talking about suicidal feelings, without making them wrong for having and expressing them, is the first step. Be curious, your questions might uncover whether there is an imminent danger of suicidal behavior.
Examples of questions you might ask are listed below.
- What is the most distressing thing in your life currently? Do you have or need a plan for handling it?
- Do you feel like it would be easier to give up?
- What would it mean for you not to be living among your friends and family? What would that look like for them if you weren’t in their lives anymore?
- Do you have a plan for how or when you would commit suicide?
- Do you have access to anything that could be used to harm yourself?
- Can you commit to safety for right now?
Openly talking about suicidal ideation or thoughts actually helps reduce the risk of someone following through with their plan.
Signs to look for to beware of risks of suicide for your friends and family:
- Statements like, “I am going to kill myself; I wish I were dead, and you’d be better off without me.”
- Talking about their plan, buying a gun, or sticking up on pills.
- Isolation and being unable to talk about it.
- Deep, dark depressive episodes.
- A change in habits or routine.
- Getting affairs in order, including communicating in a way that would serve as a ‘goodbye’.
Resources for suicide support:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line- text TALK to 741-741
- Veterans Crisis Line- Text 838255
- Vets4Warriors- 855-838-8255
- The Trevor Project (LGBTQ) 866-488-7386 or text START to 678-678
The Covid19 pandemic may be the perfect storm for suicide, which is at it’s highest level since 1941. There is the risk of becoming infected and dying from the virus but the financial devastation from the economic shutdown, the shelter in place orders, and social distancing create suicide risks that cannot be ignored.
Many are suffering from the loss of income, social isolation, and decreased community and religious support. On top of all of that, there are barriers to mental health and medical treatment. Stress and anxiety have increased on a national level, as well as an overall feeling of disheartenment among many.
How to help yourself and others that are affected by suicidal thoughts
- Seek treatment
- Keep talking about your feelings
- Be mindful and respectful in acknowledging suicidal feelings as real
- Don’t judge yourself or others for having suicidal thoughts
- Refuse to keep these thoughts and feelings secret; secrets can be deadly
Although you can’t take responsibility for keeping your loved one alive, you must take suicidal behavior seriously. Most people that succumb to suicide have expressed their intentions at one time or another. Taking it seriously is not overreacting; your actions may save someone’s life.
Every person is different and deserves a personal, custom approach to treatment and recovery. Often, that means therapy that emphasizes mental health. At Healing Springs Ranch, comprehensive health is always a priority. Call 866-656-8384 to learn more about recovery today.