Suicide is on the increase daily and it is quite saddening when the victims keep multiplying. Depression or thoughts of suicide can affect anybody irrespective of age, gender, or financial status.

The encouraging news is that depression is very treatable and thoughts of suicide can be turned into thoughts of hope.

The world marks Suicide Prevention Day yearly every 10th of September to help reduce suicide cases.

Here’s everything you need to know about suicide and how you can help save a life.

What Causes Suicide?
Suicide does not have a single cause. Some factors like substance abuse and unchecked depression can actually lead to a higher risk of suicide just as much as having a huge social circle can help protect you from suicide.

Suicide rates are highest in teenagers, young adults, and the elderly. Any person wanting to commit suicide never asks for help, but you shouldn’t take that to mean he/she does not need help.

Warning Signs Of Suicide
If you believe that a friend or family member feels like committing suicide, you can simply show that you care, and probably get a doctor or psychologist involved. Here are some warning signs you should look out for;

1. Sadness that lasts for a long time, mood swings, and unexpected rage.

2. Feeling a deep sense of hopelessness about the future, with little expectation that circumstances can improve.

3. Inability to sleep and sleep problems

4. Suddenly becoming calm after a period of depression or moodiness can be a sign that the person has made a decision to end his or her life.

5. Withdrawal or choosing to be alone and avoiding friends or social activities also are possible symptoms of depression, a leading cause of suicide.

6. Changes in personality and/or appearance: A person who is thinking of committing suicide, you will see noticeable changes in behavioral patterns. In addition, the person might care less about his or her personal appearance.

7. Dangerous or self-harmful behavior: Potentially dangerous behavior, such as reckless driving, engaging in unsafe sex, and increased use of drugs and/or alcohol might indicate that the person no longer values his or her life.

8. Recent trauma or life crisis might trigger a suicide attempt. Crises like when a loved one or pet dies, divorce or break-up of a relationship, diagnosis of a major illness, loss of a job, or serious financial problems.

9. Making preparations: Most times, a person considering suicide puts everything from business, friends, family members also in order. Other times, they give away all their personal belongings like clothes, cars, etc. Some people will write a note before committing suicide.

10. Threatening suicide: From 50% to 75% of those considering suicide will give someone — a friend or relative — a warning sign. Although most people say they will commit suicide, not everyone follows through with what they say. But please note that every threat of suicide should be taken seriously.

How Can I Help A Suicidal Person?
If you believe someone you know is in immediate danger of killing himself or herself:

  • Do not leave the person alone. If possible, ask for help from friends or other family members.
  • Ask the person to give you any weapons he or she might have. Take away or remove sharp objects or anything else that the person could use to hurt himself or herself.
    If the person is already in psychiatric treatment, help him or her to contact the doctor or therapist for guidance and help.
  • Try your possible best to keep the person calm
  • Call emergency numbers and Mental Health Organizations like Mentally Aware

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Esther is a seasoned writer and broadcast journalist with years of experience in both media, print, and broadcast journalism. A graduate of Sociology/Anthropology with a passion for editing and journalism.

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