Suicide

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

“Is there no resolution?
Vulture’s perched, ready to feed
Chalk lines left to erase
Toe tags for the deceased
Oh Lord PLEASE, send a savior”~ ‘Just Remains’ by SIX MINUTE CENTURY

Suicide Facts

  • Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year.Many who attempt suicide never seek professional care.There are twice as many deaths due to suicide than HIV/AIDS.Between 1952 and 1995, suicide in young adults nearly tripled.

    Over half of all suicides occur in adult men, ages 25-65.

    In the month prior to their suicide, 75% of elderly persons had visited a physician.

    Suicide rates in the United States are highest in the spring.

    Over half of all suicides are completed with a firearm.

    For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the third leading cause of death.

    Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed.

    80% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully.

    15% of those who are clinically depressed die by suicide.

    There are an estimated 8 to 25 attempted suicides to 1 completion.

    The highest suicide rate is among men over 85 years old: 65 per 100,000 persons.

    1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year.

    Substance abuse is a risk factor for suicide.

    The strongest risk factor for suicide is depression.

    By 2010, depression will be the #1 disability in the world.

  • In 2004, 32,439 people died by suicide.
  • Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. (homicide is 15th).
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-old Americans.
  • It is estimated that there are at least 4.5 million survivors in this country.
  • An average of one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes.
  • There are four male suicides for every female suicide.

Research has shown medications and therapy to be effective suicide prevention.

Suicide can be prevented through education and public awareness.

Last year SAVE educated 10,618 youth & parents on depression and suicide prevention.

Last year SAVE received 810 requests for information from 72 countries.

In 2004 it is estimated there were 811,000 suicide attempts in the US.

  • There are three female suicide attempts for each male attempt.
  • According to the Violent Death Reporting System, in 2004 73% of suicides also tested positive for at least one substance (alcohol, cocaine, heroin or marijuana).

Symptoms and Danger Signs

Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Ideation (thinking, talking or wishing about suicide)
  • Substance use or abuse (increased use or change in substance)
  • Puposelessness (no sense of purpose or belonging)
  • Anger
  • Trapped (feeling like there is no way out)
  • Hopelessness (there is nothing to live for, no hope or optimism)
  • Withdrawal (from family, friends, work, school, activities, hobbies)
  • Anxiety (restlessness, irritability, agitation)
  • Recklessness (high risk-taking behavior)
  • Mood disturbance (dramatic changes in mood)
  • Additional Warning Signs of Suicide
  • Talking about suicide.
  • Looking for ways to die (internet searches for how to commit suicide, looking for guns, pills, etc.)
  • Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness.
  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.
  • Visiting or calling people one cares about.
  • Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order.
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
  • A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or mental health professional.

In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK

Common Misconceptions

The following are common misconceptions about suicide:

“People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.”

Not True. Almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like “you’ll be sorry when I’m dead,” “I can’t see any way out,” — no matter how casually or jokingly said, may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

“Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy.”

Not True. Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They may be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are always signs of mental illness and are not signs of psychosis.

“If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her.”

Not True. Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, and most waver until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want to die; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.

“People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.”

Not True. Studies of suicide victims have shown that more then half had sought medical help within six month before their deaths and a majority had seen a medical professional within 1 month of their death.

“Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.”

Not True. You don’t give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true — bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.

Suicidal Thoughts: What to Do

If you have thoughts of suicide, these options are available to you:

  • Dial: 911
  • Dial: 1-800-273-TALK
  • Check yourself into the emergency room.
  • Tell someone who can help you find help immediately.
  • Stay away from things that might hurt you.
  • Most people can be treated with a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy

If You See the Warning Signs of Suicide…

Begin a dialogue by asking questions.

Suicidal thoughts are common with depressive illnesses and your willingness to talk about it in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational way can be the help a person needs to seeking professional help. Questions okay to ask:

“Do you ever feel so badly that you think about suicide?”

“Do you have a plan to commit suicide or take your life?”

“Have you thought about when you would do it (today, tomorrow, next week)?”

“Have you thought about what method you would use?”

Asking these questions will help you to determine if your friend or family members is in immediate danger, and get help if needed. A suicidal person should see a doctor or mental health professional immediately. Calling 911 or going to a hospital emergency room are also good options to prevent a tragic suicide attempt or death. Calling the National Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK is also a resource for you or the person you care about for help. Remember, always take thoughts of or plans for suicide seriously.

Never keep a plan for suicide a secret. Don’t worry about risking a friendship if you truly feel a life is in danger. You have bigger things to worry about-someone’s life might be in danger! It is better to lose a relationship from violating a confidence than it is to go to a funeral. And most of the time they will come back and thank you for saving their life.

Don’t try to minimize problems or shame a person into changing their mind. Your opinion of a person’s situation is irrelevant. Trying to convince a person suffering with a mental illness that it’s not that bad, or that they have everything to live for may only increase their feelings of guilt and hopelessness. Reassure them that help is available, that depression is treatable, and that suicidal feelings are temporary. Life can get better!

If you feel the person isn’t in immediate danger, acknowledge the pain as legitimate and offer to work together to get help. Make sure you follow through. This is one instance where you must be tenacious in your follow-up. Help find a doctor or a mental health professional, participate in making the first phone call, or go along to the first appointment. If you’re in a position to help, don’t assume that your persistence is unwanted or intrusive. Risking your feelings to help save a life is a risk worth taking.

Author’s Note:

Never in a million lifetimes would I thought that I would be covering this subject. No, I am not suicidal. But this subject as directly and indirectly affected my life. Suicide IS PREVENTABLE!! And I believe that if anyone is talking about it, that it should be taken seriously, even if the person says, “I’m just joking.” Death and killing oneself is not a joking matter.

If you know of someone who has suicidal thoughts, or you are having suicidal thoughts, PLEASE call 1-800-273-TALK, or 911. Because you never know what wonderful things may come your way the next day if you deliberately end your life tonight. Whatever is causing you this much pain, can be dealt with. And that pain is temporary. Seek help.

If someone is threatening suicide, PLEASE call 1-800-273-TALK, or 911. Even at the risk of embarrassing yourself or damaging your relationship with that person. It is far better for them to seek the treatment that they potentially may need rather than you save your thoughts because you don’t want to be embarrassed.

 

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