People who are experiencing suicidal thoughts are often so overwhelmed with negative feelings that it seems like they have no option but to end their life.
Often there is no one main reason which leads someone to take their own life, but rather it can be the result of a number of problems building up which there seems to be no way to cope with. Suicidal feelings can be terrifying and painful for the person who is experiencing them.
The best thing to do if someone is feeling this way is to talk about it. A common fear is that by asking someone if they are feeling suicidal, you are planting this idea in their head. If they are not thinking about suicide, you asking them will not change this. Speaking openly can help people to see things more clearly, and can be the first step to seeking help.
People with mental health problems are at higher risk of suicide, as are men, people who are unemployed, people living in poverty or in poor social conditions or those who misuse drugs and alcohol.
Signs to look for
It can be difficult to identify people who are suffering from the emotional distress that can lead to suicide. However there are signs to look out for if someone is at risk:
- Finding it hard to cope.
- Withdrawing from friends and family.
- Not taking care of themselves.
- A loss of self-worth.
- Appearing more tearful.
- Not wanting to be with people.
“Phil [my son] suffered discrimination nearly every day.
“He had terrible depression and dealt with it by self-medicating, he was called an alkie, a junkie, a waste of space. It makes me weep to think how my lovely, gentle, clever boy suffered.
“After losing Phil people would avoid me and those who didn't certainly did not want to talk about Phil's suicide. They did not want to talk about it and talking was the one thing I wanted to do.”
- Moureen Leitch
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