Everyone goes through phases in life where nothing makes sense and the world may seem like a very dark place. While people bounce back from this negative and uncomfortable feeling, it can be a permanent state of mind for those battling various mental health conditions. For them, the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness may hover like a dark cloud which does not seem to go away.
In addition to feeling traumatised and overwhelmed, a person who is suffering from mental illness can also battle strained relationships and a see-saw of emotions.
What is suicide?
Suicide, the act of taking your own life, is an extremely serious consequence of mental health conditions. Some of these mental health disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) etc.
Warning signs of suicide:
When someone close to you appears suicidal or talks about ending his/her life, it is important that you do not take it lightly. If you are not sure what you can do, do remember that prompt action and intervention can actually save a life.
Here are some of the warning signs that a person is suicidal or is thinking of committing suicide:
1. Talks about ending life
Notice if their statements are becoming increasingly negative like “There is nothing really left to do”, “I am done with this life” or “I don’t feel like being alive anymore”
2. Pulling away from friends or family
The person has started avoiding social contact and does not wish to go out.
3. Giving away belongings
Pay attention if a person is giving away belongings or putting their personal business in order.
4. Reckless behaviour
Rash driving, increased use of alcohol and drugs etc.
5. Change in sleeping and eating habits
Someone who is contemplating suicide may suddenly start sleeping less or may start experiencing sleep problems.
6. Not caring about appearance
A person who no longer values his/her life may stop paying attention to the way they are carrying themselves.
What can you do?
More often than not, the first step is to talk and listen to what a person is going through. Insist if they shirk away or avoiding talking. Start the conversation and let them know that you are with them, no matter what.
Ask them about their medications (if they are taking any) or talk about solutions. It can include seeing a therapist as well. Let them know what they are battling is curable and it is not the end of the world.
3. Stay with them
No matter what you do, do not leave the person alone. In case you are not able to stay with them, contact the said person’s friends and family. Additionally, take away any sharp or dangerous objects that the person might use to harm himself/herself.
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