Sometimes, life gets to you. The pain, the suffering and the inner turmoil can be overwhelming, without a solution in sight. Life, for them, becomes a series of sordid, sepia images flashing without a hint of colour. The feelings of sadness and despair are not easy to deal with.
So, this World Suicide Prevention Day we spoke to psychologist and corporate counsellor Namrata Jain about suicide plaguing our world and she said, “Human life is truly a gift and must be preserved, cherished and valued by self and loved ones. Unfortunately, sometimes people stop seeing the beauty, awe, and wonder of life and take drastic steps to end it.”
The question that everyone asks is the same- Why did they take their own life? But most of the time the answer to that is complicated. The reasons could be multiple- depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, financial or economic struggles, pressures of society weighing down, being exposed to suicide attempts, being socially ostracised and being abused or witnessing continuous abuse are amongst many.
However, patients who suffer from suicidal tendencies show signs or red flags. They start acting in a certain manner or doing things that they wouldn’t normally do. There is obviously no checklist, but some of these warning signs can help you identify that a friend needs serious help.
This is probably one of the first signs of people who attempt suicide. They have anger and resentment towards issues and situations in their life and no one to blame, so they internalise it and think that they are the cause for all the suffering.
Many times, patients have an excessive and intense feeling of guilt. They feel like they’re letting people down or they’re not able to live up to the expectations. From the outside, these may seem unrealistic and irrational but they’re actually way too real. So if your loved one is constantly blaming themselves or apologising for not being enough, you know that something isn’t right.
Excessive drug or alcohol consumption may be one of the coping mechanisms that agitated and anxious people turn to. This is all done in an attempt to feel numb or feel better. This even impairs judgment and can lead to a spur of the moment decision to end their life.
People start researching on how to do it, what is required and everything about it. They might even start talking about people who have committed suicide a lot, this could be a major warning sign.
Not taking interest in work, in meeting people, in socialising, and withdrawing from everything indicate that something isn’t right. They stop daily habits and just feel the need to be alone. This is also a symptom of depression and should not be overlooked.
If you start noticing cuts and marks on their body, don’t ignore it. This could be one of their first attempts to self-harm. They may be keeping objects like knives, blades, sleeping pills, ropes to end their life.
These people may start calling loved ones and meeting near and dear ones out of nowhere. This may occur in a bid to say the final goodbyes and give closure to those around them. They may also start distributing their personal things to people.
Contrary to how they’ve been acting for a while, a sense of calmness and happiness takes over. They may seem extraordinarily cheerful probably because they have it all planned in their head. You know how they say the flame is brightest before it burns out, this is possibly that.
Did you know that India has one of the highest suicide rates for the youth around the world? So, the next time you think someone is having a hard time don't dismiss it as 'attention-seeking behaviour' but talk to them, understand their situation and encourage them to seek professional help. Suicide should NEVER be an option.
And if you're going through life thinking you're alone, we're here for you, all you've got to do is reach out. Here are some of the Indian suicide prevention helplines you can call.
Sumaitri, Delhi- 011-23389090
Lifeline Foundation, Kolkata- +913324637401/7432
Hope Helpline, Kota- 0724 433 3666
Samaritans, Mumbai- +91226464 3267
Sahai, Bengaluru- +9180 25497777
Image Source: Shutterstock
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