Sunday, April 5, 2009

Good Article on Suicide

I read a good article on suicide that I want to share with you. I'll summarize it, but I encourage you to read all of it.

Keep in mind that suicide rates rise during recessions, and depressions. As you know, the world is in the worst economic period since the great depression. Back then the suicide rates increased, and we will see that happen again. Financial hardships like the loss of a job, and/or house can cause depression. Depression is a major cause of suicides. Economic hardship not only happens to the poor and elderly, but can happen to anyone. I know someone in his 50's who had a master degree and a good job. He made about $75,000 a year. He recently lost his job, and can't find another. Fortunately he has a good supportive wife who is employed, but it is still difficult for him. To my knowledge he is not suicidal, but he very easily could be. So keep an eye on your loved ones.

This article summery is from today's addition of The New York Times -

Suicide and Suicidal Behavior

Suicide is the act of deliberately taking one's own life. Suicidal behavior is any deliberate action with potentially life-threatening consequences, such as taking a drug overdose or deliberately crashing a car.


Suicidal behaviors can accompany many emotional disturbances, including depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. More than 90% of all suicides are related to a mood disorder or other psychiatric illness.

Suicidal behaviors often occur in response to a situation that the person views as overwhelming, such as social isolation, death of a loved one, emotional trauma, serious physical illness, aging, unemployment or financial problems, guilty feelings, or dependence on alcohol or other drug.

In the U.S., suicide accounts for about 1% of all deaths each year. Suicide is now the third leading cause of death for 15- to 19-year-olds, after accidents and homicide.

Many suicides involve a firearm. This is especially true in elderly men, in which 80% of suicides are performed with a gun.

Relatives of people who seriously attempt or complete suicide often blame themselves or become extremely angry, seeing the attempt or act as selfish. However, when people are suicidal, they often mistakenly believe that they are doing their friends and relatives a favor by taking themselves out of the world. These irrational beliefs often drive their behavior.


Early signs:
  • Depression
  • Statements or expressions of guilt feelings
  • Tension or anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Impulsiveness

Critical signs:

  • Sudden change in behavior, especially calmness after a period of anxiety
  • Giving away belongings, attempts to "get one's affairs in order"
  • Direct or indirect threats to commit suicide
  • Direct attempts to commit suicide

Emergency measures may be necessary after a person has attempted suicide like first aid, and CPR.

Hospitalization is often needed to treat the recent actions and to prevent future attempts. Psychiatric intervention is one of the most important aspects of treatment.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Suicide attempts and threats should always be taken seriously. About one-third of people who attempt suicide will repeat the attempt within 1 year, and about 10% of those who threaten or attempt suicide eventually do kill themselves.

Mental health care should be sought immediately. Dismissing the person's behavior as attention-seeking can have devastating consequences.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

A person who threatens or attempts suicide MUST be evaluated immediately by a mental health professional. NEVER IGNORE A SUICIDE THREAT OR ATTEMPT!


Many people who attempt suicide talk about it before making the attempt. Sometimes, simply talking to a sympathetic, nonjudgmental listener is enough to prevent the person from attempting suicide. For this reason suicide prevention centers have telephone "hotline" services. Again, do not ignore a suicide threat or attempted suicide.

As with any other type of emergency, it is best to immediately call the local emergency number (such as 911). Do not leave the person alone even after phone contact with an appropriate professional has been made.

Click here to read more of this article

By the way, I read that most suicides take place in spring.

U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Other reading -

Army Data Show Raise in Number of Suicides


meleah rebeccah said...

Thank you for this information. The whole concept of Suicide really terrifies me.

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi meleah rebeccah,

Good, I'm glad it does! ;)

LadyBanana said...

I hope you are not feeling this way!!!! Hope to hear from you soon XX

Tammy said...

Thanks for the tips. It's always good to know what a person should be looking out for. Have a great day! :o)

Speedcat Hollydale said...

Great links and Info Awake .... hugs for you !!!!!!!!!!

Happy week from The Speedy (yet slowing) CAT :-)

Michelle Gartner said...

I know of several people who killed themselves. My Dad used to run with a bar crowd, there was always tragedy and drama in those people's lives. I went to school with a boy who killed himself as well, it was a shock. He was a close friend boyfriend. Not much to say about it, bad bad business. People don't take it seriously.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Thanks for posting this. As you know, it's very close to my heart. Too many people die needlessly.

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi LadyBanana,

Talk with you soon!

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi Tammy,

Yes, I thought this article gave some good practical info & tips.

Awake In Rochester said...

Speedcat Hollydale,

Huggies to you too! ;)

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi Michelle Gartner,

I'm sorry that you know so many.

Yes, there are more suicides then homicides. Yet, we don't hear about it on the local news. Nor do we read about it in the obits. It's a kind of taboo in our society for some reason. I think that being a taboo just helps for people to hid it, or be shameful for having thoughts. It impedes awareness, open conversation, & help & healing.

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi Real Live Lesbian,

Hey, you sexy Libra! ;) Stay safe sweety!