Understand and Maybe Help Prevent the Suicide of a Loved One.
We all know a person who is going through a difficult time in their lives, maybe an illness, a painful breakup, mounting debt or legal issues are causing a loved to feel despondent or depressed. Sometimes, we see enough despair in them to worry about their mental state and or physical safety.
In the United States, suicide accounts for more years of life lost than any other cause of death except for cancer and heart disease.
A recent article published by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention addresses the rate of suicide in the United States. The article states that in 2012 (the most recent year for which full data are available) 40,600 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. In other words, in 2012, someone in the country died by suicide every 12.9 minutes. In 2012, firearms were the most common method of suicide accounting for over 50.9% of all suicide deaths with self hangings at 24.8% and poisoning at 16.6%.
The data for suicide attempts is staggering, according to the article from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: “In 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, 494,169 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm behavior, suggesting that approximately 12 people harm themselves (not necessarily intending to take their lives) for every reported death by suicide. Together, those harming themselves made an estimated total of more than 650,000 hospital visits related to injuries sustained in one or more separate incidents of self-harm behavior.”
More men are prone to suicide than women. Statistics gathered (2012) show that: “white males accounted for 65% of all suicides in 2012” and that “men had a suicide rate of 20.3, and women had a rate of 5.4. Of those who died by suicide in 2012, 78.3% were male and 21.7% were female.”
We have incorporated this article in our newsletter to inform parents of adolescents and children with elderly. Look of signs of despair in your loved one, if you think there might be a problem seek help from a professional health care provider.
Here are tips on suicide prevention offered by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
People who kill themselves exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do. The more warning signs, the greater the risk.
If a person talks about:
• Killing themselves.
• Having no reason to live.
• Being a burden to others.
• Feeling trapped.
• Unbearable pain.
A person’s suicide risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased, especially if it’s related to a painful event, loss, or change.
• Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
• Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means.
• Acting recklessly.
• Withdrawing from activities.
• Isolating from family and friends.
• Sleeping too much or too little.
• Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
• Giving away prized possessions.
People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods.
• Loss of interest.