Suicide is the act of taking one’s own life. Suicide may result from despair, as the result of a mental disorder, or other challenges. In some cases, financial difficulties and interpersonal relationships may lead to suicide. The World Health Organization estimates that suicide is the thirteenth leading cause of death worldwide and is a leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35. Throughout the world, there are anywhere from 10 to 20 million suicide deaths per year.
Those who are suicidal typically have a diagnosed or undiagnosed psychological disorder such as depression, anxiety disorder, or bipolar disorder. They require psychological and psychiatric treatment in order to eliminate or reduce their risk of suicide. There are many methods of treating suicidal patients, and treatment is often based upon the successful treatment of any psychological disorders that patients may have.
Suicidal patients may be treated in an inpatient facility where they may be monitored and protected from suicide attempts. There are numerous hotlines, support groups, counseling options, and other types of support available for those who are suicidal. If anyone is suspected of being suicidal, a local or national suicide hotline should be notified as quickly as possible.
Suicide Symptoms and Signs
Those who are depressed or suicidal often do not seek treatment or care. This is because many of those who are depressed may require the help of others to become aware of their depression. Suicidal people will typically demonstrate a number of signs and symptoms. Those who are diagnosed with depression are far more likely to also be suicidal. Depression when left untreated may result in a person becoming suicidal, and untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide.
Signs that a person may be suicidal or is becoming suicidal may include a withdrawn mood, sadness, crying, mood changes, fantasizing about suicide, feelings of hopelessness and despair, strong anger or rage, feeling trapped, drug or alcohol addiction, changes in sleeping habits, changes in eating patterns, a loss of interest in activities that the person previously enjoyed, feelings of guilt or shame, and more.
Many of the feelings that are associated with suicide are also associated with depression, however depression is certainly not the only disorder that is associated with suicidal tendencies. Anyone can become suicidal at anytime, and it is important that the signs and symptoms of are looked for in anyone who might be suspected of becoming suicidal and even in those who are not suspected.
Effects of Suicide
Suicidal children struggle with social acceptance and with responsibility. They are typically depressed, and depressed children may be more irritable and aggressive in some cases. They have trouble making decisions and focusing while at school on other tasks, and they may neglect their hygiene and physical appearance. Sleeping patterns are often disturbed in suicidal and depressed children as well.
Adults experience similar symptoms as well. Suicidal depression in children is slightly different from adult depression despite many similarities. For instance, psychosis is not as common in children as it is in adults who are depressed or bipolar. Children also experience more fears of separation than adults. Adults may develop delusions if they have bipolar disorder with suicidal tendencies. Adults are also more likely to have fatal suicide attempts.
Depression often leads to learning difficulties in children due to a lack of energy or motivation to accomplish school or performance based tasks. Children may also have behavioral struggles in school due to being irritable and angry as a side effect of their depression. Adults who are depressed often also struggle with their responsibilities and may end up becoming unemployed which leads to worsened depression. Adults may become withdrawn from society and shut off connections to family and friends.
Causes of Suicide
There are several causes that may lead to suicidal tendencies, and the most common cause is untreated depression. Other causes may include a recent failure in a profession or job, a recent demotion or the loss of a job, long term depression, family crises, interpersonal conflicts, troubles with romantic relationships, identity crises, chronic illnesses and pain, and any other crisis or difficult circumstance that is extremely stressful and difficult for a person.
Mood disorders are most commonly linked to suicidal ideations in clinical studies. Patients who experience long term mood disorders and a persistent negative mood may be more prone to becoming suicidal. Suicidal thoughts may be the result of hereditary depression or other psychological disorders that may have a genetic basis. Alcohol abuse and drug addiction may also lead to mental disorders such as depression which then leads to suicidal thoughts.
Suicidal children and adolescents typically have bipolar disorder, mood disorders, depression, or dysthymic disorder. Adults may have these disorders or others including anxiety disorder, bipolar I or bipolar II disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and many others. Both adults and children may experience suicidal thoughts without necessarily having a psychological disorder, and suicidal thoughts and ideations can be treated with several methods.
Treatment for Suicide
Treating suicidal thoughts and related psychological disorders requires the assistance of medical professionals and counselors. The treatment of suicidal thoughts depends on what related disorders are present in the patient, and no two treatment plans are identical due to the unique background and experience of each individual. Patients may require short term support to stabilize and long term support for the prevention and control of suicidal thoughts.
Depression and other related psychological disorders are treated with medications and supporting psychotherapy. Patients who are in immediate danger of self-harm may be admitted to an inpatient clinic temporarily in order to prevent suicide attempts. Treatment for suicidal thoughts may also be administered on an outpatient basis with routine therapy meetings and follow-ups. Medications like anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications are used to help control symptoms.
Those who are suicidal are treated by psychiatrists and medical professionals with treatment programs that empower them to control their suicidal thoughts. Patients are taught coping mechanisms and are treated with the latest psychotherapy methods. If patients have any drug addictions, they may require a detoxification and rehabilitation from their drug addictions as a part of their treatment plan. Long term follow-ups are often required since the treatment of depression and other mood and psychological disorders may take several months.