In every 40 seconds, someone in some part of the world ends his/her life. Admittedly, the statistics are not encouraging; in fact, it was found that more than 788,000 people committed suicide worldwide in 2015. The alarming thing is that there are more deaths caused by suicide than murder. It shows that the suicide rate is undoubtedly going up every year, but the question is,
“exactly what triggers people to take such extreme steps?”
What is Suicide?
Often considered a taboo topic, suicide is basically the act of intentionally killing yourself. Suicide attempts can be impulsive or planned out, and there can be different types of them. For instance, a murder-suicide is one when someone kills another person and then kills himself/herself as well. It is worth mentioning that though self-mutilation is considered a type of suicide, it basically involves harming yourself without the intention to end your life.
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Because of the stigma attached to it, most people never talk about what they are currently feeling or what triggered them to make a move. Considering what people who survived suicide attempts say and what people write in suicide notes suggest that there is some similarity in those triggers.
Most of these people did not want to die, but they take the step to end their pain – physical or emotional.
Here are some common triggers:
- People who are depressed often fail to find a way to come out of their misery and end up taking the wrong step. People who are depressed exhibit symptoms such as frequent tearfulness, feelings of fatigue, loss of pleasure in everything, difficulty with memory and concentration, and a change in sleep pattern. Studies show that those who may have been treated for depression in the past are twice as likely to commit suicide as those who have never been in an inpatient hospital setting.
- Bipolar disorder can lead to recurring manic episodes, which in turn increases the risk of suicide. The risk goes up when the patient is experiencing other symptoms, especially delusion.
- Studies have highlighted a direct link between clinical anxiety and suicide attempts.
- Drug abuse may also be a trigger encouraging people to become aggressive and attempt suicide. Studies show that even recovering drug addicts are highly impulsive and when not take care of in a professional way, they can commit suicide or harm others at the same time.
- Psychosis refers to an impaired relationship a person has with reality. It is usually more difficult to mask as compared to depression and is therefore more tragic too.
- Any relationship problems may also serve as a trigger and cause someone to commit suicide. The interesting thing is that some people just try to relieve their stress, not knowing that the method they have selected can kill them. Someone experiencing genuine angst may swallow a bottle of Tylenol, not knowing that it can lead to irreversible liver damage and eventually death.
- Some people decide to commit suicide just because of a philosophical desire to die. The main trigger is the immense pain caused by some terminal illness with no hope of reprieve. They are not psychotic, depressed, or maudlin, but they take the big decision just to alleviate their suffering.
- People who are suffering from anxiety or stress fail to understand the consequences of their actions. The adrenal gland manages how your body responds to stress, and people who are overly stressed and commit suicide are found to have extremely high activity in certain areas of the brain.
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Overall, it is easy to notice that people who are suffering from some type of a mental disorder, who have experienced a serious loss, or who have just recovered from drug abuse are at an increased risk of committing suicide. No matter what triggers a person to end their life, it always makes sense to talk to them about their suicidal thinking. Discussing these thoughts will go a long way in convincing them to get the right treatment and stay safe. Encourage them and take steps to keep them busy. If you suspect any mental issue, talk to a healthcare provider or go to a mental health clinic to know how to convince someone to seek treatment and stay away from committing the crime of taking one’s life.
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