Suicidal Thoughts: A Cause of Extreme Depression

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Imagine being degraded or pampered by an entity for a cause or an act that you have no control over. Well, this can be termed as a state of confusion and this can make a person think of committing suicide. There are various reasons for a person to think about suicide and it can be due to peer pressure or mental illness.

What makes suicide a thought to take your life away is itself a complex phenomenon. However, with the advent of medical science, brain studies have taken an extra leap to find out what complexities the brian holds about memory and making the body function. 

Suicidal Thoughts

So, what is suicide? It’s simple. The thought of taking away one’s own life or planning to is called suicide. It is absolutely human that everyone thinks of it, but for some, it could really turn out to be a threat. Two of the common causes of suicidal thoughts are depression and extreme stress. However, this can temporarily affect a person, while for some it can be a driving force to the grave.  

Interesting Facts About Suicide

The thought that pushes one to kill himself/ herself is supernatural in itself. Having a suicidal thought is absolutely normal, but making one accomplish this act is something that neurologists are still researching about. Here are some interesting facts about suicide. 

  • Mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression and anorexia can lead to suicide. 
  • Substance abuse such as drugs and alcohol can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. 
  • If a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, make it a point to help by talking or being with them. 
  • People with a family history of any mental illness of suicide can be one major cause. 
  • India is considered to be the most depressed country in the world by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with 6.5% of people suffering from mental diseases that can lead to suicide. Also, the average age of a person committing suicide is below 44 years.

How Does Depression Lead To Suicide?

A state of extreme sadness and loss of interest in daily activities are some of the signs of depression. A depressed person would associate any situation to his/her cause. So, how does depression progress? Several conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, cancer and diabetes etc. can worsen depression. 

The extreme form of depression can lead to suicidal thoughts or make a person think of ways to end his/her life. If suicide can make you think of ways to end your life, depression pushes you to do it. Thus both these conditions are interdisciplinary in nature. 

Depression in India

According to a recent report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), India is considered the most depressed country in the world with an average 10.9 lakh people committing suicide every single day. In 2014, below 1 lakh people were estimated to have committed suicide while it has drastically increased in 2018. Moreover, the report also states that the average person who committed suicide was below the age of 44.  

Suicide Symptoms 

The integral thought that runs in a depressed person’s mind is the fact that he/she would end his/her pain for others by taking away their own life. Suicidal persons think of not being a burden to anyone and this makes them plan ways to end their lives in an untimely and uncertain manner. So, how do you know you may have suicidal thoughts? Here are signs that you need to watch out for. 

  • Thoughts that focus on death
  • May begin talking openly about unbearable pain to others
  • Extremely happy and extremely sad (mood swings) 
  • Avoids family member and friends (isolation)
  • Loses interest in social event and stays isolated
  • Substance abuse and alcoholism
  • Serious physical and mental illness 

Note: One important sign of a suicidal person is when they are extremely angry, they will immediately turn calm and polite the moment they think of suicide. This phenomenon can be termed as mood swings. Substance abuse can trigger mood swings. 

Causes of Suicide

Since the dawn of modern science, neurologists have tried to understand what factors trigger a person to commit suicide. However, the human brain is complex and there is more that we are yet to know about. The answer to our very existence is inside this complex entity that has the tendency to constantly update itself to our surroundings. Here are some factors that trigger suicidal thoughts. 

  • Family history of suicide (genetic reasons) 
  • Depression, extreme stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder
  • Childhood trauma (Peer pressure)
  • Drug abuse and alcohol abuse
  • Loss of a loved one, job or a broken relationship
  • Financial difficulty
  • Extreme trauma by another individual or a given situation

Also Read 10 Mental Diseases Today’s Youth Are Prone To

Kinds of Suicidal Thoughts

Suicide is the act of thinking or planning to end one’s life, but what is more important is what runs deep inside their minds to push them towards such an act. However, this is determined by age and gender. Suicidal thoughts vary from age to gender and this is because of social change where men and women are taught to behave according to their gender. The below-listed points will give you an insight into what kind of suicidal thoughts does a person encounters. 

1. Suicidal Thoughts in Men

  • Feeling of irritation, restlessness, extreme sadness and hopelessness.
  • May develop behavioural problems such as social disinterested, extreme tiredness, excessive drug and alcohol usage etc. 
  • Unable to concentrate, difficulty in completing a given task, lack of sleep etc.

2. Suicidal Thoughts In Women

  • Irritability, feeling of hopelessness and extreme sadness.
  • Suicidal thoughts of ending her life without causing any trouble to anyone. 
  • Slow thinking and responding to a given situation.
  • Either sleeping for a longer duration or finding it hard to sleep.
  • Changes in weight, increased cramps and low on energy. 

3. Suicidal Thoughts In Children 

  • Extreme anger, mood swings and crying.
  • Feeling incompetent or feeling that they can’t do anything right and extreme sadness. 
  • Refusing to go to school, getting into trouble most often and associating everything to death or suicide.
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate, not faring well in education and a drastic decline in grades. 
  • Digestive problems, loss of appetite and weight changes.

How To Help People With Suicidal Thoughts? 

People with suicidal thoughts may seem happy on the outside but it’s the internal thoughts that surround them with a feeling to end their life. Thus, the first step to prevent them from undergoing such trauma is by being sensitive to them. Here is how you can be sensitive to a suicidal person. 

Positive Conversation: Talk to the person and often engage them in a good conversation. You could make the person feel good about himself/herself. Thus, built conversations that make the person feel encouraged about themselves.

 

Keep Surroundings Safe: If there are objects that the person usually thinks of using to harm themselves, remove such objects. Suicidal persons plan ways to kill themselves and you wouldn’t want that to happen. (For eg. knife, sharp utensils, medicines, chemicals etc.)

Being a Friend: Understanding the root cause of such thoughts is the first step that you could take to help a person. Be a friend to them by understanding what it means for them to take such fatal measures and support them by consulting a psychiatrist.

Exercising: Engaging them in any sort of physical activity (running, jogging, walking, swimming etc.) will help them deviate from harmful thoughts. Regular exercising will help them beat stress as this is one cause of suicide. 

Consult a Doctor: Suicide is the fight on the inside and it may result in death. Consult a psychiatrist or a counsellor and this would be the best way to help the person fight this mental illness.  

 

World Suicide Prevention Day

In order to create awareness regarding suicide and its other facets, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recognised September 10 of every year as World Suicide Prevention Day. The IASP recognised 8 lakh deaths every 40 seconds worldwide due to suicide. However, this organisation spreads awareness in the form of press meetings, training courses for mentally weak people, cycling etc. 

FAQs

You wouldn’t want your close friend or a family member risk their life due to thought caused because of an unexplainable situation. For this reason, talking and keeping the person engaged in a positive conversation is the first thing you need to do. Here are some frequently asked questions that will shed some light on this topic. 

  1. Which are the most suicidal places in the world?

Here is a list of places that have most suicides take place.

  • More than 1,500 suicides take place every year in Golden Gate Bridge (United States).
  • More than 2000 suicides have happened since 1968 in Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge (China). 
  • More than 105 suicides happen every year in Aokigahara forest, Mount Fuji (Japan).
  1. Who to call, if I see a person suffering from suicidal thoughts?

In case you come across a friend or a family member who is suffering from any form of depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety etc. then call 022 2754 6669/ +91-9820466726 (AASRA). 

  1. When does depression begin?

Depression begins from childhood and some of its early symptoms are:

  • Irritability and feeling of hopelessness
  • Feeling rejected every time
  • Loss or gain in appetite
  • Lack of sleep or excessive sleep
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Low on energy
  • Feeling worthless
  • Suicidal thoughts more often

Suicide is a global problem and all you could possibly do is talk to him/her and help them get out of it. Follow the above-listed suicide preventive ways that will give you a gist towards how and what to do in times of emergency. Moreover, understanding the cause of this disease is something that you will have to invest time upon. Make sure that you sensitively listen to the person rather than being judgemental about his/her problem.

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