If you’re feeling suicidal, chances are you’ve been depressed for quite some time. You may feel as if there’s no other way out of a bad situation. However, know that no matter how low you are there is always someone there willing to give you a hand to help you pull yourself together. Your time is not up!
If you are having thoughts and feelings of harming yourself, dial 1.800.273.TALK (8255) for immediate emergency assistance.
There are a number of resource agencies available that can help in times of crisis. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center offers this handy state-by-state guide and can put you in contact with community organizations involved in suicide prevention. The Lifeline Crisis Chat offers nationwide suicide prevention support including crisis intervention. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a wealth of information for those dealing with alcohol and drug abuse and addiction.
Risk factors and statistics
People often wonder what causes others to feel so hopeless that the only way out is to end their own life. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. People often attempt suicide when their environmental stressors exceed their current abilities to cope or when mental health or addiction issues become overwhelming. People considering suicide may perform online searches on the subject, began acting recklessly, suddenly withdrawal from formerly-beloved activities, and give away prized possessions. Aggression, depression, and substance abuse are also common. Extreme life events, including job loss, divorce, or death, along with prolonged stress factors such as unemployment and sexual harassment may trigger depression and ultimately suicidal thoughts.
More than 40,000 Americans die by their own hand every year with suicide ranking in the top 10 causes of death in the United States. There are approximately 121 suicides each and every day, about half employ the use of firearms. Suicide is most common in middle-aged white men; 7 out of 10 suicides in 2015 were white males. Teenagers and adolescents are additionally at risk as are the elderly, especially those who live alone. Suicide rates are typically higher in the spring and summer. Suicide rates in Native Americans has nearly doubled since the year 2000.
The United States currently does not keep a complete count of unsuccessful suicide attempts, but the CDC collects data regarding self-harm injuries. It is estimated that between 12 and 25 people attempt suicide for each death.
Treatment and prevention
Treatment for suicidal people includes dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Clozapine, the only FDA-approved suicide-prevention medication, is an option for those suffering with certain mental health conditions. Individuals with bipolar disorder are considered a high-risk for suicide and may be treated with mood stabilizers or antipsychotic medications. Substance abuse treatment is available for those battling addiction and includes a host of therapy modules tailored to each person. Effective drug abuse treatment also addresses depression and other mental health issues related to addiction.
Though difficult, it is not impossible to recover from even overwhelming suicidal tendencies. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, otherwise healthy adults and teenagers recover upwards of 77% of the time. Those with suicidal ideation take approximately 3 to 5 years to fully recover after their most recent suicide attempt.
Moving beyond the depths of despair isn’t easy but it opens up many possibilities that would not have presented themselves otherwise. Many people who recover from attempted suicides go on to counsel others and lead highly-productive lives. They become husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, teachers, ministers, therapists, and friends. They learn to enjoy every moment and to take greater notice of those little moments in life that make it all worthwhile.