Nicole got extremely drunk at a party and made a fool of herself in front of her entire high school. She left the party, humiliated, and began thinking about each of the other stupid things she had done lately. When she saw the glow of headlights coming up behind her, she decided to run out into the middle of the road.
Tony had severe diabetes and his only hope was to have his leg amputated. The day before the surgery, he wrote a note to his family and overdosed on his pain medications.
Carly drove off of a bridge two days before her college graduation. Not long after, her parents found out that she had failed all of her classes and was told that she would not be able to graduate.
DEFINITIONS & KEY THOUGHTS
Suicide is the tragic and fatal culmination of a psychological process caused by unresolved events that lead to hopelessness and depression. An individual who is considering suicidal is unable to see any hope that their future will be any better than their painful past of present. The risk of suicide is highest within a year after a failed attempt.
Males are prone to utilizing more violent means for suicide than females, and are often more successful. Females, on the other hand, seem to attempt suicide more often, but are less successful than males because they tend to utilize less lethal means.
It has been found that suicide often goes hand in hand with substance abuse seeing as substances are connected to twenty to fifty percent of all suicides. Those who are more at risk for suicide include those who have recently begun taking antidepressants, and those with subsiding depression.
Suicidal individuals often do not see any option other than death. They do not see the big picture and wholeheartedly believe that suicide is a reasonable thing to do.
Note: Any threat of suicide should always be taken seriously.
- Get help immediately. Protecting the life of a suicidal individual is the most important priority. One should not worry about embarrassing the individual by calling for help from the police or paramedics if that individual has a plan or the means to commit suicide. Do not attempt to transport a suicidal individual to the hospital on your own- it is far too dangerous. If the suicidal individual is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, arrange for them to be under constant supervision while they are detoxing or sobering up. If the individual is no longer suicidal once sober, they should be encouraged to seek substance abuse treatment.
- Follow up. Check-in with the suicidal individual often after their attempt. If their thoughts are not improving, encourage them to seek further help.