SUICIDE- THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EMERGENCY (3).
PART THREE: SUICIDE IDEATION- PREVENTION AND COPING TECHNIQUES.
Welcome back. In the preceding article, we were let in on some signs that are displayed by people with suicidal thoughts and what you and I can do when such symptoms are noticed. In the final part of this article, we will see how suicidal thoughts can be prevented and if you or someone is battling thoughts of suicide, some coping techniques will also be discussed. Please read on.
Suicide has always been, and is still, a serious issue. However, it’s really sad that some persons don’t share this view. It is true, too, that we may not have total control over this sort of emergency but we can do a lot in coping with the ideation and in effect, prevent the act itself. Let’s see some ways suicide ideation can be coped with and in effect, prevented.
• Live healthy, live right: Thoughts of suicide do not just pop up in a person’s head. It builds up over time and there are always triggers. As was highlighted in part one of this article, there are a number of things that could cause suicide ideation and suicide , itself. It could be stress, loneliness, depression, and a whole lot of other factors.. It is be true that one may not always have total control over all the eventualities in his/her life. However, there are things we can do to avoid and cope with certain unfavourable outcomes so they don’t have the better part of us. One of such things, I have found, is to cultivate healthy lifestyles and live right. Lifestyle simply means the way or style of living adopted by an individual, a group or a society. This style or styles contribute to what makes up an individual or group. Lifestyles can be tangible or intangible. It ranges from what a person does to stay healthy and how a person thinks or what a person believes to be the ideal way to live. Having a healthy lifestyle can help one cope with suicide ideation and, in effect, prevent suicide.
Do you feel suicidal because you are stressed? Can you learn or adopt better ways of managing stress? Can you eat better, exercise more, rest more or even learn to delegate tasks so as to reduce your workload? Do you feel alone? Have you tried taking a personal interest in the next person? Do you feel worthless and hopeless? Can you quit comparing yourself and achievements to those of the other person? Is it your habit to trash-talk yourself? Try being more positive about yourself and abilities and see the difference. You’ll realise that doing these things, though insignificant or ineffective they may seem, can do a great deal in helping you cope with thoughts of suicide.
It was indicated above that one may not have total control of everything that occurs in his/her life. This comes to play in the aspect of other people’s thought patterns, speech or temperament(i.e. we can’t control how someone acts, thinks or speaks). It is a habit for some persons to compare one individual to another. Sadly, some parents have adopted this custom. Yes, it is the habitude of some parents to persistently and unnecessarily compare the abilities of one child to another within the family circle or even outside the family circle. They (parents) may intend to inspire the “seemingly” incompetent child to be like the efficient fellow. However, this method of inspiration has not always produced the best result in young people. This is because some children may really start to feel worthless in their own eyes and in comparison with their peers. You can imagine when a person begins to feel worthless and incompetent at a very young age. How would he/she fare as he/she grows? Will he/she feel valid? Some persons are just too sensitive and may have poor resilient skills at a young age. Such persons may begin to entertain suicidal thoughts as depression and feelings of worthlessness will set in. Are you a parent or guardian? We know you want the best for child. It’s indisputable, but can you find better ways to inspire and encourage your child to do better? Remember that every child has unique and disparate abilities, gifts and areas of interest. Can you adapt your method of training and discipline to suit that child’s special need? Can you cultivate habit of commending and complimenting your child when he/she makes an effort to be better, regardless of how small it may appear? If you do, you will, in a great way, be assuring that child of your love and support. That child will see you as a friend and not an enemy, you will open lines of heartfelt communication between you and your child and you will emotionally and mentally build that child up instead of propelling him/her into depression and other mental disorders. Please, cultivate healthy lifestyles and make it easier for your child to stay on track and have a more fulfilling life
• Express yourself: Making known your feelings to a trusted friends or parent is a sure way to get a heavy burden off your chest and mind. Experiences have validated this claim. Many persons have felt better talking about their feelings and thoughts with a trusted companion. Moreover, making known your thoughts can relieve you of the pain you feel and help you find fresh perspectives to situations. You will very likely come to realise that everything is not as bad as you fear and there are ways to get through problems, unscathed. Another helpful way to express your feelings is by writing. Could you write about how you feel at the moment? If you find it hard to communicate verbally at the moment, could you write to a friend, baring your heart to him/her? Some persons also find solace in praying and this really helps as it relieves you of your sad thoughts. If you are suicidal, please never keep those thoughts bottled up. It does no good! Do not die in silence. Speak to someone. You’ll feel better. Also, when a suicidal person expresses his/her feelings or plans to you, please, patiently harken and show understanding. Be empathetic and do not judge or find fault with their feelings. Listen, really listen, and do what you can to help.
• Remember that things change: Conditions and states change. No matter how bleak your situation may appear, it can change and if you think deeply, there are things you can do to turn things around to the brighter side. This is also same with your feelings. You won’t feel suicidal forever. Feelings and thoughts change, always. It may take some time, even longer that you’d expect but they will always change. You will not entertain suicidal thoughts forever. So, acting on that impulse to commit suicide won’t be ideal if you remember that your feelings are only temporary. Remember, too, that suicide cannot be undone. Can you hang in there while exploring different ways to cope with your thoughts and feelings? It will not be easy for suicidal individuals to always remember this, and this where you, as a friend or parent can help. Remind them that situations and feelings change, and with time, they will get better. Please note, too, that this process is never an easy thing to do but it is worth every effort.
• Avoid substance and drug abuse: For someone with suicide ideation, drug, substance or even alcohol abuse may be very alluring. “It will help me feel better and forget my sorrows “, they say. Regardless of how enticing it may seem, it is just not the right and ideal thing to do. This is because they will lower your inhibition level and you will less likely be in control of yourself and actions. A person that is under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not always in charge and may cause serious harm to himself/herself or even to others. Drug and substance abuse is never a good way of eliminating or coping with suicidal thoughts. Instead, try cultivating better and healthier lifestyles. They will always breed positive results and will help you cope with your melancholic state or thoughts. As a friend of someone that is struggling with feelings and plans of suicide, please avoid offering such substances or drugs to them, if possible, keep such out of their reach. It will be more loving to help them see better ways to cope.
• Be positively and actively engaged: Thoughts and plans of suicide is crippling and enervating in all aspects of life. Owing to this, people with suicide ideation tend to lose strength, moral vigour and interest in most activities and people, if not all. Nevertheless, this won’t help you feel better. Withdrawing from activities and people will only fuel your thoughts and propel you to commit suicide. This will not be easy but being positively and actively engaged in activities will help you get rid of the depressing thoughts. Instead of shrinking back, make efforts to do things that you enjoy. You can exercise, take part in a sport activity, go out, see places, do things for people or better still, get involved in some good community service(s). This will help you stay more positive and rekindle your fire, so to speak.
If you know a suicidal fellow, it will be loving on your part to get these ones actively engaged. Can you take them along for a walk, a sport activity or some other up building activities. If you do, you will be drawing them out of deep waters and will help them get back on the trail they were on prior to their present state.
• Get professional help: Conventionally, ailing persons need medical attention. This is is the case with suicidal individuals. Sometimes, suicide ideation could be due to underlying problems or factors. Suicide ideation is evidence that you or the next person is mentally and emotionally ill and needs professional help or attention. There is really nothing to be ashamed of here. If you’ll keep silent or pretend that you are fine, you’ll only get worse. Moreover, regardless of how physically strong you may be, if you are not emotionally and mentally healthy, it will be so much of a struggle to enjoy life and stay happy. What do you need to do? Get help, professional help. There are professionals in the field of medicine, psychology and counselling that can help. These ones may use psychotherapy (talk therapy) or medications to help you get better. Please take advantage of the help in your locality. Keep your appointments with them and take the medications prescribed by them. It will always be for your own benefit. If you are a friend to someone who is suicidal, or you know someone who is, please help them get this sort of help and care. Do not ignore even the slightest symptom of suicide ideation. Do what you can and should for yourself and your neighbour!
How much more do you need to be convinced that suicide is an EMERGENCY? A lot of persons, young and old, are suicidal and may have serious plans of suicide. People don’t just wake up and decide to commit suicide, there are triggers and underlying factors. There are signs that these individuals exhibit. Are you suicidal? Do you know someone who is? Please do not ignore even the slightest symptom. If someone has opened up to you on his/her suicidal feelings or plans, do not take it lightly and don’t dismiss it as a joke. Pay attention to these individuals and help them get the needed help, they can’t do it alone but you can help. Please, avoid saying or doing things that could make someone depressed. And if someone does things that makes you ill mentally and emotionally, choose how you react. You can talk to the person about it or better still, stay away, if you can. We can’t keep letting suicide take its toll on us. We can do our best while we can. Remember, too, that these individuals with suicide ideation., do not really want to end their lives. They just want to end the misery and pain. This means that if we can do our best, in a great way, we’ll lessen suicidal thoughts and the act, itself. If you are suicidal, please do not give up. You can get through this, unharmed. There is hope and things will change. You are stronger, important and can win. Do not be ashamed to ask for help, talk to someone. I can and am eager to assist you get professional help. Feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org Suicide is pathetic, but together, you and I can make a difference.