help a person who is suicidal

Suicide is a taboo subject in our society. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t occur. Suicide occurs more often than people probably know, or want to admit. And attempted suicide occurs even more than that.

There are many reasons why a person would want to commit suicide, and not all of them are because the person has a mental illness. Yes, many people who want to commit suicide are mentally ill, but often times, a suicidal person might just be a very stressed out person. If a person is having a lot of problems, such as going through a divorce, going through some kind of abuse, or anything very stressful like that, a person might start to think that there is no way out to escape the pain, except to end his/her life.

A person who seriously considers suicide often sees life through “tunnel vision,” or black and white. These people see life as having no gray area, i.e, things won’t get better, they will only get better if they end their life. It’s this “tunnel vision” that causes these people to want to kill themselves often.

There are usually signs that these people are suicidal. If a person does kill him/herself, more than likely, there were signs along the way that they were going to do it.

Some of these signs include:

  1. Giving away prized possessions. Some suicidal people start giving away their wedding ring, their grandmother’s anniversary ring, or something else that means a lot to them. They want to give away these prized possessions so that they will feel that when they die, their loved ones will have a piece of them to remember them by.
  2. Being very depressed for a prolonged amount of time can also be a sign that the person is depressed.
  3. Feeling hopeless, talking about things in a negative way all the time, and being very pessimistic.
  4. Talking about death in a way that glorifies it. Often, people who commit suicide think about things like, ” They’ll all be sorry once I’m gone,” or they’ll think glorified images about how everyone will be crying at their funeral. However, they don’t think about the fact that they are the ones who lose out, for they are going to be the ones that are dead in the end.
  5. Reading of materials with a subject of there being some sort of after-life. Often, suicidal people hate their life on Earth, but become hopeful and maybe even sometimes convinced that there is an after-life, so they kill themselves in hopes that the afterlife is better than this life.
  6. Talking about dying and suicide. Often, people who want to end their life do not keep that inside. They often talk about it to people, and sometimes, they even have a plan for how and when they are going to do it.
  7. A very depressed person all of a sudden being very happy. A lot of times, this can look like they are now all better and happy, and no longer depressed. However, most of the time, this is just the opposite. A lot of times when a suicidal, depressed person gets happy all of a sudden it is because they have made a real plan to end their life and are now very happy that their pain will soon be over.

So, now you might have seen some or all of these signs, and you are wondering what you should do about it?

  1. Ask the person if they are suicidal. Talking to people about suicide does NOT make them want to end their life. A lot of times, when people attempt suicide or talk about suicide to others, they are looking for help and showing people that they are serious about wanting to end their life.
  2. Ask the person if they have a plan to end their life. If the person has a place, date, and time, then this person is very serious and probably will indeed attempt to kill him/herself at that date, time, and place.
  3. Take every suicidal comment seriously. People do not usually “joke” about suicide. This person has serious problems that need to be talked over with a professional.
  4. Call a suicide prevention center or hotline.
  5. Talk with a professional trained with this kind of problem. It may be a school counselor, a school psychologist, a Pastor, a social worker, a psychiatrist, or psychologist. If you are younger, please tell an adult, and they will contact the proper counselor or social worker to talk to.
  6. Don’t ignore someone talking about suicide! You must intervene, even if that just means contacting someone else who is more prepared and trained to deal with a suicidal person than you are.

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