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Suicide Warning Signs And How To Find Help

Suicide Warning Signs And How To Find Help

Did you know that South Africa is ranked as one of the countries with the highest suicide cases? Research suggests that men are more likely to commit suicide, with depression being the leading cause. Read on to learn about 5 suicide warning signs, risk factors and how to find help.

What is Suicide?

Suicide is increasingly becoming a global health concern, with more people choosing to end their lives or attempting to injure themselves with the intent to die. In South Africa, more men are at risk of suicide to women. It’s important to break the stigma around mental health for quicker diagnosis and better suicide prevention strategies before it’s too late.

What are Suicide Risk Factors?

Several factors are associated with the likelihood of suicide. For instance, mental health-related conditions can worsen these factors making you more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts. The most common suicide risk factors can be categorised as follows:

Individual Risks

Personal factors such as childhood trauma, a previous suicide attempt or substance abuse can influence how you handle your suicidal thoughts. Seeking professional help and getting a diagnosis can be helpful. It’s important to remember that in most cases, it’s not one risk factor that contributes to wanting to end your life, and different stressors can accumulate until it becomes too much to handle.

Relationship Risks

Relationships can break down and lead to devastating consequences. Some people struggle to overcome the emotional instability that may follow. This can result in severe mental and emotional health challenges that can increase the risk of suicide.

Society Risks

Social challenges such as unemployment and poor quality of life can worsen your mental state. This can lead to a stressful environment and chronic illnesses if the situation doesn’t become better. These and several other factors can contribute to a higher risk of suicide in some people.

Common Suicide Warning Signs

Even though suicide isn’t a mental illness, it can be associated with mental health conditions like chronic depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Potential warning signs can be challenging to identify as they vary from person to person. The most common suicide warning signs include:

Chronic Sadness: If you notice long-lasting sadness accompanied by inexplicable mood swings, it might be a sign of depression, which can trigger suicidal thoughts.

Self-Harming: Self-harm can be a combination of reckless behaviour, substance abuse, cutting yourself or other deliberate acts to injure yourself to cope with your negative thoughts and feelings about yourself.

Depression: A deep sense of feeling hopeless about your life, unexpected rage, and even sudden calmness after a depressive episode can be a warning sign.

Behavioural Changes: Changes in behaviour and appearance that worry those close to you might be a cry for help.

Talking about Suicide: Unusual conversations about death that may be a threat or promise to follow through with suicide have been reported in nearly 75% of people who attempt suicide.

Seeking Help

While suicide prevention is not an exact science, the risk factors could be reduced when there are effective intervention strategies available. Sometimes, you might require help to identify the underlying issues leading you to consider ending your life. This is why access to mental health services and having a support structure can help you overcome suicidal thoughts.

Mental health stigmas are still reportedly the main reason why most people find it difficult to talk about their challenges and traumas openly. It’s common for someone who is experiencing emotional suffering and considering suicide to rely on substances like alcohol instead of seeking professional help or comfort from their family and friends. The FREE-to-use iER App prioritises your mental health and provides instant access to Social Services to ensure you receive the professional counselling you require anytime, anywhere.

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