Friday, December 4, 2009

Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is not a classified diagnosis in the DSM-IV, but I will include it here because it is a very costly and damaging individual and cultural problem. Increased rates of suicide are correlated with depression, bipolar disorder,alcohol and drug dependence, and schizophrenia.

Suicide can be defined as a self-inflicted death in which a person makes and intentional, direct, and conscious effort to end one’s own life. Contrary to popular belief, all suicides are not a result of classifiable psychological disorders.

Factors that may lead suicide

Among adults, it has been repeatedly observed that suicide victims have suffered significantly more recent stressors than matched groups that did not commit suicide. The loss of a loved one (rejection, breakup, divorce or death) is a very common stressor preceding suicide. Other stressors may include natural disasters, ,job loss, or severe financial problems. These and other stressors may pile up, or they may simply exist for a very long time and lead to feelings of hopelessness.

Other factors associated with suicide are:

1. Depression and other mental disorders
2. Alcholoism and drug abuse
3. Suicidal thinking, talk, and preparation
4. Prior suicide attempts
5. Lethal methods available
6. Social isolation, living alone, loss of support
7. Hopelessness and ridged thinking
8. Being an older white male
9. Modeling, suicide in the family and perhaps genetics
10. Economic or work problems and certain high stress occupations
11. Marital problems and family dysfunction
12. Stress and stressful events
13. Anger, aggression, and irritability
14. Physical illness
15. Repetitions and combinations of factors 1-14

What to do

If you have thoughts of suicide, seek professional help Immediately. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Tell your loved ones, call your doctor, get a referral to an experienced psychologist for evaluation and psychotherapy. Seek professional medication assistance, if necessary.

Many people who attempt suicide do not succeed. No matter how serious the attempt, there are frequent failures. Some attempts leave people seriously impaired for life as a result of the residual damage that they have done to themselves.

There are much better and more effective ways to cope with any trouble that you may encounter. Just get competent professional help and you will see!

Then, there is the matter of Behavioral Contagion. Suicide and suicidal thinking is contagious. When one member of a family commits suicide,it damages their loved ones. Their loved ones are then prone to emotional problems and are more likely to consider suicide as a realistic option when they meet life’s certain stresses and strains. Do not be the cause of your loved ones emotional problems and suicidal thinking through your suicide attempts or completion.

There are much better and more effective ways to cope with any trouble that you may encounter. Just get competent professional help and you will see!

Finally, if you know someone who is thinking about suicide do everything in your power to get them to seek professional help. Do not be sworn to secrecy. Inform their loved ones and ask that they use their influence to get help to the suicidal individual.

If you feel that suicide is about to happen, call the police and tell them of the immediate danger. They can do a “welfare check” and if they find that the individual is in danger, they can hospitalize the person, thereby interrupting the suicide and providing the professional assistance that is needed.

For more detailed information about preventing suicide, please go to the following link:

Dr. Tom

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