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How To Help Someone Who Has Suicidal Thoughts

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It’s a painful, tragic, and an emotionally charged incident that can happen to anyone at anytime—if one is not careful—including you!

Everyone (it doesn’t matter what gender or age or social status) is susceptible to the many causes of suicide. Each year in North America, over 31,000 people die by intentionally killing themselves. The World Health Organization boldly declares its estimate: more or less 1 million people succumb to death each year from committing suicide.

What are the common causes of suicide?

There are numerous, but let us check the most common causes.

  • Suicidal thoughts are the result of feelings of not being able to cope with what seems to be overwhelming life situations.
  • Hopelessness for the future (also causes suicidal thoughts). You may erroneously think suicide is a solution if you think you have a bleak future.
  • You may succumb to a sort of tunnel vision; i.e you’re in the midst of a crisis, and you believe, without a shadow of doubt that suicide is your only way out.
  • Study has resulted in data pointing to the fact that suicide may also have a genetic link.

>People who complete suicide, or who entertain suicidal thoughts or behavior, are more likely a member of a family with a history of suicide.

>While more research needs to be done to understand more clearly a possible genetic component, experts think that there could be genetic links to impulsive behavior, which in turn could possibly lead to suicidal tendencies.


How can you help someone from committing suicide?

A lot of times, a suicidal person may be hesitant to ask for help, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t want help. In most cases, he does. And here’s the thing—majority of people who thinks of suicide, actually don’t want to die—they just want to end the harrowing pain inside them. Now, here’s a crucial information: preventing suicide begins with a recognition of the warning signs, and a serious consideration of them.


Once you recognize the warning signs, you have to act promptly, and address the situation. It could be a close friend or even a family member. In fact, it could also be your significant other.


If you suspect someone close to you or a co-worker wants to commit suicide, you might brush the issue aside ‘cause you’re afraid to talk about the subject. Take note of this crucial point: bringing it up can save a life. So, once you see the warning signs, discuss the matter openly. This will somehow ease the pain of the suicidal person, and will lighten up the situation. For all we know, it could make the person become aware of the real situation he is in, and could turn things around for the better. And like what is mentioned earlier, it could save him from becoming a part of the suicide statistics.

Why would someone want to end it all?

Have you ever wondered: what drives numerous individuals to take their own lives, anyway? To people who are not in the grips of despair, and suicidal depression, it’s not easy to understand what drives so many people to kill themselves. But a person with suicidal thoughts is continuously in deep pain causing him not to see other options, except death.


In actuality, suicide is a desperate attempt to escape unbearable suffering. Having blinding feelings of hopelessness, self-loathing, and alienation, a suicidal person can’t think of any way to find relief from his predicament aside from death. But, despite wanting their pain to stop, most of them are deeply undecided about putting an end to their lives. They desperately wish there’s an alternative to suicide, but sadly, they just can’t see one. This is the basic reason why talking with them and knowing why they have these thoughts can greatly help. This can lead them to open up, talk about their feelings, discuss their desperate thoughts, and we know that science and the field of psychiatry have established that when a person is able to talk things out, there’s a big chance the negative thoughts will go away. Once an individual can express their thoughts and feelings, they are on their way to a process of healing and restoration.



Depression and Suicide

Author: Louise B Andrew, MD, JD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP

Suicide Prevention

How to Help Someone who is Suicidal

Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Lawrence Robinson. Last updated: July 2014.


Suicide and suicidal thoughts

Mayo Clinic

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