*This blog post can be triggering. Please read at your discretion.*
Committing suicide takes energy and planning. This could be a week, a month, a year or sometimes years. It might seem improbable but the grief, anger or pain which could lead to these ends can last that long. It happens just above the lowest point when they still have energy to think clearly and execute it. Thence it has been reported numerously by family members and close friends who were last in contact with the suicide victim that they seemed happy and calm. This is because the suicidal person has finalised their plan and thinks they can finally escape the pain of this world.
These are some of the major signs that someone may be suicidal.
Please keep in mind that a single sign does not necessarily mean the person is going to hurt themselves. It’s rather a cue to approach the issue tentatively.
1. Suicidal talk
This is the first hint to identify someone who is contemplating taking his or her own life. They may ask questions about it either directly or evasively.
“What do you think about suicide?”, “Have you ever thought about killing yourself?”, “Is it worth it after all, you know…life?”, “Maybe things would be easier if I weren’t here.”
These questions or statements are highly suggestive of the fact that they are considering it. It may seem as though they want to know your thoughts or opinions on the topic however, they’re asking for advice on committing suicide while not openly admitting to it. It might seem quite ambiguous and perhaps you wouldn’t be able to connect the dots in time however this coupled with the subsequent points should help demystify things. Notwithstanding the fact that they’d only go as far to talk about this with someone they really trust or have an affinity with and this is plausibly their way of screaming for help.
2. Giving away prized possessions
It’s an odd occurrence when one gives away their prized possessions. Probably because they believe material things are not needed where they’re going. Or perhaps a part of them is scared to be completely forgotten by their loved ones. Others believe giving away their prized possessions to loved ones is their way of compensating them after their death but I remain in awe at the fact they equate their value to such petty items. Is it the pain that does that to them? They don’t see themselves as worthy and sometimes even believe their loved ones would be better off without them.
3. Strange sleeping patterns
It’s hard falling asleep when you’re constantly thinking about a way to get on the other side of life. No tossing and turning but rather they just lay there imagining what it’d be like to not feel the emotions they’re feeling in that moment. It’s quite ironic because they want to go to sleep permanently but can’t afford to do it temporarily because they fear they’d wake up to reality. It must be draining living in such gloominess.
4. Low energy
This is often seen in people with depression and sometimes coupled with suicidal thoughts. The low energy levels may occur as a result of the lack of sleep however, it is also as a result of a change in the individuals view of life. When life becomes meaningless everything becomes vanity. Some religious bigots wouldn’t agree with me on this but I believe every single day we’re stuck between the vanity of fulfilment in this world and the vanity of apathy to things of this world. They have little motivation to do activities that might actually be therapeutic for them because their mental exhaustion takes a toll on them physically as well.
5. Abusing drugs or alcohol
When people don’t feel connected to anyone, when they feel like the world is closing all doors on them, they may turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of escape. At this stage it means the person hasn’t conclusively decided to take his or her own life but rather chooses to alleviate the pain temporarily. They may seem normal for a while until they begin to overdose. They become insatiable. The relief they obtain from these stimulants is idle. They get the opportunity to escape from their reality and in that moment, they have never felt at peace. On the other hand people take it because they think these substances might give them enough willpower to commit suicide.
6. Self harm
This is clear cut sign of a suicidal person. It includes cutting, burning and poisoning oneself. They often do this at places which are only visible when nude. In a sense, it’s a way that suicidal people test the waters to see if they have what it takes to commit suicide. They do it gradually until they have built enough pain tolerance to take the final shot at suicide. Former self harmers often say that the physical pain helps them escape from the emotional pain. In some cases they attempt to go all the way but they are saved. This is called suicidal tendencies. One thing people don’t understand about depression is that it is not easily cured by a pill. A sudden stop in medication may trigger an aggravated wave of depression that might lead to another suicide attempt.
7. Overly calm
This sign is hard to spot because you might be under the impression that the person is doing better. The misconception society has about depression is that people commit suicide at their lowest point. What actually happens at this stage is that the person is unwilling to do anything. No desire to eat, watch television or partake in their favourite activities. Their days are spent mostly in bed.
Whatever your experience with suicide is it’s important for you to understand the science of suicidal behaviour. Please keep in mind that not every suicidal person will show these signs and not every sign means that a person is suicidal.
The point of this blog post is to make you understand these signs and workout wether the person needs a friend or professional help.
I think it’s a drastic step to take and I’m flabbergasted to think about the amount of pain that could cause one to sacrifice everything to walk into immortality without any knowledge of what it holds for you.
Suicidal people don’t want to die, they just want the pain to stop. If you’re having suicidal thoughts or ideations, I need you to to know that this world we’re in right now, it doesn’t have to be this way. So much can change and so much would change. Just hold on tight and try to find that little sparkle in the gloominess of the world.
We feel that as a mental health community, it is our duty to do our best to provide free resources to help others who are in mental or emotional distress and those who suffer in silence.
I hope this helps you and everyone else who reads this. If you’d want me to write on a topic that bothers you or anything you’d generally want me to write on please reach out to me using any of my social media buttons. Also I’d love to know your thoughts on this article and where you might agree or disagree. All entries are exclusively between myself and you, thank you and be safe!