World Suicide Prevention day 2020: Signs of telltale suicidal tendencies to watch out for

A person with suicidal tendency may show anger, sudden calmness, improvement in their behaviour, insomnia or excessive sleeping.

Myupchar September 10, 2020 13:58:20 IST
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World Suicide Prevention day 2020: Signs of telltale suicidal tendencies to watch out for

Representational image. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), the World Suicide Prevention Day which is observed on 10 September every year, aims to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention.

The theme this year — working together to prevent suicide — focusses on bringing together government organisations, healthcare professionals, NGOs, family, friends, coworkers and closed ones to work together to bring down suicide rate.

“Every 40 seconds, someone takes a life. Almost 800,000 people a year around the world. Observed on 10 September every year, World Suicide Prevention Day provides a focussed opportunity for us all, across the globe, to raise awareness of suicide, it’s preventability and to reduce the stigma surrounding suicidal behaviour,” said IASP president Murad Khan in his video message on the website of the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Unlike what is commonly perceived, suicidal tendencies do not only affect those suffering from a mental health condition. Studies show that about 54 percent of people who commit suicide did not have any diagnosable mental illness. People don’t always commit suicide out of the blue either. Those with suicidal tendencies often show some subtle signs that can be identified if you know what to look for. However, most of us fail to notice these signs. In fact, due to the widespread stigma surrounding suicide, we avoid even discussing the topic.

“Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge. It affects us all, irrespective of geography. And it requires a collective, concerted effort to initiate change and reach the ultimate goal of reduction in premature deaths by suicide,” said Khan. “We can all play a role, from reaching out to a friend or family member, to learning about the risks and signs and promoting open discussion to reduce stigma around suicide.”

Going by the theme of the day, let us have a look at some of the signs of suicidal tendencies that you should be on the lookout for.

1. Talking about suicide

The person may start to mention how they want to kill themselves or end everything. They may talk about feeling trapped or hopeless and being a burden to everyone. While not everyone who mentions suicide actually goes through with it, it is best to look out for such behaviour, intervene at the right time and seek help from a professional if needed.

2. Persistent sadness/depression

If a person has been sad for long and is showing signs of withdrawal and moodiness, they may have depression and would be in need of medical assistance. Those with clinical depression also tend to have low self-esteem, a feeling of hopelessness, guilt and irritability. They may find it hard to make a decision and feel tearful a lot.

3. Self-harm

The person may start to consume excessive alcohol or drugs. They may indulge in rash driving or cutting. Some may even look online for various ways to commit suicide.

4. Saying goodbyes

Often those with suicidal tendencies may start to have no concern about their own appearances and may even give away things they once treasured. They may visit or call family and friends to say goodbye and get their affairs in order. Another way to do this may even be to clean their room after putting it off for long.

5. Other signs

A person with suicidal tendency may show anger, sudden calmness, improvement in their behaviour, insomnia or excessive sleeping. They may look withdrawn, tired and keep on isolating themselves from their loved ones.

For more information, read our article on Suicidal tendency.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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