It’s that time of year again! Time to open your consciousness to the awareness of suicide. Not saying it’s not prevalent all year around, but this time of year the statistics increase.
A lot of us are influenced by Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as the winter blues.
Though we are only in Fall, it’s still crucial to begin preparing ourselves for what’s ahead.
People with bipolar disorder are at a higher risk for suicide than others in the general public. Based on this risk, a lot of research is being done to understand this process and how to prevent suicides. According to some new research, if someone with bipolar disorder has a family member who committed suicide, it increases their risk three-fold.
This statistic is not something that is brand new, and most professionals are aware that having a close friend or family members that has even attempted suicide can increase the risk for someone, particularly if they are struggling with a serious mental illness. Hopefully this type of study will educate people about this fact and increases the likelihood of people seeking treatment or emergency services if they have this type of pattern in their family.
Again, those with bipolar disorder are at great risk for suicide if they are not getting treatment. The National Mental Health Association reports that 30%-70% of suicide victims have suffered from a form of depression. Men commit almost 75% of suicides, even though twice as many women attempt suicide.
Risk factors for suicide include:
•Having mental and substance abuse disorders
•Family history of mental or substance abuse disorders
•Having attempted suicide previously
•Having a family history of physical or sexual abuse
•Having family members or friends who have attempted suicide.
*Keep a firearm in the home.
If you or someone you know is at risk for suicide — and has shown warning signs — do not leave them alone. Seek the help of a health care professional right away. People often talk about suicide before they attempt it, so pay close attention to what they are saying and take them seriously.
Some warning signs of suicide include:
•Talking about suicide
•Always talking or thinking about death
•Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
•Saying things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
•A sudden switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
•Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, like driving through red lights
•Losing interest in things one used to care about
•Visiting or calling people one cares about
•Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
Call 911 or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline if You:
•You think you cannot stop from harming yourself
•Want to commit suicide
•You know someone who has mentioned wanting to commit suicide
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Sources: PsychCentral & WebMD