This is a manifestation that requires special attention from mental health professionals. It is also important that family members, friends and others near to the person suffering have some knowledge about how to detect when a person is suicidal in order to help prevent him or her from acting out.
If a person has suicidal ideation but is not in psychiatric, psychological and/or medical treatment, it may be difficult for the people around them to realize what is happening. This is partly due to the myths surrounding suicide and the manifestation of wanting to die. Many people still think that if a person says he or she wants to die they will not carry it out, when in reality this is a clear and direct way of asking for help and a serious symptom that should be explored. If this is not done, a great opportunity will be missed that can ultimately prevent a suicide.
The manifestations of wanting to die should never be ignored, much less ridiculed or questioned. Doing this could further provoke the person.
The suicidal act is rarely impulsive and can usually be prevented if suicidal ideation is detected.
It is important to inform professionals and family members of the importance of exploring the suicidal idea and avoid pejorative attitudes that may provoke a person to attempt suicide. It is important to pay attention to verbal and non-verbal expressions. Sometimes the verbal cues can mask over a calm that appears when the person has already decided to end his or her life.
When people have experienced a suicidal crisis and later improve, they sometimes will fear a relapse that can cause them to rethink the whole situation and feel empowered to end their life. It is a stage in which family and professionals must be especially attentive to.
Suicidal behavior in its various forms of presentation is a way for the person to communicate that something is not right. What complicates its detection is that, sometimes, the message is not understood by the recipient or is misinterpreted.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is everyone who wants to commit suicide depressed?
Although every depressed person has the potential to make an attempt at suicide or commit suicide, not all those who do have depression. They may suffer from schizophrenia, alcoholism, personality disorders, etc.
If someone tells me that they are going to commit suicide, are they bragging and only seeking attention?
Not usually, in fact everyone who commits suicide expressed with words, threats, gestures or changes in behavior what would happen. Thinking that this person is only seeking attention leads to minimizing the suicidal threats and overlooking an opportunity for intervention.
Is suicide hereditary?
It has not been proven that suicide is inherited, although you can find several members of the same family who have ended their lives by suicide. In these cases, what is inherited is the predisposition to suffer from a certain mental illness in which suicide is a main symptom, such as, affective disorders and schizophrenia.
Does talking about suicide with someone who has this risk encourage him or her to do it?
Talking about suicide does not incite, provoke or introduce the idea to a person at risk; in fact, it has been proven that talking about it reduces the danger of committing it and may be the only option the person has for analyzing his or her self-destructive drives.
What do I do when I start thinking about suicide?
It is best to seek professional help to find a way to make the necessary changes in order to feel attached to life once again. At CADE we have qualified personnel offering psychological and psychiatric care. It is also important to tell those around you with whom you are close; talking about your thoughts with other people can help you to feel more at peace.