Suicidality is an issue that must be taken very seriously, because in Germany alone more than 10,000 people commit suicide every year. The number of unreported cases will certainly be much higher. This means that the number of suicides significantly exceeds that of traffic deaths per year.
What is suicidality?
Suicidality, i.e. a risk of suicide, describes a mental state in which the thoughts, fantasies and actions of the person concerned are aimed at bringing about their own death. This condition can be persistent, repeated or only exist in critical situations. For labia synechia in English, please visit gradphysics.com.
In the case of suicidality, a distinction is made between suicidal thoughts (no actual desire to commit suicide) and urgent suicidal thoughts, behind which concrete intentions and plans to commit suicide are concealed. Suicidality is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying problem.
A psychological problem has become so acute that only desperation and hopelessness prevail. Those affected find their life unbearable and therefore want to end it. A possibility of changing the current life for the better cannot be recognized in the case of acute suicidal tendencies. Suicide appears to those affected as the only way out. Treating suicidality is one of the most difficult challenges in healthcare.
There are many different causes for suicidality. This includes:
- depressive disorder
- alcohol or drug addiction
- Past suicide attempts
- Suicides in the family or in the immediate vicinity
- personality disorders
- neurotic disorders
- Isolation and loneliness, for example in old age
- professional stress
- Unemployment or other reasons that lead to a high level of hopelessness and lack of prospects
- Violent Environment
- Financial problems
- loss of self-esteem
- dependence on other people
- Traumatic or stressful experiences such as the loss of a loved one, for example through death or divorce
- Serious or incurable illness
Suicidality can occur as a result of an event, but can also result from a sequence of different events. How the stresses are experienced individually is fundamentally very different.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
A typical symptom of suicidality is the person concerned thinking or talking about death or dissatisfaction with life or problems. This should always be taken very seriously and understood as an alarm signal. It’s a common misconception that people contemplating suicide don’t talk about it.
Most suicidal people talk about being suicidal or about how life seems meaningless to them. In the history of the suicidal acts, the mood and behavior of those affected often change fundamentally. It is often observed that they react more emotionally and tend to have strong emotional outbursts, such as fear, sadness, outbursts of anger, shame and guilt.
The patient falls into a depressive state. He believes that the only way to escape this is by committing suicide. A deep hopelessness has set in. Suicidal people often withdraw and communicate less. On the other hand, it is also often observed that people who have decided to commit suicide suddenly seem “relieved”, so that they are more communicative and open-minded than before. Giving away property or getting things in order can indicate suicidality.
Diagnosis & course of disease
Various aspects play an important role in the diagnosis of suicidality. This includes:
- Constriction, reversal of aggression and suicidal fantasies
- Risk factors include mental illnesses and disorders, especially depression and schizophrenia (acute phase)
- Psychosocial crises such as separation or the death of a loved one
- Hardly any social relationships
- Previous suicide attempts or suicides in the family
- Hopelessness, despair, fear, joylessness, insomnia
- Release from a psychiatric institution
These factors are to be taken very seriously, and so is suicidality. The following applies: The sooner the risk is recognized, the better, because the longer the condition lasts, the more the wish to commit suicide can become entrenched.
Suicidality and its complications must be considered on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, it can itself be understood as a complication of depression. Suicidality carries the risk of not being recognized or understood. It is not uncommon for depression in particular not to be apparent to those around them and lead to an increase in psychological stress due to help not being provided.
The same applies to suicidality, which in such cases often only becomes apparent after a (successful) attempt at suicide. In addition, this form of psychological suffering can be very acute, which lowers the inhibition threshold for committing affective acts – autodestructive and suicidal acts – and thus makes intervention by third parties or therapists de facto impossible.
Suicidality also leads to complications in medical treatments. For example, an unwillingness to live in the person affected can mean that he or she refuses to take medication or eat. This results in higher risks (accepted by the suicidal person), which have legal and emotional consequences for doctors and relatives. Complications can also arise from unsuccessful suicide attempts. Mutilations, brain damage and the like occur and often mean that those affected prolong their perceived suffering.
When should you go to the doctor?
People who are thinking about ending their lives on their own should seek medical or therapeutic help. A persistent lack of interest in life or a sense of meaninglessness is worrying. If thoughts of one’s own uselessness or superfluity arise, these should be shared with other people.
If emotions can no longer be understood by other people, if wishes and dreams disappear or hopelessness sets in, the perceptions should be discussed with a doctor. If the person concerned comes to a point in their life where they believe they are a burden to those close to them, they should address their concerns openly. If the person concerned is often concerned with ways of ending their own life, help is needed.
If concrete plans emerge as to how one’s own death is to take place, there is an acute need for action. If self-injurious acts take place, a suicide note is written or the person concerned begins to cancel existing contracts, should there be heightened vigilance. If a person expresses clear procedures that lead to their own deliberate death, an emergency service must be alerted. Otherwise, there is a failure to provide assistance, which is punishable under the statutory provisions. Compulsory instructions are issued if there is a hardened suspicion of suicidal tendencies.
Treatment & Therapy
Researching the reasons for suicidality and initiating appropriate treatment can only be done by a specialist. The therapy depends on the corresponding trigger of the suicidal intentions. Often, the victim has to be treated in a closed psychiatric ward, often against their will, to protect them.
Antidepressants or mood-stabilizing substances are used for depression. Manic-depressive states are usually clinically severe clinical pictures, so that the combination of different drugs is necessary. In the case of suicidality resulting from the life situation, psychotherapy or sociotherapeutic measures are useful. A good relationship between doctor and patient is always important for successful therapy.
Basically, there is no such thing as suicide. A lot has usually happened before people have such intentions, and this is exactly where it is important to intervene and help. If there is an emergency, help must be obtained immediately and an ambulance called immediately. It is important to let them know that the person is suicidal.
Recognizing signs of suicidality and taking action can save lives. Basically, it is wrong to reproach or accuse the other person, to downplay or trivialize the situation. Instead, the other person’s situation should be taken seriously because it seems hopeless to him. The person concerned should not be left alone in the situation, but should receive support and sympathy.
Suicidality is a phenomenon that should be taken very seriously and for which therapy should be accompanied by close follow-up care. Contact persons for this are psychiatrists or psychologists as well as the family doctor. The reason for the suicidality plays an important role in the follow-up care. It is important to know whether a single traumatic event is the reason for suicidal thoughts or whether depression is at the root of these thoughts.
It is important to have a social network that the person concerned can always turn to if problems arise or if there is any other need for discussion. Relatives and friends can also do this to a certain extent. Visiting a self-help group is often a good idea. Here those affected can exchange valuable experiences and give helpful tips in a safe environment.
Hobbies and social contacts in leisure time are also well suited to accompany suicidality aftercare. Anyone who feels fear and restlessness can also reduce this with relaxation methods. These are best learned in a course so that you can then practice them regularly at home on your own. The range of possibilities is wide: Progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training or imaginary journeys are available, for example. Yoga can also help. Through the combination of body and breathing exercises, relaxation and meditation, it has a holistic effect on body, mind and soul.
You can do that yourself
Statements about the desire to commit suicide can be extremely stressful for the social environment and lead to situations of being overwhelmed. For this reason, extreme caution is required with this sensitive topic.
If you intend to commit suicide, you are well advised to seek professional help. Cooperation with a psychotherapist is advisable. The person affected often does not manage to overcome the emotional low on their own. It is always advisable to deal openly with your own thoughts and emotions with people you trust. However, if the desire to end one’s own life solidifies, professional help is needed.
As soon as concrete plans arise from the desire to commit suicide, action must be taken. Under no circumstances should the person concerned be alone or stay in areas and situations in which the hopelessness seems to become even greater. In an emergency situation, the person concerned can alert the emergency services themselves or establish contact with pastoral care.
In addition, it can be perceived as pleasant and helpful if an exchange takes place with other formerly suicidal people. There is a maximum degree of empathy here, so that the person concerned finds a good conversation partner who has experienced his or her stressful situation himself and can show ways out.