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Prevention of Suicide- Causes and Treatments

Mental Health > Causes and Treatments

In USA, over thirty thousand people take their own lives by committing suicide every year. Fifteen percent of people with depression commit suicide. Suicide is not a separate disorder but a symptom of severe mental disorders such as bipolar disorder or depression. Protective factors cushion people from the risks associated with suicide, such as cultural and religious beliefs, family and community support, and effective clinical care.

The majority of people experience suicidal thoughts at some time in their lives. The important difference is made between a person's thoughts concerning death and suicide, and in fact wanting to die. The risk factors include previous suicide attempts, impulsive or aggressive tendencies, and history of mental disorders, alcohol or substance abuse, easy access to lethal methods, isolation, loss, or local epidemics of suicide.

Look out for the warning signs of suicide in those at risk. The person makes suicidal threats, statements, or talks about committing suicide, has a preoccupation with death, shows signs of depression, gives away possessions, and makes out a will. You should take all suicidal threats seriously. In those with a diagnosed mental illness, feelings of suicide take on a new aspect of importance.

To help someone considering suicide, talk openly about it, being non-judgmental and showing interest and support. You should not dare the person to do it or do something shocked. Instead you must take the actively suicicidal person to the nearest hospital, or call the police. A psychiatrist assesses the person by a medical interview, examining the mental status, a physical examination, and laboratory tests.

The treatment for suicidal thoughts might range from admission to the hospital to gentle assurance. In several cases, the person is sent home, after starting him on anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication, and with instructions to return for follow-up within 48 hours. For others, regular counseling is begun and the related underlying cause identified and treated. Follow-up appointments in the case of suicidal thoughts are very important to prevent future attempts.

Mental Health > Causes and Treatments