Can You Be Suicidal But Not Depressed – Experts share insights into what can cause someone to have suicidal thoughts or actions, and how friends and family can help.
Many Americans have experienced firsthand the devastating effects of suicide. Some have seen a family member or friend take their own life. Others may have had suicidal thoughts or actions.
Can You Be Suicidal But Not Depressed
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 18- to 24-year-olds, killing more than 45,000 people each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say this number makes suicide the 10th leading cause of death overall. And many experts think that’s only half of the 45,000 actual suicides due to misreported deaths. This would bring the annual suicide rate to about 100,000.
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Regardless of the prevalence and frequency of suicide across the country, the general public knows very little about suicide. Who is at risk? What are the warning signs? Most importantly, how can someone who is considering ending his life by suicide be helped?
“Suicide is any situation in which a person dies through self-use,” said Richard Shelton, a University of Alabama professor in Birmingham’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology. does not discriminate – it affects people of all races, genders, religions, socioeconomic statuses and ages – the common thread is that people feel that their lives are no longer worth living or that they are a burden to others.”
Shelton says 80 percent or more of people who die by suicide suffer from depression, while the remaining 10 to 15 percent have other related mental health problems. Statistically, women are more likely to attempt suicide than men. But men are five times more likely to die by suicide. The tendency of women can be considered reversible by overdosing or slitting their wrists. Men often resort to more violent methods, such as self-inflicted wounds or strangulation.
“People often feel compelled to commit suicide after a stressful event, be it after a breakup, during a financial crisis, losing a job, the death of a loved one, or as a result of abuse or trauma,” he said. Shelton. . . “Suicides can be impulsive or carefully planned, often making it difficult for family members or friends to know that their loved one is in great pain, as there can be no surprise before their death. It was not unusual.”
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An increasing cause of suicide among young adults is especially bullying that they may experience at school. Vulnerable populations, including the LGTBQ community and veterans, are also at greater risk of suicide because of the social and traumatic situations they have experienced.
Suicidality can be complicated, says Angela Stowe, Ph.D., director of student counseling services. Often the person in a crisis does not really want to die, but rather to be released from the stress he is experiencing.
“Most people who see suicide as an option are going to die — they don’t necessarily want to die, but they want to be free of the pain and suffering that makes them hard,” Stowe said. “The immense sadness and sense of lack of purpose contribute greatly to the already fragile state the person may find themselves in.”
“I’ve told patients it’s the difference between a spring rain and a hurricane,” Shelton said. “With a spring rain, you know it’s over and the sun is coming back; But with a hurricane, there seems to be no end in sight. For those who have suicidal thoughts, they may feel like they’ll never get out of the storm. But we do.” We know that almost everyone with suicidal thoughts will feel better if they get medical help and/or treatment.
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According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK), the following symptoms may indicate suicide risk. However, it is important to note that each person can have different reactions and symptoms to watch out for:
Suicide is preventable and there are many ways people can get the care and treatment they need to help them through difficult times.
Shelton points out that while more than 75 percent of suicidal people are not currently seeking medical treatment or treatment, 80 percent are likely to start feeling better after just one experience with a doctor.
Shelton explained, “We know that medical intervention — whether it’s the first time with a primary care physician or a psychiatrist — is effective and helps people at risk feel less isolated,” Shelton explained. “There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to helping a suicidal person get the care they need, but there are plenty of options that can help manage the feelings of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness that come with it.” to light up.” can feel that.”
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People who are severely suicidal should go to the emergency department immediately. When people want to seek outpatient treatment, Shelton says the best primary care medical intervention is a primary care physician. From there, they can initiate treatment and refer someone in need to the appropriate next resource, which often speeds up the process.
According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, there are five ways people can help a friend or family member who may be suicidal:
Asking someone if they are suicidal is one of the first ways to help someone in need. Many people worry that asking questions will drive someone insane or eventually kill themselves by suicide, but Stowe explains that expressing your concern and willingness to help can have a positive effect.
“It’s a myth that you can plant a suicidal seed in someone’s mind,” Stowe said. “If you’re wondering if a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, I suggest you say, ‘Are you thinking about suicide? I’m worried about you and you.’ I want to help you with the care you need.”
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There are plenty of educational opportunities for the average person to access if they feel they know someone who is suicidal. For example, QPR – Ask, Persuade, Refer – Suicide Prevention Training is a nationwide initiative that teaches participants the warning signs of suicide, how to convince someone to seek help, and where to turn. However, QPR training is offered to all Madison and VIVA employees, and more information can be found on /learn.
This step can be taken literally by helping the person in need stay safe in every way possible. It is, for example, removing guns, sharp objects or bullets away from or in the home of the suicidal person, or not leaving the person alone. It could be sitting with the person or taking him to the hospital – keeping him safe is a fluid concept, but very important.
During this critical time, it is important for the suicidal person to know that they are not alone, physically and emotionally. As mentioned, being present can mean many things, such as sitting with someone through a difficult time or checking in to make sure they know they’re not alone.
It also means that you’re not trying to talk someone out of a situation by saying, “You really don’t want to kill yourself,” but by telling them that they are loved and cherished.
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Stowe explains that while empathy can go a long way, there are instances when comments with the best intentions can do even more damage. “Here in the South, we hear a lot of people say, ‘I’m praying for you,’ and they really mean it, but religion can be a motivator for a person in a suicidal situation,” Stowe said.
Anyone can find help finding suicide aids in their immediate community, be it on a college campus, in a hospital, or at a community office. It can physically drive a loved one to the first doctor’s appointment, or help them dial a number for a crisis hotline.
However, students can access care through Student Counseling, while employees are encouraged to seek help through the Employee Counseling and Guidance Center. will host a Mental Health Town Hall on September 17 from 6-8pm. at the Hill Student Center Alumni Theater. Community members can participate in discussions about suicide with campus leaders and experts.
In Birmingham, contacting a crisis center is the first step for anyone in immediate need. The 24-hour hotline can be reached at 205-323-7777.
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Nationally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a resource for anyone in need. It has great resources for people who consider suicide their only option, as well as for the general public who may be curious about helping a friend. The 24-hour hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Community counseling clinics provide services for a range of mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, stress, relationship conflict, grief and loss, recent substance abuse recovery, self-esteem issues, adjustment issues.
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