10 Signs Of A Suicidal Mind: Be Vigilant For These Behavioural Changes –

Studies show that if the person acquires the capability that includes reduced fear of death and increased tolerance for pain, then the risk for a serious suicide attempt is increased.

Suicide rate in India saw a 6.1 per cent hike in 2021 as compared to the previous year’s percentage, the latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau shows

Suicide is an unfortunate tragedy for those who lose lives by it and for those who care about these individuals. It becomes all the more tragic because it can be prevented. Today, suicide has become very common and more so among the student community. On Thursday (September 1, 2022), an MBBS student at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital was found dead in her hostel room with a handwritten suicide note by her side. This is a tragic incident, and it raises a niggling question on whether this tragedy could have been averted by anyone who may have noticed behavioural changes in her before she took this extreme step.

While it is a long road ahead to establish a coded suicidal behaviour, there are, however, some early signs that, if observed, can save lives.

1 suicide every 40 seconds: WHO

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention defines suicide as death caused by injuring oneself with the intent to die. This may or may not result in death. As per the WHO, globally, around 8,00,000 people die by suicide every year which makes it one person dying every 40 seconds. For each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts. The math is not just disturbing but alarming.

The latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau showed an all-time high in deaths due to suicides in 2021. As per reports, around 1.64 lakh persons died by suicide in 2021. The suicide rate was 12 per cent, which is the highest since 1967.

Be vigilant: Things to watch out for

While there is no clinical conformity when it comes to understanding the causes and triggers of people attempting suicide, there are some signs and symptoms of a suicidal mind that must be closely observed and taken very seriously. While some symptoms are overt, some can be highly covert. You must watch out for these signs in a friend, family member and close aide. In case you notice any of these signs, do reach out for help.

Many medical journals have listed the following as notable symptoms of a suicidal mind:

  • Expressing a sense of hopelessness about the future
  • Being occupied with thoughts of death, destruction and violence.
  • Engaging in excessively self-destructive behaviour such as consuming drugs, driving recklessly or engaging in extremely dangerous sports and adventures.
  • Changing normal routine, disturbed eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Exhibiting extreme guilt or shame
  • Withdrawal from social gatherings and wanting to be left alone.
  • Getting away with personal items with no logical explanation
  • Talking to other people in a way that suggests meeting them for the last time
  • Stockpiling pills
  • Experiencing mood swings from extreme rage to being extremely quiet or calm.

Science behind suicide

While the above-mentioned symptoms can act as a useful guide in understanding abnormal behaviour, however, they cannot be generalized. Behind any physical activity, there is a psychological motive. Experts have been trying to find the various motives behind suicide. As per a study, The Psychology of Suicidal Behaviour, published by Research Gate, the presence of psychological disorders are risk factors for suicidal behaviour but have little predictive power and perhaps do not account for why people kill themselves. For this reason, specific markers of suicide risk must be identified.

Studies state that suicidal desire is necessary but not sufficient cause for a suicide attempt. But certain things may indicate a suicidal mind.

  • If the person acquires the capability that includes reduced fear of death and increased tolerance for pain, then the risk for a serious suicide attempt is increased.
  • Repeated exposure to physically painful circumstances also increases one’s ability to engage in risky behaviour.
  • The study, however, claims that hopelessness which is pessimism about the future is a primary predictor behind the suicidal act.
  • Other reasons behind attempting suicide include autobiographical memory bias, a feeling of being a burden to others, pain insensitivity, chronic illness or pain, extreme agitation and others. 10 Signs Of A Suicidal Mind

Factors that may increase risk of suicide

Some factors that contribute to a suicidal act are as follows:

  • Criminal or legal history
  • Financial problems
  • Substance misuse
  • Violence victimization
  • Experiencing bullying or loss of loved ones
  • History of mental illness
  • Lack of access to healthcare
  • Stigma associated with help-seeking in mental illness
  • Community violence

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