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It Is Time We Talk About Suicidal Thoughts

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The concept of mental health has been stigmatized for many years and never given much importance, as no one can see your wounds and pain. We all struggle with our mental health, and we’re increasingly learning how to communicate and raise awareness about the same.

Suicidal thoughts can occur in a wide range of circumstances, especially when experiencing stress and facing psychological or physical health problems. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we lost many precious lives to death by suicide. According to the central government’s data, India lost 418 lives daily in 2020, a 10% rise in suicide rates.

Moreover, mental Health in the U.S. is declining too.

We all fought battles with our minds during times of extreme pressure, uncertainty, and anxiety towards what will happen in the future and losing control over our immediate environment.

Let’s take a moment to understand what suicidal thoughts are, what suicidal people go through, and why we need to talk about suicidal thoughts.

Suicidal Ideation- Looking at Dangerous Thought Patterns

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We know that suicidal ideation refers to wanting to take your own life or thinking about taking your own life, but there are different ideations- active and passive.

Many people experience suicidal thoughts with a method but no intent or plan to act on it. They might know how to do it but don’t have any specific plan or intention to go through with it. 

And people also experience suicidal thoughts with no method or plan.

Also Read: Deep Breathing: Physical and Mental Health Benefits

What Goes On Inside The Mind Of A Suicidal Person?

It’s impossible to read someone’s mind and figure out what they’re going through. Many times, people we see living a “good life” are also miserable and vulnerable to suicidal thoughts even though it may seem like they’ve everything. 

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There are several reasons why people experience suicidal thoughts; some of these are:

  • Many people feel like they can’t escape from their intrusive thoughts, and can’t control them.
  • Their reality has been clouded by depression, and they believe suicide is their only option.
  • People may feel or relive the memory of a past traumatic event they experienced and can’t see a world beyond their trauma.
  • They’re exhausted from feeling numb and like they’re just “existing” rather than “living”.
  • They feel hopeless and feel like they’ve no control over their future. They doubt their ability to push through their current circumstances. 

Why Do We Need To Talk About Suicidal Thoughts?

The act of taking one’s own life is a tragic reaction to stressful life circumstances – and all the more tragic since we can prevent suicide.

As a society, we often dismiss a suicidal person’s cry for help as an attention-seeking act, ignoring their feelings and experiences.

It’s high time we understand and bring awareness to mental health issues and remind ourselves that people with suicidal ideation are NOT ungrateful or in need of the spotlight or being overdramatic.

Here are some reasons why talking about suicidal thoughts is the need of the hour.

Saving lives And Reducing The Risks Of Suicide 

By keeping an eye out for the suicide warning signs, we can save many lives. Some of these signs are:

  • Social withdrawal 
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Talking about being a burden to everyone 
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Isolating oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself

If you or someone you know are showing these signs, please reach out and ask for help!

Breaking The Stigma 

Despite the growing attention to mental health in recent years, mental illness and suicidal tendencies have a lot of stigmas attached to them. As a result of the shame surrounding mental fitness, we cannot seek help when we need it.

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Discussing mental health openly in society can reduce stigmas around suicidal thoughts while also reminding ourselves that help is available and we’re not alone in the struggle. 

By talking about mental health, those who have suicidal thoughts or suffer from severe mental illnesses can reach out for help without shame or the fear of being judged.

To Understand You Are Not Alone

Opening up about mental health issues, including suicidal ideation, can help break down these barriers. Our discussions help us better understand suicidal thoughts, providing an opportunity to feel more comfortable seeking help.

When we openly discuss, we may see more people seeking treatment and being diagnosed with a mental health disorder. 

Maintaining a conversation about mental health and seeing people reaching out for help without any fear of judgment or shame makes us feel comfortable enough to seek help when we need it.

This open dialogue about mental health makes us feel that we’re not alone in our battles.

To Encourage Care And Support

When we learn we’re not alone in mental health struggles, we’re more inclined to seek treatment. By reaching out to people showing warning signs, we show them that we care and appreciate their presence in our lives. 

Showing up for one another in our times of need is the first step towards creating a supportive community that encourages care.

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To Maintain Good Mental Health 

To stay healthy and enjoy a better quality of life, we must maintain good mental health. Our overall mental well-being isn’t only related to mental illness, but it’s also to help us keep ourselves physically fit.

When we openly discuss suicidal thoughts, we also talk about tips or information that can benefit others who experience them. 

It’s important to remind ourselves that nothing is permanent, not even the worst distress. Even though it may seem like we have no way to escape the pain or unhappiness, an open conversation with a trusted friend is always a good start.

When you share your thoughts of suicide with someone you love, you can realize that you’re not alone. Knowing that your loved one will support you can also make it easier to seek professional treatment.

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Mel Singh Sawhney

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