When a person is clinically depressed, life loses all color. Depressed people feel sad, anxious and helpless, and may grow restless and act impulsively. They often feel trapped, and some see suicide as their only way out of a hopeless situation.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2010), more than 90 percent of suicidal people suffer from a diagnosable personality disorder. Although depression is most commonly linked to suicide, other mental disorders are also associated with suicide, including:
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Personality disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance abuse.
All of these mental disorders are treatable, usually through medication, therapy or a combination of both. Prevention of suicide is possible if the person seeks help before it’s too late. If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental disorder, take â€” or encourage â€” immediate steps to treat the illness.
Suicide Prevention Hotlines
National suicide prevention is available through crisis centers and suicide prevention hotlines. The most widely accessible center is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
This free suicide prevention hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. You can also make this confidential call on behalf of someone who is refusing to seek help.
Crisis centers and suicide prevention hotlines are available at the local level, as well. Check your phone book for local prevention of suicide, crisis intervention, hospitals and community crisis centers. In the event of a suicide emergency, call 911. Never leave a person alone if he is exhibiting suicidal signs.
Increasing Suicide Prevention Awareness
Although September is the official Suicide Prevention Awareness month in the United States, you can work to increase suicide prevention awareness throughout the year. Consider volunteering for suicide prevention hotlines or crisis centers. Inform people about suicide warning signs, including:
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- Giving away prized possessions
- Substance abuse
- Talk of death or suicide
- Threatening suicide
- Withdrawal from friends and family.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2010) states that 50 to 75 percent of all suicidal people show some signs of their intentions. In order for prevention of suicide to be successful, friends and family members must be able to recognize these suicidal signs and take immediate action. Depression and other mental disorders are treatable; suicide is never the answer.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (2010). When you fear someone may take their life. Retrieved June 28, 2010, from http://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewPage