There is a death from suicide in the United States on average every 11 minutes. Sadly, even more people will attempt suicide at some point in the year. The CDC figures go on to say that a total of 3.2 million Americans planned a suicide attempt and another 1.2 million actually attempted it. Thus, this is an incredibly serious issue that can impact all ages and that we all need to give the kind of attention that is required of it.
Today, we want to take a look at the connection between self-harm and suicide as well as explore how to identify potential signs of suicidal behavior in the people that you love. If you recognize these behaviors, it may be possible for you to prevent the tragic death of yet another person.
Suicidal ideation is best characterized as the thoughts of wanting to take your own life or attempting to take your own life. This concept includes two types of ideations: active and passive.
Active suicidal ideation includes not only thoughts but also the intent to commit suicide. For example, creating a plan like writing notes to a loved one before committing suicide or the action itself.
Passive suicidal ideation happens when individual wishes they were gone or has thoughts about no longer wanting to live. When a person is going through passive suicidal ideation, they will not have a plan of action or intent behind their thoughts.
There are certain mental health disorders that predispose a person to these types of thoughts. Some of the more common disorders that do so include ones such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. These disorders are the ones that are most associated with people who have suicidal impulses and ideations.
One thing that many researchers have noted is that self-harming behaviors are far more common than actual suicide attempts. Some people use self-harm behaviors as a way to manage stress or deal with difficult emotions. However, actually attempting suicide is something that is generally less common among people of all ages.
The amount of psychological pain levels that are experienced by people who use self-harm compared to those who have suicidal tendencies is quite different. Childmind.org explains that the distress a person who self-harms experiences may be less than that of a person wo attempts suicide. People who are suicidal often experince feelings for hoplessness or despair that are debilitating.
In some cases, people may engage in suicde as a way to prevent themselves from attempting to commit suicide. Clearly, both types of distress are incredibly serious and important to review, but the pain that is experienced as the result of something that leads to thoughts of suicide is somewhat higher.
Every individual situation is unique, but some common risk factors for self-harm and suicidal behaviors should be noted. These include:
Every one of these things makes it possible that one might want to do things that are self-harming in nature, but which may feel like they are giving themselves some relief in the meantime.
Anyone who finds themselves in that scenario will surely want to do everything within their power to find the relief that they need to get away from these problems ASAP. There are some who unfortunately find that relief in the form of self-harm.
There are a variety of things that one can do to step up and help someone who is actively self-harming. It is very important to ensure that you don’t take any steps until you have at least some idea about what you are doing. You could worsen a situation if you take rash actions that cause additional distress.
The first thing to do is assess the potential risk that the person poses to themselves and others at this moment. You know that they are self-harming, and you want to put a stop to that behavior, but you need to know exactly how extreme the risk is at this time before taking additional actions.
Often times, the victim of self-harm desperately needs someone to listen to them and hear their story. You can help them out considerably by lending an ear and by offering to help in any way that you possibly can. Remember, they need the assistance that you can provide, but they only need it if you will provide that assistance without judgment.
If you can offer that to them, then you are doing them an incredible service. Make sure that you remain calm yourself in all that you do and do not heighten the urgency of the situation by raising alarms or otherwise causing unnecessary emotional distress.
Another thing that you can do when you find yourself trying to help a friend in need is simply to offer them support and information that may be useful in the situation that they are in right now. You can refer them to crisis lines and centers where they can speak with a professional who has training in how to handle these types of situations.
Your loved one may be somewhat resistant to this idea in the beginning, but you should encourage them to get help in this form as it may ultimately save their life.
A combination of self-help and professional help is often necessary to pull someone back from the brink of self-destruction. You should encourage your loved one to do everything in their power to seek the professional help that they need while also working on using self-help in their everyday lives to work on reducing their self-harming behaviors.
There is no question that the subjects of suicide and self-harm are incredibly difficult to talk about and deal with, but they are also worthy of conversation. People need to know that resources are available to them, and one great way to encourage people to make better choices in the future is to start helping them out today.
First Light Recovery can help you or your loved one struggling with self-harm or suicidal ideation. Contact us today to learn more about how our program can help.
Our suicidal treatment center in Orange County offers comprehensive care for a wide range of concerns that are known to affect many individuals. We pride ourselves on being a leading provider of evidence-based practices rooted within the integrative therapies we offer, including treatment for suicidal ideation, substance use disorder, and disordered eating.
Individualized treatment is the cornerstone of our treatment center, and our qualified staff utilizes that approach when treating residents. Our residential mental health facility aims to deliver services to the best of our abilities in order to see our clients succeed during and after treatment.
Our inpatient programs offer several therapeutic modalities such as:
We also incorporate DBT and CBT therapy into all of our treatment programs. To learn more about treatment for suicidal ideations and self-harm contact us today and get the help you need.