The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide. What drives so many individuals to take their own lives? To those who are not in the grips of suicidal depression and despair, it’s difficult to understand what drives so many individuals to take their own lives. But a suicidal person is in so much pain that they can see no other option.
Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable. Blinded by feelings of self-loathing, hopelessness, and isolation, a suicidal person can’t see any way of finding relief except through death. But despite their desire for the pain to stop, most suicidal people are deeply conflicted about ending their own lives. They wish there was an alternative to suicide, but they just can’t see one. Suicide is linked to mental disorders, particularly depression and alcohol use disorders, and the strongest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt.
Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. It is important to note that suicide is not a normal response to stress. Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention, and should not be ignored.
Suicide prevention methods and treatment are based on patient risk factors. Treatments are prescribed in light of underlying conditions in addition to prevention of suicidal thoughts and acts. If you are suffering from a mental disorder, a treatment plan to treat this condition is implemented first. One of the most common suicide prevention techniques is psychotherapy— also known as talk therapy —in the form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a common treatment option for individuals suffering from a variety of mental disorders. In this method of psychotherapy, you are taught new ways of dealing with stress and stressful life experiences. In this manner, when thoughts of suicide arise, you can redirect those thoughts and cope with them in a different way than attempting to take your own life.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is used to help an individual recognize disruptive or unhealthy feelings or actions. In relation, this therapy method then introduces techniques on how to deal with difficult or troubling situations. More research is needed on psychotherapy related to suicide prevention though, as DBT, in particular, has been shown to decrease the prevalence of attempted suicide but has shown no effect on completed suicides.
If you are feeling suicidal or have suicidal thoughts,
help is at hand, please reach out.