A suicide attempt is a situation when someone does something to end their own life. This situation can be triggered by a person's emotional and psychological condition, or problems in life.
Based on WHO data, more than 700,000 people die from suicide every year. This data does not include the number of sufferers who fail when attempting suicide. In 2019, suicide is the fourth most common cause of death in the age range of 15–29 years.
Someone who is about to attempt suicide usually shows certain signs, for example looking anxious, feeling guilty, or making a will. This condition can be prevented, among others by involving the role of family and close relatives.
Causes of Suicide Attempts
The desire to try to commit suicide usually arises when faced with a difficult situation to overcome. This situation makes sufferers lose hope and consider suicide as the only way to get out of the situation.
Suicide attempts can be triggered by many factors, including:
- Suffer from a mental disorder, such as depression , schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder
- Experiencing psychological violence, such as bullying
- Abusing NAPZA
- Suffering from alcohol addiction
- Suffering from a serious illness, such as cancer
- Experiencing mental pressure , for example due to loss of job, position, or wealth
- Experiencing problems in life, such as divorce, loss or death of a close person
- Have relatives who have died by suicide or have attempted suicide
- Experiencing sexual violence
- Just got out of prison
Symptoms of Suicide Attempt
Someone who is about to attempt suicide usually shows unusual movements , such as:
- Expressing ideas or words that indicate suicidal intent, such as 'I want to die' or 'I would rather have never been born'
- Make a will
- Give away valuables
- Farewell to relatives and family
- Storing dangerous pills or firearms
- More often consume alcoholic beverages or abuse drugs
- Keep away from relatives or family
- Appears anxious or agitated
- Experiencing a drastic decline in performance at school or work
- Experiencing changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Shows drastic changes in mood, for example feeling happy or very calm, just after feeling very sad
- Doing something that is dangerous and could result in death, such as driving very fast
In addition, people who want to attempt suicide also often express their feelings, for example:
- Expressing pain, either emotional or physical
- Talking about guilt or shame
- Feeling of being a burden to others
- Showing anger or talking about revenge
- Expressing feelings, such as empty, hopeless, and no longer have a reason to live
- Expressing a wish to die or commit suicide
- Often think or talk about death.
The symptoms that arise can be different for each patient and are not always obvious. Some people prefer to hide their suicidal thoughts. While others can deliberately show that desire.
When to see a doctor
Immediately contact a hospital or a special suicide prevention consulting service if you have a strong desire to end your life. This condition is sometimes difficult to avoid and needs to be treated by a doctor .
If you are thinking about suicide, discuss it with family or relatives regarding the problems you are facing. Although it can be difficult to talk about it with other people, it can help relieve suicidal thoughts .
If you suspect that a family or relative has a desire to attempt suicide, talk to him and listen to his complaints. Get rid of anything they could use to hurt themselves, such as sharp weapons. In addition, try to take them to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Diagnosis of Suicide Attempt
The psychologist or psychiatrist will find out why the patient wants to attempt suicide. The psychiatrist will also examine the patient's mental health condition by asking in detail about the patient's symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history and family. Questions may include:
- When and how often do symptoms occur
- Possible suicide attempt before
- History of drinking alcohol or drug abuse
- Drugs currently being used, especially those that may increase the risk of suicide
A physical examination will also be carried out to determine the cause of the symptoms. This is because some physical conditions, such as thyroid disease or neurological disease, can cause symptoms that mimic those of a mental disorder.
Doctors can also do blood tests, urine tests, and scans on the patient's brain. The examination aims to detect the possibility of other conditions that cause the desire to try to commit suicide.
Management of Suicide Attempts
Suicide attempts can be handled according to the condition of each patient and the underlying cause. In an emergency, for example when an injury has occurred, the patient will be taken to the emergency room for treatment.
Depending on the patient's mental state, medication may be needed to help calm the patient. Doctors can also ask patients to be hospitalized during the treatment process. Hospitalization can prevent patients from repeating suicide.
Meanwhile, outpatient treatment can be done to deal with suicidal ideation that is not an emergency condition. The treatment methods used include:
- Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectic behavior therapy , by discussing with a therapist the problems that lead to suicidal ideation and ways to control feelings
- Medications, including antidepressants , antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety, to relieve symptoms of mental disorders
- Addiction treatment, such as alcohol or drug addiction, which includes detoxification (removing toxins from the body), rehabilitation, and group counseling
- Family support and guidance, for example by understanding the patient's situation, as well as supporting the patient in overcoming the problem
Apart from medical treatment, lifestyle changes can also help reduce the risk of suicide attempts. Some ways that can be done are:
- Get enough rest and sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages
- Do not use drugs without first consulting a doctor
Complications of Suicide Attempts
The thought of ending one's life can affect the sufferer's emotions and make him unable to focus on his activities. A person who survives a suicide attempt can also suffer serious and permanent injuries, such as damage to the brain or other organs.
Sufferers can also feel sad, angry, guilty, and depressed. In addition, sufferers can also attempt suicide again within 1 year since the last attempt. In the worst case, this condition can lead to death.
Suicide Attempt Prevention
Some things that can be done to prevent the desire to commit suicide are:
- Undergoing treatment if suffering from mental disorders, such as depression or drug abuse
- Seek support from family and relatives by telling them about the problems and feelings they are experiencing
- Undergo the necessary treatment if you have an illness that can trigger suicidal ideation
- Participate in group counseling to share and find solutions together
- Remember that suicidal ideation is only temporary and can be treated
- Always adopt a healthy lifestyle, namely eating healthy and balanced nutritious food, exercising regularly, getting enough rest, and managing stress well
It is important to remember, be aware of risk factors and signs of suicide attempts in a person. If you find that family or friends have these signs, take the following precautions:
- Listen carefully to his problems and complaints without judging.
- Assist sufferers in overcoming the problems they are experiencing, for example by suggesting them to consult a doctor or psychiatrist.
- Don't hesitate to ask about the sufferer's feelings and show affection and care for him, both in actions and words.
- Don't ignore her feelings for something, even if it's trivial or easy to work out.
- Keep away items that could be used to commit suicide, such as sharp weapons or firearms.