Writer’s Name: S.F. Hardy
Title: Signs of Suicide
Suicide is known as the silent killer in the African-American community. Although it affects everybody, nobody wants to talk about it or the situations and conditions leading up to the culmination of suicide. Even though talking is most likely a proactive means of prevention, it remains taboo.
According to MedicineNet.com, “30,000 people reportedly kill themselves each year in the United States. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people 10-24 years of age.” A report conducted by the American Association of Suicidology in 2005 reveals that “1,992 African-Americans committed suicide, 1,621 committed were by African-American Males.
While it was once thought that psychologists and dentists were most likely to commit suicide due to pressures and strains brought on by their respective professions, suicide has become more prevalent amongst people of all walks of life and professions. Most people have been in situations where they may have thought that the other side of life would be better. Many don’t act on their thoughts because they are equipped with skills that lend the ability to cope. It is important to note for those who consider suicide, the signs of suicide can be a direct and/or indirect outcry.
Awareness is the key to recognizing the signs and compassion is the emotion that directs those who recognize the warning signs, to reach out in prevention. Considering those who contemplate or commit suicide, the reasoning behind the behavior is varied. Death of a loved one, loneliness, loss of a job, victim of violence, bullying, sexual abuse, divorce, incarceration, chronic and terminal illnesses, and financial oppression are all reasons some commit suicide.
Never discount the way someone else is feeling. Depression is real. It does not make one any less human or inferior to anyone else. However, those who suffer from depression are more likely to commit suicide. Isolation from the world and those around them is one driving point of no return. Depression often goes unnoticed but there are clinical signs that can be observed by the untrained eye.
Weight loss and/or gain of 25 pounds in a month time is a major indicator of someone suffering from depression. When an individual begins to give away his or her possessions for seemingly no reason, it is a strong chance they are contemplating suicide.
Not all individuals suffer in silence. Some people cry out for help with words requesting help to escape suicidal thoughts. Ominous and sullen words expressing loss of hope are often spoken by those considering suicide. These words must be taken serious by those who hear them. Be an encouraging ear and offer words of support and direction to those in need of help. It is important to stress that as humans, we all go through challenging times; it is a part of life. When we are aware that most of life circumstances are not unique to one individual we normalize the human experience, making it slightly easier to cope.
If you are not equipped to assist someone who displays suicidal behavior offer guidance to those in need by suggesting they seek professional help and services. Tell someone else who is willing and able to lend assistance if the situation is too awkward or beyond you, but please don’t ignore the signs. There are telephone call centers people can call and trained professionals that can aide in the prevention of suicide. It is imperative to be aware of the signs and symptoms as well as be willing to assist if you are aware.
MedicineNet.com - http://www.medicinenet.com/suicide
American Association of Suicidology - http://www.suicidology.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=232&name=DLFE-20.pdf
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255