According to WHO (World Health Organization) there were approximately 793,000 suicides worldwide in 2016. In the United States, an average 123 people die of suicide every day. It is now the tenth leading cause of death in the US and is steadily on the rise.
Suicide and mental health awareness are discussed now more than ever, but the stigma is still deeply rooted within our society. Ending that stigma will take time but the first step is to talk openly about it. Whether you are suicidal or wondering if someone you love is suicidal, speak up, reach out, just ask! Contrary to popular belief, asking if someone is thinking of harming themselves will not make them more likely to go through with it. In fact, asking helps. Individuals who are struggling are doing so in silence. They may be experiencing confusion, fear, shame, hopelessness, doubt, and don’t know where or who to turn to. By asking, you are throwing the person a lifeline. A ray of hope. Even if they deny they are feeling suicidal, they feel noticed, cared for, perhaps not so alone.
To determine if you or someone you love is suicidal, look for the following warning signs:
- Too much or too little sleep
- Becoming more isolated and withdrawn
- Talk of wanting to kill oneself
- Increase in drug and alcohol use
- Behaving recklessly, showing anxiousness or agitation
- Extreme mood swings
- Expressing feelings of worthlessness or no reason to live
- Searching for ways to kill oneself
- Stating they are a burden to others and it would be better if they were gone
If someone states they are suicidal, action is necessary. First, stay with the person or make sure the person is in a private, secure place with another caring individual until you can get further help. Next, remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and follow their instructions. If you feel danger of self-harm is imminent, call 911.
Being aware, asking questions, and coming alongside someone who is silently struggling is the most important thing you can do in help saving their life.
For you or your loved ones who are experiencing suicidal thoughts, consider ketamine as an option. Ketamine provides rapid relief from suicidal thoughts and helps to gain insight into alternative ways of dealing with depression. Here at Ketamine Wellness Centers, our multidisciplinary approach can help support you during those difficult times.
Terri Kutchera is a Patient Consultant for Ketamine Wellness Centers