With around 10,000 deaths per year, Among European nations France has one of the highest suicidal rate. The suicide-related death rate is 27.7 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants among men and 8.1 per 100,000 inhabitants among women. However, the number of suicide attempts is higher among women.
Who Are The Populations At Risk?
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among 15-19 year old age group therefore represent a population at risk and a suicide attempt in this age group is not trivial and should not be blamed on commonly referred to as a “teenage crisis”. The people over 70 years are vulnerable psychologically and an elderly person performing a suicidal gesture is usually bustling with a strong determination that the gesture frequently causes death.
Here are also a number of risk factors that can raise the alarm:
- A person who has a personal or family history of psychiatric illness such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety etc.
- Negative life events such as parental loss, divorce, unemployment, financial difficulties, social isolation, illness, harassment among young people, burnout are moments of life at risk.
- Life history, especially childhood, also has a value of vulnerability (emotional deprivation, loss of a parent, mistreatment or on the contrary of protection (stable family structure, family and friendly support, good balance of life.
How Do You Spot The Warning Signs?
First of all, some preconceived ideas about suicide that we must get rid of!
- Suicide is neither an act of courage, nor an act of cowardice, nor really a choice made freely. It is rather a bad solution for a person who cannot find another way out in the face of a suffering that has become unbearable.
- It is wrong to believe that people who talk about suicide are doing it to “get attention” and will not do it. In fact, 8 out of 10 people who have committed suicide have spoken to a member of their entourage prior to their action.
- Talking openly about suicide to someone who you feel is fragile will not make them “want to do it” either. On the contrary, it will allow him to express his difficulties, his suffering, to feel listened to and momentarily relieved.
It is therefore very important to listen and not to neglect the expression of ideas of suicide whatever its form: drawings in the child, letters, SMS, direct speech (“I want to die”, “I don’t have more of this life”…) or indirect (“I want to take a long trip”, “you would be better off without me”).
Behavior of withdrawals, people “too calm” (especially teenagers), academic decline or professional and family disinvestment or on the contrary behavior of opposition, endangerment, violence, aggressive behavior, consumption of toxic or alcoholic, teenage runaways are warning signs. The donation of objects, “large households”, the drafting of a will of a person who “prepares his departure” are also signs to be taken into account.
Any symptom of depression: anxiety, sleep disturbances, crying, dark thoughts, worthlessness, guilt, slowing down, loss of appetite, loss of enthusiasm is also to be taken into consideration because approximately 80% of suicide attempts are made in the context of a more general depressive episode.
It is however far from obvious to detect these signs which can vary from one individual to another, and sometimes under a jovial exterior hides a clear suicidal plan and yet undetectable by the family members.
What To Do Of Suicidal Thoughts For Yourself Or A Loved One?
It is very important to be able to express your suicidal thoughts, speak about them without shame, without fear of being judged, simply to be heard, either by a loved one or by a professional. Numerous free online doctor consultation uk: hospital emergencies or even the SAMU, listening hotlines such as Suicide Listening or SOS Friendship, consultations with a general practitioner or a psychiatrist, video consultations with a healthcare professional. Mental health (psychiatrist or psychologist) which has the advantage of having very little waiting time.
- If a loved one expresses suicidal thoughts or if you detect warning signs in him, accompany him to a place of expression, stay with him until he is taken care of by a professional and never take lightly these manifestations.
- Often in adolescents a suicidal crisis can require hospitalization for a few days in order to break with the usual environment and move away from the triggers.
- Always adopt an attitude of listening, accompaniment, benevolent, without judgment, without moralizing discourse, offer him comfort and understanding.
- Try to assess the immediate risk of suicide and organize yourself so that you never leave a person alone with a risk of suicide.
- Help the person find solutions without doing it for them.
- Act calmly to give a sense of control and reassurance.
- Respect your own limits and don’t face the situation alone.
- Don’t make promises that you may not be able to keep.