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Talk about suicide is a very serious matter.  It is not something that happens in a whim or simply an attempt to garner sympathy.  There are many underlying reasons why someone would talk about suicide or consider taking their own life, and any suicide attempt—successful or not—should be taken seriously.

Suicide currently ranks as the tenth most common cause of death in the United States for people aged 15 to 80 with around 750,000 attempts and 30,000 deaths occurring every year.  Talk about suicide and suicide incidents are more common in the elderly, with 40 percent of all suicide victims recorded belonging to the age group 60 years old and above.

Why do people talk about suicide suicide?

  1. Underlying mental conditions, usually depression: Depression and other mental disorders cause overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and sadness  that can feel unbearable.  Talk about suicide should be taken seriously.
  2. Stress outweighs available coping resources and mechanisms:  When some people begin to feel overwhelmed by their problems, they may think that they have no other way out but suicide.  Hopelessness and helplessness can lead to talk about suicide.
  3. Pain becomes unbearable:  For some victims, suicide becomes an option when the pain is simply too much to handle, whether it is physical pain, emotional suffering or any other kind of overwhelm.  Overwhelm can lead to talk about suicide.

What if I want to talk about suicide?

Get help immediately.  The majority of people who want to talk about suicide often don’t carry out these thoughts immediately and do not want to die if they had other ways to cope with their feelings and depression.    This can give you time to seek professional help, where you can talk about suicide in a safe place.  Getting past suicidal thoughts typically requires mental health treatment, where you can talk about suicide openly, and begin your recovery from depression.

Talk about suicide: What if I have a friend or family member who spoke of contemplating suicide? 

  1. Take any talk about suicide very seriously.  Expressing thoughts of suicide could be a suicidal person’s attempt to seek help, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them by asking directly if they are thinking of hurting themselves or are having problems or need help.
  2. Call for help.  Depression can be fatal and like any fatal process requires professional assistance.   If you are prepared to act on your suicidal thoughts, call 911 or go to your local emergency room to get professional help to talk about suicide immediately.
  3. Keep a calm and an open mind.  Showing distress or worry at suicidal behavior will most likely cause further aggravation on the affected person’s part.  Instead, stay calm and focus on comforting and encouraging the person to seek help and talk about suicide.
  4. Encourage verbalization of feelings, including talk about suicide: Listen attentively to the person’s attempts to express his or her feelings.  Be open about the topic as much as you can. Ask direct questions such as: “Are you planning on killing yourself?” “Have you tried hurting yourself before?” “Do you think you might try to hurt yourself today?”
  5. Offer comfort and encouragement.  Remember that the person involved is in a great amount of pain.  Never say anything to belittle the victim’s pain or thoughts.  Be open if they need to talk about suicide.  Be as gentle and understanding as possible.  Keep telling the person that they are loved and that you are concerned for them.
  6. Never leave the person alone, not even for a moment.  Don’t give the person an opportunity to act his or her suicidal thoughts.

Talk about suicide: Is there something wrong with me?

Thoughts of suicide are actually fairly common.  Thoughts or talk about suicide does not mean you are a weak person nor does it mean that you are abnormal.  It just means that you are overwhelmed and need help.  Talk about suicide, if done in with a professional trained to help, can be beneficial.

Suicidal thoughts is a serious matter that should not be ignored nor is it something that can be self-treated.  Seek professional help to talk about suicide and help save a life.

Because our treatment center relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts, need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one needs to talk about suicide, depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery.  Treatment for suicide, depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.