New Delhi: The world is observing World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) today. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization (WHO) created World Suicide Prevention Day in 2003. Since then, organisations, governments from all around the world, and common people take part on September 10th to raise awareness of the problem, reduce stigma, and send a strong message that suicide may be prevented.
The National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) most recent study and data have raised our collective awareness about mental health, making World Suicide Prevention Day a day of significant concern for everyone. The two concerns that people today need to focus on are, first, how important it is to recognise when one is experiencing mental stress, and second, how to get through this period.
Why Addressing Mental Health Issues Are A Major Concern?
According to the most recent data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there were 1,64,033 suicide deaths reported in India in 2021, a rise of 7.2 percent from 2020. Chapter 2 of the report by NCRB, which compiles data from police-recorded suicide cases, further states that more than 1,00,000 people in the nation die by suicide each year. In a research published in the Lancet in 2021, it was stated that “India records the largest number of suicide deaths in the world.”
According to WHO, an estimated 7,03,000 people a year take their life around the world. For every suicide, there are likely 20 other people making a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.
A total of 1,64,033 suicides were reported in the country in 2021. The major cause of suicide is mental illness, very commonly depression. People feeling suicidal are overwhelmed by painful emotions and see death as the only way out, losing sight of the fact that suicide is a permanent “solution” to a temporary state – most people who try to kill themselves but live later say they are glad they didn’t commit it in rage. “Most people who die by suicide could have been helped. An individual considering suicide frequently confides in a friend, who may be able to convince them to seek treatment. When the risk is high, concerned friends and relatives should seek professional guidance,” says the co-founder of Vandrevala Foundation, Priya Hiranandani.
How Do We Get To Know That Situation Is Out Of Our Hands?
The first and most important step is to pay attention to the person’s behaviour. Pay close attention to if the person is having occasional or recurring, passive (such as “What if I were dead?”), or active suicidal thoughts (e.g., thinking of ways to kill oneself, making a plan). It is very concerning when someone starts making arrangements for their death, such as giving up possessions or getting a pistol. A depressed person’s abrupt uplift can be a clue that they are about to commit suicide. Any level of suicidal thinking should be taken seriously.
Suicide risk is high with depression. The worst but most likely consequence of untreated or inadequately treated depression is suicide. Suicidal ideas or intentions should be regarded very seriously by anyone who expresses them. The majority of those who have clinical depression do not make suicide attempts. However, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that more than 90% of people who died due to suicide had depression.
The other indicator that someone needs particular attention is whether or not they have begun to take stress. Stress is a well-known factor in mental disorders, suicidal ideation, and mood disorders. The word “stress” is often used synonymously with “bad life experiences” or “bad life events.” Long-term overloaded conditions, like stress in this situation, might eventually cause problems with mental health or the onset of depression.
What Is Depression And What Are Its Symptoms?
Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. It is a low mood that lasts for weeks or months and affects your daily life. Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when depressed people feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. “Mental pressures exist everywhere – depression, on the other hand, is an illness. It is best to see a trained professional for the diagnosis and treatment of depression,” says the co-founder of Vandrevala Foundation, an NGO working for years to create mental awareness amongst people. She further elaborates on the various kinds of symptoms that depression patients or heavy stress may experience:
The psychological symptoms of depression include:
continuous low mood or sadness feeling hopeless and helpless having low self-esteem feeling tearful feeling guilt-ridden feeling irritable and intolerant of others having no motivation or interest in things finding it difficult to make decisions not getting any enjoyment out of life feeling anxious or worried having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
The physical symptoms of depression can include:
moving or speaking more slowly than usual changes in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased) unexplained aches and pains lack of energy low sex drive changes to your menstrual cycle disturbed sleep – for example, finding it difficult to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning
The social symptoms of depression include:
avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities neglecting your hobbies and interests having difficulties in your home, work, or family life
How To Combat Heavy Mental Stress Or Depression?
These days it’s hard not to get overwhelmed once in a while. Between juggling work, family, and other commitments, one can become too stressed out and busy. And it’s totally normal, but one needs to set time aside to unwind otherwise the mental and physical health can suffer.
One should learn how to handle stress, but it will take practice. Here are a few suggestions to help, suggested by the Vandrevala Foundation.
One of the finest methods to unwind your body and mind is to exercise regularly. Additionally, exercising will lift your spirits. But for it to be effective, you must do it frequently. So how much should you exercise every week? Work up to 2 hours and 30 minutes of brisk walking or 75 minutes of more rigorous activity, such as swimming laps, jogging, or playing other sports. Set realistic exercise objectives to ensure that you don’t quit. Above all, keep in mind that any exercise is preferable to none at all.
Relax Your Muscles:
Your muscles tense up when you’re under stress. Stretching, getting a massage, taking a hot bath or shower, or another form of self-care can assist in releasing them and revitalising your body. Sleeping soundly at night is another major thing that helps a lot to release stress.
Stopping and taking a few deep breaths can take the pressure off you right away. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel once you get good at it. Just follow these 5 steps:
Sit in a comfortable position with your hands in your lap and your feet on the floor. Or you can lie down. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself in a relaxing place. It can be on the beach, in a beautiful field of grass, or anywhere that gives you a peaceful feeling. Slowly take deep breaths in and out. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
Eating a regular, well-balanced diet will help you feel better in general. It may also help control your moods. Your meals should be full of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein for energy. And don’t skip any. It’s not good for you and can put you in a bad mood, which can actually increase your stress.
Modern life is so busy, and sometimes we just need to slow down and chill out. Look at your life and find small ways you can do that. For example:
Set your watch 5 to 10 minutes ahead. That way you’ll get places a little early and avoid the stress of being late. When you’re driving on the highway, switch to the slow lane so you can avoid road rage. Break down big jobs into smaller ones. For example, don’t try to answer all 100 emails if you don’t have to — just answer a few of them.
Take a Break:
You need to plan on some real downtime to give your mind time off from stress. If you’re a person who likes to set goals, this may be hard for you at first. But stick with it and you’ll look forward to these moments. Restful things you can do include meditation, yoga, Tai chi, prayer, listening to your favorite music, or even spending time in nature
Make Time For Hobbies:
You need to set aside time for things you enjoy. Try to do something every day that makes you feel good, and it will help relieve your stress. It doesn’t have to be a ton of time — even 15 to 20 minutes will do.
Talk About Your Problems:
Talking about the things that are stressing you out can help you feel better. You can consult a doctor, a therapist, a trustworthy clergyman, family members, or friends. You can converse with yourself as well. Self-talk is something we all engage in. However, you must make sure your self-talk is constructive rather than destructive if you want it to lower stress. So pay great attention to your thoughts and words when you’re under stress. Change the negative message you’re sending yourself to a positive one. For example, don’t tell yourself “I can’t do this.” Tell yourself instead: “I can do this,” or “I’m doing the best I can.”
Go Easy On Yourself:
Accept that you can’t do things perfectly no matter how hard you try. You also can’t control everything in your life. So do yourself a favor and stop thinking you can do so much. And don’t forget to keep up your sense of humor. Laughter goes a long way towards making you feel relaxed.
Eliminate Your Triggers:
Figure out what are the biggest causes of stress in your life. Is it your job, your commute, or your schoolwork? If you’re able to identify what they are, see if you’re able to eliminate them from your life, or at least reduce them.
Can Timely Online Counseling Prevent The Risk Of Suicides? If yes, how?
Priya Hiranandani, the co-founder of the Vandrevala Foundation, says that “1 in 3 people who contact the helpline call with anxiety or suicidal thoughts. The average person contacts us 3 times the first month they are in touch and gradually, reduce contact.”
“There are few intervention programmes by government and private organisations aimed at preventing suicide, and this is coupled with problems in contacting those who need these services,” people with suicidal thoughts require ongoing monitoring to make sure they don’t progress to the point of actually trying to commit suicide. By offering this type of care, online therapy can aid in preventing suicide. Regular interaction also enables suicidal people to develop manageable goals with the aid of a therapist. The co-founder of the NGO adds that when therapists work with suicidal patients, they occasionally urge them to promise not to plan or carry out suicide until the next session.
Another advantage of some forms of online therapy is that it can assist suicidal persons in writing down and reviewing logical arguments, encouraging information, and reasons to live at a time when their minds are only capable of dwelling on the negative. Traditional therapy does not always provide frequent communication, and it might be expensive. This frequently implies that patients must wait six days after having suicidal thoughts before speaking to a therapist. When feeling suicidal, they may be able to contact their local therapist through phone or text. As long as they have a phone with them, they can contact the helpline online and take suggestions.
People who have suicidal ideations or are on verge of committing suicide always look out for help. Availability of help, especially in the wee hours of the night, correct advice through a trained resource, and a good follow-up go a long way in changing outcomes.
(Accepting the fact that you’re unable to take it on your own and need help is the first step towards getting solution to all your difficulties, if you are in distress and wish to speak to someone, feel free to call or whatsapp on this free crisis counselling service at +91999666555)