Thoughts on Suicide

>> Thursday, March 18, 2010

The day before yesterday, I was on my way to work when there were several announcements that there was congestion on the 2,3, and 1 trains, from 72nd street to 181st street. When I finally reached my stop I heard a man had jumped onto the tracks when the train was coming. Several years before I saw a dead body hanging from the tracks above the street as I was on my way to work. He had just jumped onto the track about 10 to 15 minutes before many passengers arrived. Yesterday a college student from Cornell at Ithaca committed suicide and there were a series of jumpers from NYC in the 90's. I can't help to think that was someone's husband, that was someones father and child.

According to 2005 nationwide report, more Men then Women are known to commit suicide. More Whites than Nonwhites are known to commit suicide. Black Women have the smallest percentile for suicide attempts. On AOL news, there is a high rate of suicide among divorced men. They suggest marriage and remarrying adds a protective factor.

Some warning signs are lost interests, Feeling trapped with no solutions, abuse of drugs and alcohol, withdrawing from family and friends, Feelings of anger, extreme sadness or extreme happiness and impassivity, Lack of sleep or oversleeping, undereating or overeating, giving away meaningful objects, Feelings of guilt, talking or writing about death, and behaving recklessly. Clusters of a few or more of these behaviors are signs for suicide and immediate help should be provided. For teenagers divorce, bullying, death of a parent alcohol/drug abuse and relationship breakup are all triggers to suicidal thoughts (ideation).

Suicidal thoughts or ideation is the first of the process to attempt. This is if the person is has thoughts of suicide. The next step is Suicidal intent. This is when a person has an action plan for how they want to carry out the plan for the third step, Suicidal attempt. Here a large percentage of those who attempt suicide succeed. In both cases 911 should be called in the the first step of suicide and in immediate danger. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be used for yourself of a friend/family member; 800-273-talk. NSPL also has a website with additional information to answer any questions you may have.

I felt this was important to discuss as loved ones go out into the world from their haven of home and are harassed and inundated with lay offs for significant amounts of time, death of loved ones, stress of being in a new community, meeting performance levels at work, acceptance through drinking, being turned down for jobs, heavy conflict with partner, pursuing educational endeavors, no access to leisure time, negative past experiences, etc. A misconception is that spouses do not have suicidal thoughts. This is not true. Being married helps but anyone can have suicidal thoughts especially with compacted negative life experiences. We sometimes forget to give hugs, kisses and ears generously, we forget that we are personal cheerleaders and fans for our spouse. When it's time to pay bills it can be difficult to stay patient near the long stretch. We can be involved with our own section of life that our world drowns out our spouse and children's wants and needs. The pace of life is in momentum and it can be difficult to stop and refocus time and energy on those we love. We can sometimes miss school trips and shows because making money is an absolute necessity. Why don't we provide support to our spouse on their terms and not when we think they should get over it and/or move on, which seems cruel only when someone else behaves this way. I don't mean to be critical but to get us thinking critically about meeting the needs of those we love. As THIS is the time to truly express it.