The leading cause in intentional suicide is depression. However, the warning signs may not be visible or clear to everyone and without knowledge of the situation and its severity, prevention rates are very low.
Suicide has always been a taboo subject, in part due to its horrendous nature, in part due to the lack of knowledge regarding the approach. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, statistics are the following:
- Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States
- Over 44,000 Americans end their own life each year
- On average, there are 121 suicides per day
- 50% of the victims die by firearm
- There are 3.5 more men who kill themselves than women
- The states with the highest numbers of suicides are Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma and South Dakota
The World Health Organization ranked the United States #48 in a 2015 list of countres ranking by suicide rate, a list topped by Sri Lanka, Guyana and Mongolia.
Celebrities Who Intentionally Killed Themselves
A large number of celebrities have intentionally taken their own life, for number of reasons, which gravitate substance abuse, depression and illness. Here are just a few famous names connected to death by intentional suicide:
- Robin Williams – 63-years-old
- Mindy McCready – 37-years-old
- Jonathan Brandis – 27-years-old
- Sawyer Sweeten – 19-years-old
- Alexander McQueen – 40-years-old
- Lucy Gordon – 28-years-old
- Stevie Ryan – 33-years-old
The Warning Signs
He are the warning signs that you need to look for if you suspect someone could be heading down the path of suicide:
Hopelessness – the discourse and the dialogues become parasitized with remarks of inability to improve a state or a situation
Change in sleep patterns – the person could stay up all night, which is not coherent to their previous behavior, or on the contrary, they can sleep most of the time, including during the day
Worthlessness – the discourse will include remarks like “it doesn’t matter”, “it’s not like it matters”, or similar.
Sudden calmness – after a period of irritability, mood swings and depression, all of the sudden the person becomes calm without an obvious reason and without treatment
Recent trauma – this can be anything from divorce, separation, the death of someone close, losing a job, losing a pet, being the victim of aggressive behavior, or even having a baby. Any event that disrupts the person’s routine, that causes the person to make efforts to adapt to the new situation could cause trauma.
Life crisis – physical: going through puberty, reaching menopause; social – reaching the age of getting married and not have done it; reaching the age to settle down and not have done it; and more
Silent preparations – an intentional suicide will be prepared at least a day or two before. This means that the person will leave all affairs in order, from managing the information on their phone and their personal computer, deleting certain data or, on the contrary, leaving notes. A sudden drive to see certain people in a short amount of time is also a sign.
Hinting – some people hint they are wrapping things up. They leave conclusive texts on social media, they tell some people of their intentions (usually people with limited power to prevent them from going ahead with their intention and people who they don’t have a deep connection with).
Suicide prevention is very tricky, as it has the last chances when the suicide is already planned. To prevent someone from taking their own life is most efficient when the causes that lead up to it are dealt with. Here are some prevention measures that work:
Talk – talking about the stressing issues prevents the accumulation of stress because the person has the opportunity of opening-up and venting. Then, solutions can be brought into the picture, solution that comes either from themselves of from their listeners.
Support – emotional support is effective as long as the person trusts and confides in the people willing to offer emotional support. Aside from emotionally being there, according to the problem they are facing – debt, unemployment, bullying, illness – significant additional help can lower the anxiety/depression swings. Easing up their burden through direct help may make the difference.
Therapy – when a person is considering suicide, there is a clear, undoubted need for medication and/or psychotherapy.
Not every person saying they will commit suicide will actually do it. But the risk of any threat or confession of the kind should be asserted by a psychiatrist.