Observed as an awareness day on 10th September every year, World Suicide Prevention Day provides worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities conducted around the world since 2003. It encourages people to have healthy and open conversations around mental health issues like depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies. The motto is to normalise mental health problems and prevent suicides.
Though this is a highly sensitive topic, the need of the hour is talking about it freely without shame or judgement. Several organisations, NGOs, medical institutes and medical professionals along with celebrities have successfully promoted this day to create awareness. Here, TeamTC46 intends to motivate all to seek help if you are developing suicidal thoughts or tendencies with the assistance of an expert.
Real Stories: First-Hand Account Of Someone Who Contemplated Suicide
“Having dealt with depression for years for being sexually assaulted as a child, the onset of social anxiety and panic attacks seemed like the next gradual step. The shame, ridicule and absent positivity about my appearance were a constant. I remember sharing my emotional state with my dearest friend who is a Psychologist. She, true to her profession and loyal in her friendship, helped me talk freely and gently guided me towards therapy.
PTSD, depression mixed with societal pressure and overall feeling of hopelessness was enough to make me think of the unthinkable. The trigger was a failed relationship that drained every single emotion out of me, making me go numb. This was the period of extreme emotions that crashed like tsunami ways. As I planned and plotted my suicide with research about sleeping pills, I knew what I was doing was wrong. Yet the false hope that death would bring resolution was present.
While you may think you can easily hide your pain, your loved ones will always know. My mother, after watching me struggle yet put on a brave front, sat me down and asked me what was wrong. And I broke down. Seeing my pain reflected in her eyes is what stopped me from attempting suicide.
After months of deliberation and having to counsel myself, I took the right decision of going to therapy. It was awkward and I was anxious. I can still feel my heart beating fast as I filled out the form. A solid first session with a psychiatrist, who referred me to a therapist, put my mind at ease. As she asked what results I desired from therapy, I knew I wanted to heal. With that started my journey towards addressing my mental health issues. And what surprised me was the positive effects of meditation. One meditation technique made a huge impact on me:
- Sit in a safe, solid place, preferably on the ground.
- If possible, make sure your back is touching a wall.
- Fold your legs and sit in Padmasana.
- You may gently place your hands (palms up) on your thighs or cradle them in your lap.
- Focus on your breathing, exhale and inhale naturally without force.
- Let the thoughts flow freely, don’t stop them.
- Soon you will feel light and as if floating on clouds.
- Let this sensation last as long as you want.
Tip: Doing this in an open space will have a calmer, more relaxing effect.
You may find yourself at the lowest of the low moments and think it’s okay to just give up and end your life. It’s common to think that no one will understand you or be able to help you. But sharing your pain with someone helps, letting yourself free of those thoughts in therapy helps. Keep a journal, go sit under some trees, eat your favourite ice cream or just watch a comedy; doing what you love, being selfish at the moments that feel hopeless, is the step in the right direction.”
Signs & Symptoms That Your Loved One Is Feeling Suicidal
As a parent, guardian, friend, intimate partner, or loved one of someone who is going through a difficult time and needs therapeutic assistance, it can be challenging to know how exactly to go about helping. Severe depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation are examples of issues that warrant intervention. Some signs of psychological distress to watch for are:
- Marked changes in mood, such as irritability, anger, anxiety, or sadness
- A decline in performance at work or school
- Changes in weight and appearance, including negligence of personal hygiene
- Disturbances in sleep, either oversleeping or insomnia
- Withdrawal from social relationships and activities
How To Encourage Your Loved One To See A Therapist?
It’s hard to watch someone you care about struggle with their mental health. It’s even worse when you know they could benefit from professional help. It can be tricky to discuss professional help and can aggravate the person further if not handled with care. Here’s how you can motivate them to attend therapy.
1. Show Support
Mental health issues are still a taboo in India and hence the first thing you need to do is normalise the conversation. Our loved one may be aware that they need help, but may be afraid to seek it if they think you will judge or treat them differently. Create a comfortable environment, state that you intend to help – not judge and most importantly, listen. Assure them that you will support them through the therapy process.
2. Be Sensitive
Most suicidal people refrain from sharing thoughts due to a misconception that others won’t understand them. So make sure to keep an open mind, their issues may seem trivial on the surface but it is enough to cause such extreme thoughts for them. Encourage them to freely talk about everything and anything. Let them know that this conversation is private and will not leave the room.
3. Prepare For Resistance
Not all people who hear about therapy will be willing to try it out. You need to be prepared to make your case if your loved one resists your suggestion. Here’s how you can do it without causing hurt.
- Try to use your relationship as leverage in a loving way: Tell them how much they mean to you. Explain how going to therapy will help strengthen your bond. Avoid giving an ultimatum as it can cause emotional distress.
- Compliment and admire them: Instead of only highlighting their negative behaviour, talk about their positive qualities. When you compliment someone, it makes it easier for them to engage in self-love worthy actions and decisions.
- Explain the problem patiently: Most people who refuse to go to therapy think there is nothing wrong with their behaviour. Sit them down and explain with utmost care certain aspects of their behaviour that are problematic.
4. Offer Help
While some resist therapy, a lot don’t know where to begin. Guide them in finding a suitable therapist in the area, depending on their preferences. You can contact offices on their behalf or research various professionals, their credibility and reviews.
Suicide Helpline Numbers In India
Connect With A Call:
- iCall – +919152987821
- AASRA – We’re Here To Help – +919820466726
- Jeevan Aastha Helpline – 1800 233 3330
- Fortis Stress Helpline – +918376804102
- HITGUJ Helpline – 02224131212
- Vandrevala Foundation Helpline – 18602662345
- Sumaitri – 01123389090
- Lifeline Foundation – 03324637401, 03324637432
- Saath – +917926305544, +917926300222
- One Life – +7893078930