“The Sorrow Of Suicide”

 “Clarion Call”

“Blow the trumpet in Zion;

    sound the alarm on my holy mountain.”(Joel 2:1)

It’s time for all people to awaken from their slumber. 

This is a time to see clearly the signs of the times.

No.20   JudeoChristianClarion.Com  “ The Sorrow of  Suicide”

I’m sure that most people know someone who committed suicide, or heard of someone who did.

Suicide is a serious public health problem among all age groups. Among youth, it exacts an enormous toll due to the significant years of potential life lost.

In 2016 suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in America.

The World Health Organization reports that nearly 800,000 people die worldwide each year from suicide, which is about one person every 40 seconds. Globally it is the second leading cause of death for those between the ages of  15-24.

For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population. Approximately 575,000 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm. There are approximately 1,149,475 annual attempts in the U.S. (using 25:1 ratio) or one attempt every 27.5 seconds. There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. 1 in 100,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year. (NIMH). 7 in 100,000 youth ages 15 to 19 die by suicide each year. (NIMH) There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly.

While the link between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders) is well established in high-income countries, many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.

Depression and suicide are linked, with an estimate that up to 60% of people who commit suicide have major depression. But it’s important to note that this figure doesn’t mean most people with depression will attempt suicide. Research suggests that the majority of suicides are related to a psychiatric condition, which includes depression, substance use disorders, and psychosis. Estimates suggest that the suicide risk for mental disorders which includes depression, alcoholism, and schizophrenia is around 5% to 8%.

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the U.S.
  • The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35% since 1999
  • 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition
  • 90% of people who die by suicide had shown symptoms of a mental health condition, according to interviews with family, friends and medical professionals (also known as psychological autopsy).
  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.
  • 78% of people who die by suicide are male.
  • Transgender adults are nearly 12x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
  • Annual prevalence of serious thoughts of suicide, by U.S. demographic group:
    • 4.9% of all adults 
    • Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-19 year-olds at 18:8 % 
    • 11.3% of young adults aged 18-25
    • 42% of LGBTQ youth
    • 52% of LGBTQ youth who identify as transgender or nonbinary

There are warning signs you can watch for in those who may be at risk of attempting suicide. Though there is no single type of person who may commit suicide and the symptoms below are not exhaustive, these are the most common signs observed among people who may be contemplating taking their own life. 

A change in personality, especially behaviors in social situations. 

Withdrawal from interaction or communication with others.

 Mood changes that are drastic, such as being in a very low mood one day to being in a very high mood the next. 

Triggers such as life crisis or trauma in a person who is already living with depression. 

Threats of suicide, or expressed negative wishes regarding life, such as wishing they’d “never been born.” 

Giving away cherished belongings to friends and loved ones. 

Deep depression is observed that affects their ability to function socially or in the workplace.

 Aggressive or risky behaviors, such as high-speed driving.

Some things we can do to prevent youth suicides.  Prevention efforts should be aimed at all levels of influence: individual, relationship, community and societal. Suicide rates for at-risk youth can be substantially reduced by:

  • Knowing the signs. Four out of five suicide deaths are preceded by warning signs such as suicidal threats, previous suicide attempts, preoccupation or obsession with death, depression, and final arrangements. 
  • Making it more difficult to die in an act of deliberate self-harm. Interventions include building barriers on bridges, removing guns from homes with at-risk youth, lethal means counseling and reducing medication load available. 
  • Improving access to mental health resources. Examples include medical interventions and support groups, effective clinical care for mental disorders and family and community support. 

If we are a parent or grandparent or around any children, or young adults or any one for that matter, we need to watch for the signs. We need to be aware of people and what they say and what they do, because it all has a purpose, it all matters. We have forgotten to listen to people, and especially their tone, and mannerism which can speak volumes.  We need to become involved in people’s lives, not less, but more. We speak about pandemics, but there are many pandemics, and they all need our attention. There is so much death around us, in movies, and music, and TV shows, and a constant reminder of our current pandemic, the Coronavirus. People need to hear something other than sickness and death. We need to laugh and enjoy one another. Everyone will die one day, but it is important how we live, and make memories, and enjoy each other, this is what matters in death. No one should take their lives, it is God given, and it is for God to take. So let us do all that we can to help one another in our crises for this is God’s will for us that we love one another.

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