These are the facts.
If your, or someone you know, is at risk, please continue reading.
We have compiled a short list (below) of resources that we hope will help to identify and provide a positive outcome to anyone currently going through a hard time.
Throughout the coming months we will be adding more information, topics and links for further reading.
Through education, public awareness and understanding, most suicides are preventable.
Already in this new century there have been more than 5 million suicide deaths worldwide. Each year approximately one million people in the world die by suicide. This toll is higher than the total number of world deaths each year from war and homicide combined. Suicide is an important public health problem in many countries, and is a leading cause of death amongst teenagers and young adults.
In addition, it is estimated that there are from 10-20 times as many suicide attempts as suicide deaths. These suicide attempts range in intent and medical severity from mild to very severe. At a personal level, all suicide attempts, regardless of the extent of injury, are indications of severe emotional distress, unhappiness and/or mental illness.
Suicide and suicide attempts have serious emotional consequences for families and friends. The burden of bereavement by suicide can have a profound and lasting emotional impact for family members. The families of those who make suicide attempts are often especially anxious and concerned about the risk of further suicidal behaviour, and about their responsibilities in trying to prevent further attempts.
There are also substantial economic costs associated with lives lost to suicide. These costs arise from the loss of economic potential due to lives lost to suicide, from the often devastating effects of symptoms of bereavement by suicide, from the medical and mental health costs associated with suicide attempts, and from the burden of family care for those who have made suicide attempts. Internationally, the annual economic cost of suicidal behaviour is estimated to be in the billions of dollars.
Depression is a "whole-body" illness, involving your body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.
The symptoms of depression may vary from person to person, and also depend on the severity of the depression. Depression causes changes in thinking, feeling, behavior, and physical well-being.
Now imagine these symptoms lasting for weeks or even months. Imagine feeling this way almost all of the time. Depression is present if you experience many of these symptoms for atleast several weeks. Of course, it's not a good idea to diagnose yourself. If you think that you might be depressed, see a psychologist as soon as possible. A psychologist can assess whether you are depressed, or just under a lot of stress and feeling sad. Remember, depression is treatable. Instead of worrying about whether you are depressed, do something about it. Even if you don't feel like it right now.
Rates of self-harm in the UK have increased over the past decade and are amongst the highest in Europe. The Truth Hurts report found that rates of self-harm are highest among young people, with around 25,000 11-to-25-year-olds admitted to hospital each year after self-harming.
While self-cutting is the most common form of self-harm, perhaps affecting as many as one in 15 young people, it is not the only one. Truth Hurts describes self-harm as "a wide range of things that people do to themselves in a deliberate and usually hidden way, which are damaging".
Self-harm is often a way of coping with painful and difficult feelings and distress. Someone may harm themselves because they feel overwhelmed and don't know how else to deal with things. It's usually a very private issue and motivations and methods will differ from one person to another. Some forms of self-harm carry a serious risk, but this doesn't mean someone who self-harms is always intending to cause themselves serious injury.
Self-harm can take many different forms. Cutting is the most common form of self-injury, but others can include: burning; scalding; stabbing; banging heads and other body parts against walls; hair-pulling; biting; breaking bones; jumping from heights or in front of vehicles; and swallowing or inserting objects.
Self-poisoning is the term used for overdosing with a medicine or medicines or swallowing a poisonous substance. It may also be that someone self-harms by inhaling/sniffing harmful substances. The majority of people who attend Accident & Emergency (A&E) because of self-poisoning have taken over-the-counter medication. Others may overdose on medicines that have been prescribed by their doctor, such as antidepressants. A small number of people will take a large amount of an illegal drug or poison themselves with another substance.
Although people who self-harm are not usually trying to commit suicide, they could be at a higher risk of killing themselves, whether it's intentional or not. Research suggests that the intention to commit suicide is present in up to 15% of those who self-harm. Although it's wrong to presume that people who self-harm are trying to kill themselves, a small proportion of people who self-harm go on to take their life within two years.
"We would be more concerned about suicidal feelings if the person is saying 'I just don't want to live' and there is a real intention to end their life," says Frances McCann, a senior mental health practitioner. "There's a big difference between someone saying they self-harm when they feel angry and a young person saying that they can't go on any more and want to end everything."
People who are suicidal can be more likely to avoid asking for help and may even carry out final acts, such as writing a will, or choosing a violent means of self-harm that result in little chance of survival. The risk of suicide is also increased in people diagnosed with Manic depression (Bipolar disorder), severe depression or schizophrenia.
This is a condition that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves. People with BPD can have mood swings and act impulsively in a way that could be damaging to them. Just because someone self-harms it doesn't mean that they have BPD - this is just one of the symptoms that may lead to a diagnosis of BPD, which is a very complex condition.
Addiction is a catch-all term for a complex behavioral disorder. The most obvious symptom is that addicts reach a point where they cannot control their own actions. Even when they can see the harm, they continue the compulsive behavior. The inability to stop, more than any other attribute, marks addiction.
For this reason, addiction was first described as a failure of will power. We now know this is incorrect. Addiction is a real disease with psychological, genetic, and psychosocial aspects. It is not a character flaw or a failure of morality. There are actual changes that occur in the brains of addicts and treatments for addiction must address the biology behind the behavior.
While all addictions will exhibit some of these signs, substances and behaviors differ depending on the addiction. Most addicts will deny the extent of their problem, but at some point will admit (at least to themselves) that a problem exists.
Unfortunately, the label, “addict” is has become a powerfully negative and ugly stereotype. It is neither a character defect nor a moral weakness. Anyone can become an addict if they are exposed to the proper stimulus in the right context.
Addiction is a disease and treatments vary somewhat depending on the particular compulsion. For details about a specific addiction, refer to that page on this website.
Mania might include:
Some people think that they are just "over their depression" when they become manic, and don't realize this exaggerated state is part of the illness - part of bipolar disorder. A person who has depression and mania is said to have Bipolar I.
Hypomania does not include hallucinations or delusions, but a hypomanic person still might exhibit some reckless or inappropriate behavior. A person who has moods of depression and hypomania is said to have Bipolar II.
Personality disorders are pervasive chronic psychological disorders, which can greatly affect a person's life. Having a personality disorder can negatively affect one's work, one's family, and one's social life. Personality disorders exists on a continuum so they can be mild to more severe in terms of how pervasive and to what extent a person exhibits the features of a particular personality disorder. While most people can live pretty normal lives with mild personality disorders (or more simply, personality traits), during times of increased stress or external pressures (work, family, a new relationship, etc.), the symptoms of the personality disorder will gain strength and begin to seriously interfere with their emotional and psychological functioning.
Those with a personality disorder possess several distinct psychological features including disturbances in self-image; ability to have successful interpersonal relationships; appropriateness of range of emotion, ways of perceiving themselves, others, and the world; and difficulty possessing proper impulse control. These disturbances come together to create a pervasive pattern of behavior and inner experience that is quite different from the norms of the individuals culture and that often tend to be expressed in behaviors that appear more dramatic than what society considers usual. Therefore, those with a personality disorder often experience conflicts with other people and vice-versa. There are ten different types of personality disorders that exist, which all have various emphases.
Read More at MentalHealth.net
If unsure where to go for help, talk to someone you trust who has experience in mental health—for example, a doctor, nurse, or social worker. Ask their advice on where to seek treatment. If there is a university nearby, its departments of psychiatry or psychology may offer private and/or sliding-scale fee clinic treatment options. Otherwise, check the Yellow Pages under "mental health," "health," "social services," "crisis intervention services," "hotlines," "hospitals," or "physicians" for phone numbers and addresses. In times of crisis, the emergency room doctor at a hospital may be able to provide temporary help for a mental health problem, and will be able to tell you where and how to get further help.
Listed below are the types of people and places that will make a referral to, or provide, diagnostic and treatment services.
Lifeline - 13 11 14
Worldwide Hotlines - Suicide Hotlines