Monday, February 2, 2009

Stress and suicide

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
Studies have shown that suicides are found to have experienced higher levels of stressful events in the past year than non suicidal individuals. Stressors experienced by adolescent and young adult suicides tend more often to involve negative interpersonal events, such as friction and break-ups with loved ones and problems involving work, finances, and the criminal justice system. In contrast, stressors of elderly suicides tend more often to involve medical problems and intrapsychic states such as depression. These differences by age are found both in psychological autopsy studies and in content analyses of suicide notes Suicidal ideation in college students was positively associated with self ratings of negative life events in the past year. Don’t ignore your stress get help if you cross your optimum level of stress. 
Signals to look for:
1. Withdrawn behaviour. Inability to relate to family and friends.

2. Psychiatric illness

3. Alcoholism

4. Anxiety or panic

5. Change in personality – irritability, pessimism, depression, apathy

6. Change in eating habits / sleeping habits

7. Earlier suicide attempt

8. Hating oneself, feeling guilty, worthless or ashamed

9. A recent major loss – death, divorce, separation etc

10. Family history of suicide

11. Sudden desire to tidy up one’s affairs – writing a will etc.

12. Feeling of loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness

13. Suicide notes

14. Physical ill helth

15. Repeated mention of death/ suicide