In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, and more than 40,000 people die due to suicide each year. The saddest part about those statistics is that suicide is often preventable.
Signs and risk factors
Seeking treatment is one of the most important steps in preventing suicide. If you see signs of being at risk for suicide in yourself or someone you care about, consider booking an appointment at Progressive Behavioral Health, PLLC so we can provide life-saving treatment. Here are some of the signs to watch for:
- Discussing suicide
- Feelings of emptiness or hopelessness
- Having a suicide plan
- Talking about feeling terribly guilty or shameful
- Feeling as if you’re trapped or there are no solutions for your problems
- Using drugs or alcohol more than usual
- Feelings of great emotional or physical pain
- Behaving anxiously
- Withdrawing from family and social activities
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Risk-taking behaviors
- Extreme moodiness
- Telling friends and family goodbye
Although there no gender, age, or ethnic boundaries to suicide — anyone can be at risk — there are some characteristics that seem to be associated with a higher risk. For example, if you have depression you may be at a higher risk. Others risk factors include:
- Chronic pain
- Previous suicide attempts
- Family history of suicide
- A history of violence, such as physical or sexual abuse
- Recent release from prison or jail
- Being exposed to suicidal behavior
Suicide is complex. It’s not always as simple as a physical illness — having the flu, seeing your doctor, taking medication, and getting better — although sometimes it can be. Working with a mental health expert is one of the most important steps in recovery because they’ll help you identify the treatment approach that’s likely to work best for you as a unique individual.
The treatment strategies recommended by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have been researched and tend to work well for people who have certain conditions, such as depression and anxiety, that are often associated with suicide.
There are several different types of psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps you find new ways of dealing with difficult or stressful situations, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which works well in preventing suicide among people who have borderline personality disorder.
Medication isn’t always the best treatment for suicide prevention, but sometimes it can be. A qualified mental health expert works with you to find the best medication or combination of medications, as well as the most appropriate dosing schedule.
Getting help can be the most important element in preventing suicide. If you’re in immediate danger, you should go to the emergency room, where qualified staff will provide an evaluation and get you help.
If you’re in crisis, but it’s not an emergency, book an appointment at Progressive Behavioral Health, PLLC at one of our three Texas locations, including Friendswood, Houston, & Round Rock, using our online scheduler or by phone. We’re happy to provide a consultation and make referrals if necessary.