It is really sad, we just lost an amazing doctor who used to be our doctor as well as our colleague. He was so amazing, hard working and a person who really cares about his patients. His family must be so devastated specially his wife and his child. How is it even possible to tell this child when she grow up that her dad committed suicide? One thing is that it is one of the risk creating situation for the child to go for sucide too and the other thing is that she will always wonder why her dad choose to kill him self rather than being with her while she grows up. Or may be she will start thinking why she couldn’t save him or be there for him when he needed someone….hard staff!!
These days people commit suicide or attempt suicide very often and i always wonder why especially when successful people go for suicide. I think it is common to be affected by depression due to so much stress in their life if they don’t balance relaxation time with it. It’s really hard to give a certain explanation and bring out reasoning to it. It’s also not right to judge in my thinking….Very difficult!
Did you know that more than four times as many men as women die by suicide even if women attempt suicide more often during their lives than men, and women also report higher rates of depression. I used to have so many suicidal attempts when i was working in the Emergency room and most of the time it was more women who survived from suicidal attempts and more men dying. That was and is mostly because men and women use different suicide methods. Women in Ethiopia are more likely to ingest poisons than men. Of course in countries where the poisons are highly lethal and/or where treatment resources scarce like Ethiopia, rescue is rare and hence female suicides may outnumber males. But Men use highly lethal methods than women. Like strangulation or jumping from a building while women go for drinking poisons like Berkina which is used for washing cloths and most commonly used for suicidal attempts here in Ethiopia.
Normally persons who are planing to commit has certain behaviors you can see. Characteristically they have feelings of worthlessness, guilt, hopelessness that are so overwhelming and they start believing that they are unable or unfit to live. However, the most common predisposing disorders that lead to suicide are depression and bipolar (manicdepressive) disorder which encounters to 30% to 70% of suicide victims.
Who are at higher risk for suicide?
- Young adults ( age 15-24)
- Terminally ill persons ( People diagnosed with Cancer, HIV,etc)
- A person who experienced loss/stress
- A person who have attempted sucide previously
- Depressed persons
- Substance abusers (eg. Cocaine/Crack,PCP,LSD etc..)
Any one of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that that person is committing suicide but most of these symptoms should send a signal to us for help:
- Giving away personal , special and prized possessions
- Canceling social engagements
- Making out or changing a will
- taking out or changing insurance policies
- Obsession with death
- positive or negative changes in behavior
- poor appetite
- Daring risk taking behavior
- Poor appetite
- Sleeping difficulties
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Losing interest in activities
- Telling as a jock that he/she intent to attempt suicide
- He/she starts asking about poisons, guns or other killing objects
What to do when we think some one is planing suicide…
- Don’t act shocked
- Do not leave the person alone
- Remove harmful objects around
- Talk to the person and listen to him/her in nonjudgmental, caring attitude
- Don’t swear to keep it a secrete
- Encourage him/her to talk about feelings and to identify positive aspects about life
- Encourage active participation in own care
- Keep him/her active by assigning simple tasks
- Ask straight forward questions again with out being judgmental and try to find if he/she has specific plan designed how to do it.
- Get professional help and don’t council the person your self
In remembrance of Dr. A