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Suicide - Recognizing the signs?

Depression creates a high risk of suicide.  Anyone who expresses suicidal thoughts or threats, should be taken seriously.  If you have had suicidal thoughts you can contact the Samaritans, who operate a service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Call 08457 90 90 90.  Childline also run a free helpline for children and young people in the UK.  The call is free and will not appear on your phone statement.  Call 0800 11 11.

How can counselling help?

Counselling offers a safe and confidential space for you to explore your feelings, without being judged or criticized.  With the support of a counselling therapist you can work through the feelings that have caused your depression and anxiety, and help you to regain control of your life and make the right decisions for yourself.

Some of the clients I have worked with were experiencing suicidal thoughts before entering into counselling therapy.  Having the space to explore their issues, enabled them to overcome the difficulties they were faced with and relinquish the desire to end their life.  It also helped them to make some positive changes, which ultimately alterered their circumstances.

According to NHS choices, suicide rates are continuing to fall in the UK, with 2007 figures displaying the lowest rate on record.   Risk factors pertaining to suicide, vary depending on age, gender and ethnic group, and can occur in various combinations.

What makes a person consider suicide?

Depression

Being unable to deal with sudden changes in their life such as, bereavement, loss, marital breakdown, relationship conflict, or battling with an eating disorder, or drug/acohol addiction.

Other risk factors include:

·         One or more prior suicide attempts

·         Family history of mental disorder or substance abuse

·         Family history of suicide

·         Family violence

·         Physical or sexual abuse

·         Keeping harmful objects, such as firearms, in the home

·         Incarceration

·         Exposure to the suicidal behaviour of others

Warning signs that someone may be thinking about or planning to commit suicide include:

·         Always talking or thinking about death

·         Clinical depression - deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating - that gets worse

·         Having a "death wish," tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death such as driving fast or going through red lights

·         Losing interest in things one used to care about

·         Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless

·         Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will

·         Saying things like "it would be better if I wasn't here" or "I’ve had enough"

·         Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy

·         Talking about suicide or killing one's self

·         Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

If you or anyone you know maybe suffering from any of the symptoms described, then take some action NOW.  Contact me if you wish to book an appointment to discuss your concerns.

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