Junior Seau’s suicide is a reminder of how vulnerable the human mind can be. Today this psychotherapist and human behavior expert; Dr. Karen Ruskin, was interviewed on The Doug Meehan Show; 96.9 Boston Talks where I discussed this tragedy. Topics such as; why people commit suicide, warning signs, and what to do if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts was discussed.
- Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Those who have suicidal thoughts typically have the perception that their future is hopeless and do not feel the problem is temporary. They are in so much pain that they feel the only way to end their pain is to end their life.
- Most people who commit suicide have a mental or emotional disorder. The most common underlying disorder is depression.
- The act of suicide for the person who commits the act is a hopeless and desperate act. They are not well emotionally and are unable to find a way out of their darkened emotional place. Often suicide is said to be a selfish act. The reason for this term is that the family left grieving over the loss experience the action their loved one took as selfish, since they are left remaining with the emotional mess to clean up. Those remaining feel abandoned that their parent, spouse, child, friend “checked out” often saying things like; “don’t they care about me, how could they do this to me?”
- Statistics show that 8 out of 10 suicidal persons give some sign of their intentions. Each warning sign should be taken seriously including:
- Talking about wanting to die or kill one’s self
- Verbal suicide threats such as; “You’d be better off without me”, or “Maybe I won’t be around”
- Previous suicide attempts
- Behaving recklessly, risk-taking behaviors
- Lack of interest in future plans
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Talking about feeling hopeless or helpless or having no reason to live
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Giving away prized possessions
- Bizarre behavior
- What to do if you think someone is suicidal:
- Talk with the person about your concerns. Use great listening skills.
- Trust your gut. If you think that person is in trouble, he probably is.
- Do not leave the person alone.
- Do not promise not to tell anyone.
- Get professional help.
- Do not be judgmental.
- Where to get help:
Psychology Today: www.psychologytoday.com
For on demand listening to this informative interview click the play button below.