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Suicidal Thoughts? Here’s What to Do and How to Help

In most cases of suicide, getting timely help seems to be one of the biggest challenges. Suicide is definitely preventable and certainly noticeable. If you think you feel sad about most things on most days, it is time to seek professional help. Depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies are all treatable but seeking help from professionals is the first step toward healing from mental health issues.

News18 got in touch with several professional psychiatrists to find answers to commonly asked questions regarding mental issues faced by those with suicidal tendencies. Remember, we are all together in this. Here are a few common questions that people who have or are living with people who have mental health issues often ask.

[q]How to know if what you are experiencing is mental distress?[/q]

[ans]Not feeling like waking up in the morning, constantly thinking that waking up or performing activities has no meaning or value. Having the constant feeling that you don’t matter. Feelings of prolonged sadness or anxiety with no escape are all signs of mental distress. If you feel any of these things, seek help immediately.[/ans]

[q]What are the common symptoms of suicidal tendency?[/q]

[ans]While suicidal tendency may not always manifest itself in high degrees, signs always exist if one is observant. One of the most common ways to detect suicidal tendencies is to observe if people are acting out of character or behaving in significantly different ways. For instance, if a person you know to be very jolly and sprightly suddenly starts acting sullen for prolonged periods of time, starts to change their biological patterns of sleeping and eating, starts to speak or communicate less and brood more or become increasingly inattentive or inaccessible, these can be signs of suicidal tendencies. [/ans]

[q]How to help a person with suicidal tendencies?[/q]

[ans]Seeking professional help is one of the first courses of action when faced with a person experiencing or exhibiting suicidal tendencies. You can do so by calling on any of the myriad mental health helpline numbers available and describe the condition of the person to them. You can even call the general health helpline of the Government of India at 104 where authorities can internally transfer the call to trained professionals in case of emergencies. Next, try to calm the victim down and get them to talk. Assure them you are with them and they are not alone and any problem can be solved together. Keep comforting the person in whatever way possible until help arrives.[/ans]

[q]How to identify suicidal tendencies by hearing people talk[/q]

[ans]”I wish I was dead”, “All my problems and that of my family’s will be solved if I’m dead”. While these statements may appear generalistic or dramatic, these are often thoughts that people with suicidal tendencies face. These can very well be indicators of suicidal thoughts. Further, severe cases of anxiety, depression or other mental distress may also lead to suicide if left untreated.[/ans]

[q]Is it true that the ones who constantly speak of dying are bluffing?[/q]

[ans]Certainly not. It is a myth that people who speak of ending their life are indeed always bluffing as psychiatrists say otherwise. People who repeatedly speak of ending their lives are actually the ones that would be nurturing the thought for a long time inside them. Hence any sign shouldn’t be ignored. Mild medication coupled with counselling can often help save a life. [/ans]

We have curated a list of Helplines across India to seek in case of mental distress, Suicidal thoughts, Anxiety or Depression. Please note that all these helplines promise anonymity and are verified. So feel free to reach them.

NIMHANS

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, (NIMHANS) Bengaluru, offers free psychological support and mental health services to people experiencing stress, anxiety, emotional discomfort due to pandemic and fear of any kind. The helpline is open 24/7 and well-trained professionals, psychiatrists and psychologists are available at all times of the day with just a call. You can call them at 080-46110007 or visit nimhans.ac.in/pssmhs-helpline.

iCALL

Trained volunteers at iCall speak in English and Hindi. One can reach them over call from Monday to Saturday betweek 8 am to 10pm.

You can reach them at 9152987821 or visit http://icallhelpline.org/.

SUMAITRI

Sumaitri is a crisis intervention center for people who feel depressed or have suicidal thoughts. Trained volunteers conduct telephonic counselling on all days of the week from 2pm to 6.30pm You can call them at 011-23389090 / 9315767849 or visit sumaitri.net.

SNEHA

This organization offers emotional support to people feeling distressed or suicidal. Their services are available between 10 am and 10 pm every day. The center also extends support through mail. You can call them at 044-24640050, 044-2464006 or visit snehaindia.org/new.

FORTIS STRESS HELPLINE

The helpline is run by Fortis group of hospitals and is available 24/7 in over 15 languages. Along with providing telephonic consultation, they also help with preliminary diagnoses of illnesses and guide patients to proper medical care if and when needed. You can call the helpline at +91 8376804102​.

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