Mental Health Professionals

Self Harm and Suicidal Tendencies

According to WHO, close to 800,000 people succumb to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Such a large amount of people come to the conclusion that death is better than living anymore and take action to take their own lives.

It a form of escape when life feels unbearable. The individual may feel excessive amounts of sadness and moodiness, hopelessness, withdrawal from social contact, preoccupations with death, change in eating and sleeping patterns, etc.

Suicidal Tendencies are different from the mindset of someone who self harms. Self-harm is a preoccupation with deliberately hurting oneself without conscious suicidal intent, often resulting in damage to body tissue. The individuals who partake in this want to cope up with their life, not end it. They may cut, burn, or hit themselves and the pain they feel provides them with a rush which for a moment overtakes their numbness or negative emotions.

About 15% of teenagers and 17-35% of college students have practiced self-harm. It could be due to low self-esteem, exposure to domestic violence, depression, anxiety, social pressure, medical illness, etc. You may notice that a person who self harms becoming more withdrawn, having rapid mood changes, isolating themselves, and see a decline of academic performances. Although self-harm and suicide is different, it is possible can a self-harming person can further develop suicidal thoughts after being desensitized to self-harm. They also share some common factors like, history of trauma, history of abuse, chronic stress, high sensitivity, history of depression or anxiety, feeling of worthlessness, etc.

If a person has tried to commit suicide before, had a significant negative change come into their life or have some underlying psychiatric problems, it is of the most important that you reach out to them. They may be dealing with much more emotional distress than they can handle. One call or one message of genuine care and love can help save a person’s life.

If you feel the urge to self-harm or have suicidal Tendencies, know others who are struggling with this, do not hesitate to approach a mental health professional.

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