Suicidal thoughts: learn how to identify and help

take care of mental health should be a priority in anyone’s care routine. After all, in addition to the impacts it can cause, psychological and psychiatric disorders can also pose risks to life. One of the most dangerous symptoms is the suicidal thoughtswhich need to be addressed so that they are identified and fought as early as possible.

In that yellow september – suicide prevention monthwe talked to a child and adolescent psychiatrist Jaqueline Bifano on this very important subject. The professional gave tips on how to be able to help a person who is going through this problem, in addition to asking for help if this has been happening to you. Learn more below.


What is it yellow september? Learn more about this campaign

Yellow September is a suicide prevention campaign that emerged in 2013 in a partnership between the Brazilian Association of Psychiatry (ABP) and the Ministry of Health. September 10th is officially World Suicide Prevention Day, but the campaign lasts the whole month.

The initiative seeks to raise public awareness about suicide prevention. Unfortunately, According to data released by the Yellow September portal, it is estimated that there are 38 suicides per day in Brazil. Through multimedia content and awareness actions, the objective of the campaign is to guide people to seek help, in addition to psychological and psychiatric treatment. Nowadays, Yellow September is already encouraged to discuss other psychiatric illnesses and disorders, such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders.


Suicidal thoughts: how to identify them in a close person?

If you know someone close to you who is going through a difficult time or who has disorders such as depression, suicide prevention can be a subject on your care list, especially if the person is not in a therapeutic process, be it psychological or psychiatric. According to Jaqueline, some signs can help you identify whether your family member, colleague or friend is or is not at risk of an attempt. Some behaviors that could indicate someone is having suicidal thoughts include:


  • – Social isolation;
  • – expressions of hopelessness;
  • – talking about death or suicide;
  • – give indications that you have no reason to live;
  • – arrange pending matters;
  • – increase the use of alcohol or drugs;
  • – expressing extreme feelings of guilt or shame;
  • – say goodbye to friends and family.


When identifying any of these signs in someone close to you, it’s important to stay alert!


Sadness and stress x depressive episodes: know how to differentiate them

Another relevant question is whether you or someone close to you is really going through a depressive episode with suicidal thoughts or if it is just a situation of deep sadness or stress, since many times the manifestations can be similar.

Dr. Jaqueline explains how to differentiate the two situations. “Although sadness and stress are common and normal emotions, suicidal thoughts are characterized by a persistent desire to die, a feeling of deep hopelessness and a belief that death is the only solution to suffering”, puts the doctor. “When someone is going through a difficult time, they may feel sadness or stress, but they usually don’t have a concrete plan to take their own life,” she pointed out.


Mental disorders and family history are risk factors

Some groups of people are more prone to suicidal thoughts, as explained by the psychiatrist. “People with mental disorders, family history of suicide, traumatic experiences, substance abuse, social isolation, unemployment, bullying, among others, are more susceptible to this”, she comments. However, Jaqueline reinforces that this is not a rule. “It’s important to note that suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, regardless of their background.”

How should I act with a family member or friend who is having suicidal thoughts?

Many people who live with someone who needs help feel powerless, not knowing how to act in this situation. As much as it is a delicate issue and requires specialized care, it is possible to offer help in other ways.

“Family and friends play a crucial role in identifying and preventing suicidal thoughts”, encourages Jaqueline. “They should be on the lookout for changes in behavior, expressions of hopelessness and signs of isolation. Keeping an open line of communication, offering emotional support, encouraging the search for professional help and not minimizing the individual’s feelings are important ways to help”, says the psychiatrist.


care for mental health

Mental health care is not just about treatment, it also involves prevention. It is possible to adopt measures to avoid this type of ideation, as explained by Jaqueline Bifano. “Suicide prevention involves multidisciplinary approaches and mainly psychiatric follow-up and therapy. It is necessary that the person has emotional support, psychotherapeutic treatment and the use of medications when appropriate”, comments.

In addition, it is necessary to face suicide prevention without taboos and prejudice. “Reducing stigma around mental health, crisis interventions, public education and access to supportive resources are important. Early detection of risk factors and seeking help are fundamental in prevention”, warns the psychiatrist.


Are you having suicidal thoughts? Learn how to ask for help

If you are going through a difficult time, there are several ways to face the problem and ask for emergency help in crises. “There are several professional resources available, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and suicide prevention lines, such as the Centro de Valorização da Vida (CVV) in Brazil”, recommends Jaqueline. “In addition, mental health services in public and private networks can offer adequate treatment. Importantly, it is critical to seek professional help immediately,” she concludes.

If you are having suicidal thoughts and need help, contact CVV via chat or call 188. Assistance is available 24 hours a day and is completely free. Seek specialized medical care urgently and share with someone close to you what you are going through. Your life is important!

The post Care for Life.


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