I believe almost everyone can relate to this in some way or another. I’m sure most of us have known someone who has suffered from depression, commited suicide or has thought about or attempted it.
Suicide and depression is an increasing trend worlwide. Dr. Samia Ahmed, of Qatar, states that the global rate of depression is between 11 – 20%. Kuwait stands at 37.5%, Saudi Arabia at 29.9% and Qatar at 27%.
People turn to suicide, as a solution to end the pain that they are feeling. To them it feels like the only way to make it stop. But suicide is a final and permanent solution to a problem that is most often temporary. Depression if left untreated is a huge risk factor of suicide. Over 90% of people who commit suicide suffer from depression or another type of mental health disorder. The most frightening part is that the majority of suicidal people do not get the help they need. Their warnings go unnoticed or they simply fall through the cracks of the hospitals and institutions.
How can you tell if someone you care about is thinking of suicide? It can be hard to tell, but often times the person shows some of the following sings:
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- No longer interested in their usual activities
- Suffering from depression
- Listening to songs about suicide and death
- Putting their affairs in order, such as a will
- Visiting or calling to say their goodbyes
- Suicide notes
If someone you know tells you they are thinking of suicide, take it seriously. Just because they are talking about it does not mean they will not do it. Seek medical help for them and do whatever you can to help. Be there to listen, not judge or lecture.
I think the saddest thing about this is that most suicides are preventable. We need to spread awareness and help remove the social stigma of suicide and mental health disorders. We can make a difference if we try!
A great tool used to help people who are thinking of suicide is a distress hot-line. There should be national hot-lines in Saudi Arabia and widely publicised, where people who are depressed, having suicidal thoughts, or suffering from abuse, can speak to someone, with confidentiality. It saves lives! There is no face-to-face interaction, no one would know their name, its just a place to express themselves and the pain that they feel.
If you think someone you know can benefit from this please share it with them. Also, if you have any ideas or solutions to this global problem, its your chance to help, so speak up.
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