Some people experience suicidal thoughts throughout their lives. Different circumstances can explain their occurrence. How to cope ? Who to call?
Since 2010, there have been a reduction in the number of deaths by suicidepoints out Public health France on February 3, 2023. In 2021, the annual regional rate of hospitalization for suicide attempts among those aged 10 and over is at 150 per 100,000 inhabitants in France. It varies depending on the metropolitan regions, from 70 per 100,000 inhabitants in Corsica to 268 per 100,000 in the Tops of France is almost 4 times more.
What can cause suicidal thoughts?
Several situations can contribute to the occurrence of suicidal thoughts:
- Mental health problems (depression, anxiety)
- Family, friendly, sentimental conflicts
- The death of a loved one
- Financial problems
- An isolation
- Alcohol and drug use
- Medical problems and taking certain treatments (diabetes, thyroid problems, chronic pain)
- Sexual orientation (e.g. family view of homosexuality).
Who are the people most at risk? How does it start?
“Faced with the trials and setbacks of life, anxious, dependent, demanding and avoidant people frequently experience a feeling of inadequacy and insecurity marked by a perception of a low quality of their resources to cope with them.“, explains Édith Rosset, psychologist.
Here is three specific aspects frequently observed in these people at risk:
► A pessimistic inclination towards the trials of life. Their speeches, often punctuated by words like “Never”, “Impossible”, “Insoluble” and “Always”, reflect their feeling that painful events persist over time, compared to happy moments which quickly evaporate.
► A tendency to feel responsible, even guilty, for their failures and to consider their successes as an opportunity. This observation emphasizes a feeling of incapacity with a degrading questioning where ideas like: “I am worthless”, “I am incapable” and an absence of conviction in one’s own achievements
► A tendency to spread distress and despair in all aspects of their existence, with a feeling of being misunderstood, without emotional support and therefore tending towards social isolation.
Who to call if you have suicidal thoughts?
→ It is absolutely necessary to communicate as much as possible with a loved one of whom you are aware and with whom you do not feel judged.
→ In case of isolation: contact a helpline to speak to a professional who can advise you:
- Psychiatric emergencies: 01 43 87 97 97.
- SOS Psychiatry: 01 47 07 24 24.
- SOS Suicide: 01 40 44 46 45.
- Suicide Listen: 01 45 39 40 00.
- Youth Health Line: 0800 235 236.
- Health Listening: 0 800 150 160.
- SOS Friendship: 0 820 066 066.
- SOS Depression: 0892 70 12 38.
→ Get rid of means of harming yourself: pills, razors, knives, firearms. Ask a third party to take care of it if you can’t.
Consider preparing an “emergency plan” to deal with suicidal thoughts when they arise. This can be done as a family, it includes clearly formalized action items to refer to in the event of a crisis: It may be useful to detail comforting activitiestheir reasons for living, the contacts who can be reached urgently (parent, friend, therapist, crisis line, etc.), the or places where we feel safe, emergency numbers (psychiatric, hospital)
Preventing suicidal thoughts
- Seek help from health professionals (psychiatrist, psychologist)
- Follow medical prescriptions
- Identify triggers
- Eat regular meals, exercise, respect your sleep schedule
- Have satisfying leisure activities
- Respect a routine (bedtimes, getting up, activity program)
- Set goals (travel, reading, return to study, etc.).
Thanks to Édith Rosset, psychologist.