By Marissa Frazier
Based on the last available reports done in 2018 and 2019, around 1.4 million adults have attempted suicide, and 47,511 adults have died from suicide. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death between the ages of 10-34 in Missouri. Despite these numbers, nothing is being done about it, nor is anyone bringing awareness. Constantly on social media, we see celebrities commit suicide, but nothing is ever done to prevent it in the future. While there may be no way to fully eliminate suicide, we can talk about it and do things to help prevent it as best as possible.
There are multiple warning signs for this, and you can look out for them and reach out to those who could need help. Those talking about killing themselves and wanting to die is one of the biggest signs. While with this generation, the phrase is typically used in a joking manner, it is still something to keep an eye on if they have other signs. Some things someone suicidal may talk about is also looking for a way to kill themselves, feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, feeling trapped and having unbearable pain, and even being a burden to others. Some tend to act anxious or agitated, and also can behave a lot more reckless than most since they plan on leaving soon. In some cases, there is an increased use to alcohol or drugs, and showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
While there are warning signs, there are also risk factors. Many different mental disorders can help make those more prone to considering or attempting suicide. While they can’t cause or predict it, mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and some personality disorders can have the chance of causing those feelings. As said before, alcohol and other substance use can also be a warming sign. Some people tend to feel hopeless after losing a job or having financial issues. Though, some of the major warning signs are a family history of suicide, history of trauma or abuse, and previous suicide attempts. These, once again, do not mean someone will attempt suicide in any means, they are only warning signs.
On top of this all, one of the biggest issues is that people do not get as much help as they need, if at all. There is a constant stigma with asking for help. Some may be deemed as weak or cowardly if they reach out. There are also those who feel as if they can’t be helped, and it’s only reinforced by their own thoughts. Despite this, help is always possible. Counselors and psychiatrists may cost, but there are free options out there to get help. In fact, the suicide prevention hotline in a 24/7 line specifically for those suffering. If you’re currently struggling or someone you know may be, the hotline is available at 800-273-8255. For those more local and currently studying at East Central, our counselors are all available throughout the week and can be contacted by email as well.