Shame and Suicide

Today Dr. Poulter discusses his findings on suicide, suicide attempts, ruminating thoughts and shameful emotions. If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Call 1-800-273-8255 if you need someone to talk to. Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. They can’t cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they’re important to be aware of. 

•Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders •Alcohol and other substance use disorders •Hopelessness •Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies •History of trauma or abuse •Major physical illnesses Previous suicide attempt(s) •Family history of suicide •Job or financial loss Loss of relationship(s) •Easy access to lethal means •Local clusters of suicide •Lack of social support and sense of isolation •Stigma associated with asking for help •Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment •Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma •Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet) 

Know the Warning Signs 

Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help by calling the Lifeline. 

•Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves •Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun •Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live •Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain •Talking about being a burden to others •Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs •Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly •Sleeping too little or too much •Withdrawing or isolating themselves •Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge •Extreme mood swings 

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