Suicide: understanding the urge to end it all
By Dr. Randy Dellosa, Your Online Shrink | Yahoo SHE – Thu, Oct 3, 2013 2:49 PM PHT
News has it that actor Paulo Avelino was allegedly rushed to the emergency room of St. Luke’s Medical Center due to an anxiety attack after displaying some suicidal behaviour. As expected, Paolo’s manager quickly doused the flames of showbiz intrigue by shrugging off the report as mere fabrication.
Fabricated or not, any news that we hear about suicide touches in us a raw nerve and is bound to disturb us. We innately know that suicide is wrong and should never be done, and so we wonder how some people could treat life so cheaply as to snuff out their own lives.
Suicide is defined as an intentional self-inflicted death. The most common reason for people to attempt suicide is because of problems that cause intense emotional suffering. Overwhelmed by a dark and heavy emotional gloom, they feel that the only way out of their problems is by ending their life. Thus, suicide for them is not just some random or pointless act but rather, the best solution for their problems. Although there may be other options or strategies to manage their problems, they sadly choose a permanent solution where there is no turning back.
Some people though can become suicidal even without experiencing problems or crises. For these people, the culprit is a biological one- a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes severe emotional depression. This type of depression may be genetic in origin, or it may be caused by certain medications (hormone pills, anti-hypertensive medication), substances (alcohol, marijuana), physiological/medical conditions (pregnancy, menopause, hypothyroidism), or other psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder).
The greatest impact of suicidal behavior falls on family members and friends. If the suicidal person survives the attempt, that person’s loved ones become extremely restless and fearful that another attempt may be made. And for suicidal people whose attempts tragically led to their own demise, they leave their loved ones with a heavy burden of sorrow to be carried for their entire lifetime.
Suicide is a true emergency needing urgent psychiatric attention. Suicidal thoughts, threats, and behaviours have to be taken seriously rather than ignored or belittled. Suicidal people have to be monitored 24/7 and be confined at a psychiatric facility until they fully recover from their emotional pain, desperation, and hopelessness.
There is much help for people who are suicidal. Through proper psychiatric interventions such as psychotherapy (intensive counselling) and antidepressant medication, suicidal people can regain hope in their lives and re-experience the joy of living.