Emergency Care for Attempted Suicide
The act of taking one’s own life on purpose is called suicide. And suicidal tendencies and behavior is any action that can cause a person to die, such as shooting oneself or taking an overdose of a drug.
Causes: Suicidal behaviors generally occur among people with:
• Personality disorder
• Alcohol or drug abuse
• Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder
Why: People who attempt suicide are often trying to get out of a situation that seems too difficult to deal with. Most of them are seeking as escape route from overwhelming situation. They even believe that they are doing their near and dear ones a favor by removing themselves from the world. They could be going through:
• Feeling of being a burden to others
• Feeling of victimization
• Rejection, loss or loneliness
• Chronic physical illness
• Joblessness or money problem
• Access to weapons or drugs
• Relatives who have committed suicide
• History of hurting themselves on purpose
• History of abuse
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Only an Attempt: Some attempt suicide is such a way that is less likely to be fatal, such poisoning or overdose. Men, especially older ones, are likely to choose violent means like shooting. Hence, suicide attempts made by men are more likely to lead to death.
Note: Most suicide attempts do not lead to death. Many of these attempts are done in such a way that makes rescue possible. These attempts are more often than not a cry for help.
Emergency Care: If you suspect a person is harboring suicidal thoughts, then:
• Never try to manage the situation alone – seek help.
• Never ignore a suicidal threat.
• Never leave the person alone.
• Keep them away from dangerous weapons such as knives or guns.
• Prevent them from drinking alcohol.
• Talk to the person – be understanding and not judgmental.
• If the person attempts suicide, then immediately seek medical help.
• Give first aid, CPR
• Take the person to hospital for intensive treatment
• Treatment for underlying mental disorders, if any
• Even after they are discharged from the hospital, such patients need to be closely monitored to dissuade any future attempts.