New research has shown that every 40 seconds, someone in the world takes their own life, CNN reports.
That’s at least 800,000 people a year, according to the World Health Organization, and the numbers are rising in some parts of the world. In the United States alone, suicide rates have increased by 35% between 1999 and 2018.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls suicide a “growing public health problem.”And that’s only part of the grim picture to ponder today, on World Suicide Prevention Day. For each person who has died by suicide, many more people think about or attempt suicide, according to the CDC.
In 2018, over 10 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, more than 3 million made a plan, and 1.4 million attempted suicide.
Again, not everyone will give their friends and loved ones verbal hints about their suicidal thoughts. That’s why it’s important to recognize warning signs in actions as well as words.
Postpartum depression: A family hopes their loss will help othersBe wary if your loved one:
- Begins to search online for ways to kill themselves, such as buying a gun or obtaining medical prescriptions
- Increases their use of alcohol or drugs
- Sleeps too much or too little
- Starts to behave recklessly, such as driving while intoxicated or without a seat belt
- Appears agitated, expresses rage or talks about seeking revenge
- Has extreme mood swings, from euphoria to the depths of depression
- Appears to feel hopeless or talks about feeling trapped or having no reason to live
- Appears to be in unbearable psychologicalpain or talks about being a burden to friends or family
- Withdraws or isolates from others
Many of these signs may be tough to recognize during the pandemic as families and friends are more isolated and alone. Be sure to call and check on loved ones and listen carefully to their concerns and how they are expressing themselves.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, find someone to talk to, and if someone chooses to confide in you, please do not throw it away as a little act of listening may go a long way in saving the life of someone.