By: Yuhanis Yunus
According to Merriam-Webster, suicide is an act or an instance of killing one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally. It is very different as compared to definition of suicide from the Encyclopedia of Psychology where suicide is define as the act of killing one’s own life as a result of depression or other mental illness.
Suicide itself is not a form of illness but a complication of mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety and many more.
Surely, suicide is one’s own choice of ending their life but do they do it intentionally or suicide is a mere escapism from one’s internal struggle?
From my own experiences of talking with patients that has been diagnosed with mental illness accompanied by few suicidal attempts and suicidal ideation, almost all of them start to have suicidal thoughts after they have encountered hardships that they have no control over. The problems can be in the form of family and friend relationships, financial issues, studies and other forms. This is how serious suicide can be.
However, in Malaysia, there is noticeably lack of conscience regarding suicide prevention. We have been showered with issues where celebrity using mental illness for publicity and also there were few people such as shaman blaming black magic as the core to mental illness.
Yes, do not be in shock. Malaysia is still behind in accepting mental illness as a form of disease.
There are few signs of suicidal thoughts that are needed to be recognized in order to stop the person from doing so.
Signs of suicidal thoughts/ideation:
- Excessive sadness or moodiness
- Sudden calmness
- Sleep problems
- Social withdrawal
- Changes in personality or appearances
- Dangerous or self-harm behavior
- Making preparations
- Threatening suicide
- Recent trauma or life crisis
If any of your loved ones is having any of the signs stated above, please bring him or her to any clinic or emergency department of any hospital nearby as it could be their cries for help.
A suicide attempt may be used as a tool for gaining attention, but those who has attempted or plan to attempt need to be brought to the hospital to meet a psychiatrist or physician to be evaluated for mental illness.
Suicide is preventable but it does take a community to stop it.
Disclaimer: Writer is a student of Bachelor in Medicine and Bachelor in Surgery from Widad University College. She will be graduating from the meds school March next year.
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