Relationship failures, exploitation, sexual abuse, trauma, loss of job, financial problems, deteriorating health, being bullied or cheated such things can damage one’s self-esteem.
Pain is not always apparent to others. Some people cannot express their struggle, they lose the fighter spirit to set their life back again on track. They think of easy ways out such as ending their life. Our first step in helping them is recognising the warning signs.
Self-indulgence in destructive habits like sudden over-excessive consumption of alcohol, continuous smoking, resorting to drugs, reckless driving, oversleeping, loss in appetite are some indicators.
Such people withdraw from friends and family. They avoid eye contact and prefer solitude. They often frown and sulk. You may see extreme mood swings, irritation and anxiety. Even a small bruise or cut on a depressed person must be taken seriously. Sometimes the emotional pain can be so overbearing that the individual resorts to inflicting physical pain on oneself. They start experimenting with ways to die, talk about dying and exhibit suicidal intentions.
Parents should be monitor children’s browsing history, it may show if a person has been researching suicide methods.
Patience and empathy is needed to deal with such cases. Keep a polite, non-invasive and reassuring approach. You don’t need to say much and there are no magic words. Never leave such individuals alone. Ask someone reliable to closely monitor their behaviour and whereabouts. If they find anything suspicious, directly intervene and ask the person what he intends to do and stop such acts. Explain how his death would affect his spouse, parents, siblings or offspring if any. Encourage the person to speak up and fight his battles rather than give up like a coward. Narrate him success stories of great personalities who fought against all odds to make it big in life. If nothing seems to improve bring in a third party intervention like a psychologist or a counsellor who will offer medical advice who can offer hope during the most jaded times. Even deciding to live is an act of great courage after an episode of depression.
- The reader is based in Dubai