Dr.Shivani Salil

Did you just Google it? Am I glad or what that Google threw me and you picked it up? You know what…you aren’t the first one who has tried to search it. At the cost of sounding presumptuous, let me say that ‘suicide’ is jostling with the celebrities as an oft googled item. So if you have been fobbed off by people around you saying that ‘it is cowardly’ or ‘that no problem is big enough to contemplate suicide’, choose not to believe in any of it.No one except you is in your shoes to be able to empathize.

Suicidal thoughts indicate that your current situation is so overwhelming that your mind thinks of suicide as the best possible solution. There is no measure to tell you which situation can trigger such thoughts because everyone has different tolerance levels. So what overwhelms you may be all in a day’s work for someone. Such thoughts are a cry for help. What’s more important than fretting over these thoughts is what you choose to do with them! Think of it as the pressure cooker with a faulty gasket or whistle. Would you sit and mope over why it gave away? Would you consider throwing it away? Of course not… I am sure you would rather get it repaired so the cooker is back on the job. We have grown up hearing, “Don’t be a baby” and “Don’t complain”, so much so that it’s ingrained in our psyche now. So every time an alarm buzzes in our mind we reflexively shut it. All I want to tell you is that it’s OK to be not OK.

Are you still with me on this? Good! Now what needs to be remembered is that almost all of us have such thoughts at some point of our lives. A loss of a loved one, loss of a pet or a job can trigger hopelessness in anybody. Try to distance yourself from the current situation, switch off for a while. A cooling period often does the trick. Statistics tell us that every passing minute of this cooling off period improves your chance of survival. It often shows you ways to unload despair and ventilate your frustrations. Next sought out non-judgmental persons around you. Someone who can hear you without offering any solutions. A lot of people who have survived destructive thoughts have found solace in talking even to random strangers. No one wants to be lectured down especially when one is down and out. Listen to your mind asking you to seek help. What differentiates a normal phenomenon from something more worrisome and serious is as to how long you continue in that state of despair. Another warning sign is when one starts formulating and making a plan to commit suicide. Also if you find yourself repeatedly plunging into darkness, you need to consult specialized people for this. Turning to a trained counselor does not mean you have gone soft in the head. On the contrary it means you are wiser and more mature in handling it. If you have chosen to confide in someone, then often these people can notice the destructive patterns early and they should seek help from psychiatrists and counselors on behalf of the affected one. Friends and counselors are like navigators when you are lost. It’s always advisable to ask for directions rather than go around in circles.

Therapy, personal or professional, helps overcome the acute stage. Next come the trigger factors and their identification. If you can correlate or someone points out the correlation of suicidal thoughts with any particular preceding events, it is extremely helpful in the long term control of the problem. Identify the triggers so you know what to expect and are not caught unawares and a relapse is effectively handled. The reason one resorts to suicide is to seek relief from pain and negativity. But remember that the relief you are expecting cannot be experienced if you are dead. You need to be alive to feel it. You owe yourself that favor