In an article from Psychology Today, Dr Gregg Henriques, after studying suicide survivors, explains his findings on what makes an individual consider suicide:
Most of the time, suicides are the result of a major stress or trauma such as the loss of a job, an illness or the loss of a loved one. However, what makes some individuals recover from adversity while others choose to end their life:
– Underlying mental illness: most individuals considering suicide are already battling some type of mental illness such as depression or substance abuse. Not being able to break from negative feelings and the vicious circle of the depressive loop puts you at a greater risk.
– Isolation: relationships in life are key. Not being well connected and not having trusted friends or a support system to reach out to during difficult times is a recurring theme in people choosing suicide. Feeling shameful about not being able to handle a situation and not wanting to bother others increase isolation known as a major factor in suicide cases.
– Not having a flexible mind: another factor that puts individuals at risk is not being able to adapt to circumstances and falling into an extreme low point without seeing any way out.
– Not having the tools to process the situation: we cannot control what happens to us but we can control our reactions. We can learn to view the situation a certain way, to accept the new reality, to reach out to others, to act, and design a plan allowing us to work towards a better future ahead.
Dr Henriques believes that knowing effective emotion regulation techniques can help individuals face the uncertainties and traumas that life create.