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World Suicide Prevention Day – Every Life Matters

On World Suicide Prevention Day, let's talk about the unspoken and stigmatized topic of suicide and spread awareness about it. Every 40 seconds, one person loses his/her precious life. Let's acknowledge this fact and do something about it.

“Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up.” – Anonymous.

September 10th is considered World Suicide Prevention Day across the globe. Today, we unite universally to understand and combat suicide as a consequence for so many different and difficult situations which may seem irreversible and hopeless. On this day, it’s important to engage in activities which aim at raising awareness that suicide is preventable, educate people about suicide, spread information about suicide awareness and reduce stigmatization about suicide.

People who wish to harm themselves or do so, do not necessarily desire to end their lives. They on the hind side are looking to rid themselves from the pain that may be making them feel helpless and hopeless. Sometimes situations can be very overwhelming and generate seemingly endless concerns. Human beings are programmed to face challenges in the form of fight or flight responses. Fight is when you see the situation in its eyes and remain resilient throughout the difficult time to overcome it. On the other hand, flight responses normally occur when dealing with a tough situation seems too daunting. Running away from that circumstance or simply denying its existence is one of the ways of coping with it.

Let’s look at some important misconceptions about suicide so that we can together clarify them and become a better and alert community.

Myth – People who talk about suicide won’t really do it. This is simply untrue because most people who attempt suicide, may have given some or the other warning sign. Listen and watch for these signs. Even if they are joking and say “you’ll be sorry when I am gone” or “I don’t see a way out”, could mean that they are feeling deeply upset about something.

Myth – Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy. Most people who attempt suicide may not be psychotic or going through any kind of mental illness. They may be grieving, depressed, stressed, anxious or afraid.

Myth – Talking about suicide may give someone the idea of doing it. On the contrary, talking about suicide with a person who may be contemplating it would be a supportive way of letting them know that you care and would hope to see them healthy and living.

Myth – People who think or do end their lives are weak. No. They aren’t weak. They are going through a much difficult and distressed time and need help to cope with it like any other human being. Ending one’s life is not a simple thing to do.

World Suicide Prevention Day can become a reason for us to become one and support those who may be on the edge but also let the world know that this is a cause of concern which can be dealt with. Talking about it with each other can take the power away from the stigma that suicide still holds.

If you are reading this, please go out there and offer a helping hand, kind words, support, a caring message, compassion, empathy, hope, faith, appreciation, acknowledgment, encouragement, pearls of wisdom, a listening ear, a shoulder to weep on, and/or anything  that anybody might need in a moment of distress. Remember to offer the same to yourself.

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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40 Things to do to calm self-harm

Coping with self-harm is not always simple. However, finding a toolkit of things you can do instead of causing yourself physical pain can be your first step towards healing and keeping yourself safe. Emotional pain is overwhelming and often needs to be suppressed until you feel ready to overcome them. Escape is a temporary fix but not a long lasting measure.

“Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard, I'll take you back to the stars...” – Coldplay

Human minds are capable of beautiful things like thinking and feeling while also finding ways of suppressing pain in any way possible. However, the process of self-harm comes in the way and acts as a mask for the emotional pain and distress felt due to a situation or experience. When emotional pain or negative feelings like shame, guilt, disgust, low self-esteem, stress, escalate, physical pain seems to become lesser of two evils.

When people are in that moment and ready to harm/injure themselves, rational thinking and behaving is difficult to achieve. However, making a list of different activities which can be done instead of self-harm can be helpful. It’s also important to remember that not all acts of self-harm are suicidal attempts. Some are non-suicidal attempts in order to cause external pain or escape emotional distress.

Here are some things to do to distract, release, express yourself during a moment of urge to self-harm. Whether you have five minutes of fifteen, find your preferred choice of an alternative and go with it.

Things you can do in five minutes

1. How many singers can you name?

2. Say the 19 table

3. Count all the odd numbers from 511 to 627

4. Think of an animal for ever alternate letter of the alphabet

5. Count everything that is green around you

6. Look at a book which has pictures or words you enjoy

7. Wrap yourself in a warm, cosy blanket or sheet

8. Organize photos on your phone/laptop

9. Keep some playing dough / clay with you and make things from it

10. Burst bubble wrap

11. Put on your headphones and listen to loud music

12. Run on the spot and see how long you can do it for

13. Scribble on a piece of paper with a red marker or pen and then trash it

14. Put a rubber band around your wrist or leg and flick it

15. Mark the part of your body which you are trying to hurt with a red marker

16. Apply ice cube on the part of the body which you are trying to harm

17. Comb your hair slowly and gently

18. Eat something sweet like chocolate, sugar, banana, etc

19. Wait for five minutes before harming yourself, then another five minutes and so forth until your urge passes

Orange ribbon for Leukemia, Kidney cancer, RDS multiple sclerosis awareness on human hand, aged background; Satin fabric color symbolic concept for raising public support on people living with disease royalty-free stock photo

Things you can do in fifteen minutes

20. Bake something

21. Go for a walk, if you can

22. Write down names of films you have seen in alphabetical order

23. Organize your closet/wardrobe

24. Rearrange things in your room

25. Take a bath

26. Find and write down positive quotes said by other people

27. Count your hair strands one by one

28. Dance or move your body for at least five whole songs

29. Send long distance friends a letter or postcard

30. Post something positive on social media

31. If you can get helium balloons, tie your negative thoughts to them and let the balloons go

32. Write five things that you are grateful for

33. Download the ThinkUp application and record positive messages on it and listen to them

34. Stand with your feet grounded firmly on that floor, look up and breathe very slowly for as long as you can

35. Call a trusted person and ask them to share some jokes with you

36. If you have a ball, throw it on the wall and catch it

37. Go outside and run really fast if you can

38. Write a letter to yourself about how grateful you are to be alive and safe

39. Play a musical instrument really loudly if you can

40. Ground yourself by finding 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can touch and 1 thing that you can taste around you. 

Self-harm is not the way out of a difficult situation but a way to cope with them when everything else seems futile. Remember, this doesn’t make anybody weak or desperate. It’s okay to feel hurdled and crippled by harsh times and experiences. Having said that, like air, remember to keep rising and breathing. Don’t become a victim, become a survivor. Stay safe, Stay strong.

 

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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Disclaimer: TeentalkIndia does not offer emergency services and is not a crisis intervention centre, if you or someone you know is experiencing acute distress or is suicidal/self harming, please contact the nearest hospital or emergency/crisis management services or helplines.