A modern-day discussion is never over without the mention of mental health. Even in our MENA region, the internet made therapy an easy topic to bring up in people’s conversations. However, we still have a long way to go in terms of what to say and when to say it. More importantly, never miss the signs of something so dangerous like mental health issues.
One of which is suicidal thoughts and suicide itself. A topic that is still considered taboo in our culture. This sensitive issue always must be proceeded with caution, generating even more delicate arguments that definitely must be proceeded with the utmost caution.
Let’s start by assessing how caring is too late to fix the issue, and most definitely won’t bring back the dead. To avoid all the heartbreak and ache we need to know how to identify if a person close to us or in our circle is having this specific issue of battling his dark suicidal thoughts.
Signs of suicidal thoughts can vary from the subtle to the very alarming. According to a report by WebMD, these symptoms include long-lasting depression, mood swings, sudden irritation, sleep problems, and hopelessness. A loss of passion or pleasure in the activities the person used to enjoy can too be a serious sign.
One important thing to watch out for is sudden calmness. If someone is unexpectedly poised after a long period of depression, it could be a sign that the person has made the decision to end their life. Additionally, avoiding close ones or social activities and constantly choosing to be alone are possible symptoms of depression, a leading cause of suicide.
All suicide threats should be taken seriously; a study has shown that around 50 to 75 percent of all people threatening or talking about suicide will give a close one a warning sign. They may talk an unusual amount about death or say things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here.” One important thing to bear in mind is that not everyone suicidal will say so and not everyone who threatens suicide will follow through with it.
More formally known as Suicidal Ideation is a major issue for many reasons. Firstly, it comes to anyone at any age. Secondly, it is more of a symptom for even bigger psychiatric issues like depression, bipolar disorder, and many others.
Another reason why this illness is very hard on people is that it’s difficult to detect and even harder to talk about. Even if a person is lucky enough to have a therapist, it takes time and effort to go through the negative emotions and reach the bottom of things where suicidal thoughts may lay in hiding.
This leads us to the main issue, the fact that suicidal thoughts are looked down upon by society. It is always disregarded and put aside in the best cases, but a person in the MENA region expressing any signs of self-harming thoughts is scolded, and always looked at as attention-seeking.
A topic that is still extremely hard to talk about, especially in Islamic countries. Since it’s a sin in Islam to commit suicide, the argument that follows any suicide news is whether to pray for the recently deceased or not? Sometimes it’s even more absurd than that, with argument reaching to whether the deceased is going to heaven or hell.
Only recently that people started to regret the loss of someone and think where did they go wrong and what could’ve they done to prevent this. This naturally takes us back to the point of seeing the signs and the suicidal thoughts as what they are and not as a way of attention-seeking.
Finally, this issue needs a lot of thorough discussions and back and forth with a big room for compassion and the fear for others from their own thoughts. Mental illness is a never-ending battle and people need to choose every day to live; however, when they waver they need to have support, backing them up at any second. Not shaming them.
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