The number of suicide attempts and suicides are very high in France. How to spot the signs of suicidal thoughts and acting out? What devices exist? Explanations.
- Suicide is the leading cause of death among 25-34 year olds.
- Among 15-24 year olds, suicide is the second leading cause of death, after road accidents.
International Suicide Prevention Day took place this Saturday, September 10. The opportunity to recall that France is one of the European countries most affected by this phenomenon. Indeed, according to the High Authority of Health (HAS), there were 9,300 deaths by suicide in France in 2016 and 200,000 attempts.
How to spot the signs?
According to’Health insurance“those who are thinking about suicide usually give several clues of their intentions (words, behaviors, emotions, etc.)”. First, there is the expression of suicidal ideas and intention. A person who has dark thoughts can verbalize it directly, with sentences like “I’m going to kill myself”, “It would be better if I were dead” or even “I just want to die”. He can also do it indirectly, such as “I would like to leave”, “I want to leave”, “I can’t take it anymore”, etc.
But there are also signs of suffering and psychological distress that a person in a suicidal crisis may express. So you have to know how to spot them. Physical symptoms first, such as fatigue, sleep disorders, loss of appetite or bulimia, multiple pains. On the psychological side, it will be anxiety, discouragement, sadness, aggressiveness, irritability, poor self-image, memory problems. Finally, professional difficulties and personal problems can also be signs of suicidal thoughts.
But between the thoughts and the passage to the act, there are behaviors not to be underestimated because they mark a determined intention to commit suicide. For example, if combined with the previously stated signs, a person has made unusual preparations like setting up life insurance. Then, the isolation, the feeling of not being able to do more to overcome one’s despair or even the rationalization of the decision to die must also alert.
But what to do when you think someone is having suicidal thoughts? First of all, listen to her, establish a relationship of trust with her and don’t leave her alone. Depending on the degree of seriousness, that is to say the imminence of the passage to the act, there are several structures to contact. If it is urgent, you can call 15 or 112 where health professionals will act immediately. Hospitalization may also be considered, but it is they who will make the decision.
If the situation is less urgent, you can ask the person in psychological distress to consult their doctor. He will be able to judge the seriousness of his condition and refer him to suitable establishments. In addition, there are also support structures such as SOS Friendshipwhose hotline on 09 72 39 40 50 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or Suicide Listenavailable at any time on 01 45 39 40 00.
Since October 1, 2021, a national suicide prevention number, 3114, has also been set up.