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Friday, 27 November 2020

Helping someone with Suicidal Thoughts -by Meenu Ahuja

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep the balance, you must keep moving” Albert Einstein was right, the ride of life is beautiful and fun and is worth all the falling off it every once in a while, but what matters is you get back up, dust yourself off and get back in the saddle. And even if you are not able to move forward, stay still for a while but deny to give up, don’t get off the cycle. DON’T GIVE UP.

Suicide, is when people get off the bicycle.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines Suicide as an act of Killing oneself intentionally. The keyword being Intentionally.So, the question that arises is, what are the thoughts that give birth to these intentions? Are they sudden or gradual? What goes on in one’s mind that eventually people are willing to take such a devastating step? Well, we can never know the root cause of that unless we are aware of what a person is going through and that cannot be known without talking to them.

So, if you are aware of someone who you think might get such thoughts or is even prone to them and you don’t know how to help them, this article might just be your one stop to gain some insights.

How can we help someone if they are having suicidal thoughts? How can we even figure it out that the person’s thoughts are moving through that direction?

Having Suicidal thoughts is something not very uncommon but at the same time it’s completely unhealthy. By taking one’s life, the pain does not end, it just transfers to other people around them. Suicide doesn’t end the chances of life getting worse, it eliminates the possibility of it ever getting any better.

Thoughts of Suicide are possibly the last stage of having some mental illness, be it Bipolar Disorder, Depression or schizophrenia. When a person has some sort of an illness or even some anxiety issues or stress, their thinking pattern is such that they can reach the stage of self-harm pretty quickly. This is because they are inclined to think of the worst of all scenarios.

Some of the possible causes for them to take this drastic step could be –

·         Criticism from family or friends or society

If a person has been criticized or bullied or looked down or demeaned constantly, he/she will start doubting themselves and will lose the confidence to face the world

·         Low levels of job satisfaction

If a person is not happy or even slightly satisfied with his/her job, it can lead to the person performing low despite being aware of it and thus being insecure of losing the job. So their thoughts can be contradicting of disliking the job but also having a fear of losing it. This kind of thought process can create a lot of stress and lead to depression and hence thoughts of suicide.

·         Being diagnosed with a serious illness, like cancer or HIV

If a person is diagnosed with a serious illness, then he/she may start doubting the meaning of life that they have always held onto, or might end up seeing darkness ahead or even want to end the misery of treatments by killing themselves

·         Termination of a romantic relationship

A person facing a break-up or a divorce may end up being immensely sad and then picking up on addictions. This can lead to various negative thoughts in their minds and hence the situation gets riskier under the influence of drugs.

These are just some of the causes for having suicidal thoughts but there can be many others which we might not be aware of, so all we can do is be there for our loved ones.

If you notice some change in behavior patterns of any person known to you, changes like –

·         A person starts keeping to themselves

·         A person starts isolating themselves

·         A person stops doing things that made them happy

What you as a friend can do is be there for them,talk to them and listen to them. They might first deny of their changed behavior, but keep trying, keep conversing with them and make them believe that no matter what, you will be by their side, assuring them that they are not alone. Try making them feel special, worthy and beautiful.  You can also try doing things with them that they love to do like painting, running, working out, reading, etc..

If they are not willing to share or talk with you about what is eating them up internally, make sure you are tracking their behavior patterns. Then smoothly try talking to them and showing them how they have changed. Make them realize that they need to share and try to make them understand that they need help from a professional therapist or a counselor. Tell them how talking to a counselor is easier as they are unknown people without any past connections and thus there would be no fear of judgements.

So next time you see someone who might be going down that road, don’t just assume that they won’t do it or it’s just a phase. Take the right action in time and save a life. You might just transform someone’s life and bring a smile on their face.

Meenu Ahuja 

About Author: Meenu is a Commerce graduate with an experience of more than 2.5 years in the same field. She is passionate about mental health, Social Psychology and Stigmas with an aspiration to become a Counselor after doing her Masters in Psychology. She loves reading, writing and is a fan of Sitcoms and movies.


  1. Great Job Meenu.. Keep it up :)

  2. Another gem from the mind vault Meenu. Absolutely love it like I love you. Proud keep it up.

  3. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks for sharing this post. Share some info for Mental health services in San Fernando, CA here. keep it up.