Signs of Suicide During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has left the United States devastated and disfigured. Many people have lost careers, and many people have lost loved ones, and many people have lost both.

Because of this tremendous damage, we’re left with an abundance of negative emotions: anger, sadness, frustration, and depression.

While some are able to cope in healthy ways, these grim circumstances have gotten the better of a number of individuals, resulting in their own suicides.

Friends and family members of the deceased are left wondering what they could have done differently to help. While they vary from person to person, many symptoms and circumstances can indicate that loved ones are dealing with a lot.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can identify signs, symptoms, and risk factors for suicide during the pandemic.

DARK THOUGHTS

One of the clearest signs that something is wrong can be identified through the things someone says. Frequently, people who struggle with suicidal thoughts confess them in some form or another.

While context may shade their dark statements as casual or even humorous, it’s vital to be receptive because these dark sentiments could be warning signs for suicide.

One common sentiment, according to The National Institute of Mental Health, is that they may feel as if they’re a burden on others. Another common sentiment is feeling ashamed or guilty, often expressed as a result of financial trouble. One of the most frequently uttered sentiments is something along the lines of wanting to die, wishing for death, or joking about suicide.

Whatever, the context, these topics should set off red flags. These topics and sentiments indicate that the mental health of your loved ones may be in jeopardy. They should motivate you to take appropriate action by giving them an ear to listen to and/or providing them with resources they may not know about.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7 “free and confidential support for people in distress” through both text and phone. Moreover, at MCR Health, our Behavioral Health Services are here to help individuals with their mental health.

FINANCIAL TURMOIL

Throughout the pandemic, our economy has remained volatile, experiencing sharp rises and steep falls. Many individuals have been unable to recover. 

Some have been furloughed at companies where they’ve worked for decades. Others have seen their livelihoods disappear through strict regulations and dramatic profit losses.

This mass unemployment and economic carnage has caused anger, depression, and thoughts of suicide. People may feel that in addition to their jobs they themselves are “non-essential.”

People who have experienced severe economic setbacks need encouragement. We must remind them that they are loved for who they are as people. They need to know that friends like YOU love them unconditionally, regardless of their employment status.

TROUBLE SLEEPING AND EATING

Another indication that something is disturbing a loved one is the appearance of noticeable changes in sleeping and/or eating habits.

Factors that contribute to such disturbances may range anywhere from monthly bills to the fate of friends and family members. 

However, these disturbances can be easily observed. A loved one may start overeating or skipping meals to the point of illness. These Emotional disturbances may also look like loved ones staying up all night or sleeping all day.

Occurring within a destructive cycle, these changes only compound negative emotions. So if you recognize these symptoms of depression, don’t ignore them. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7 “free and confidential support for people in distress” through both text and phone. Moreover, at MCR Health, our Behavioral Health Services are here to help individuals with their mental health.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

To cope with the turbulence of this pandemic, many individuals are attempting to relieve their pain through increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and other dangerous substances.

While these substances are unhealthy as such, increased use of them is even more damaging.

Tobacco, however ingested, can cause a variety of health problems, and increasing the rate of consumption only accelerates the rate at which cells mutate (contributing factor to developing cancer).

Like tobacco, increased alcohol use can cause can cause cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, it can also cause “liver disease, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and birth defects.”

Like tobacco and alcohol, opioids also pose a serious threat at these times. Surprisingly however, the one of the leading causes of opioid-related deaths isn’t heroin or synthetic opioids like fentanyl. It’s prescription opioids, a legal substance, like tobacco and alcohol.

But regardless of the substance’s legality, increasing and chronic usage of it should indicate to loved ones that something is not right.

YOU NEED TO REACH OUT

For many people in these situations, it’s difficult to know they’re in a dark place. Oftentimes, because of their mental health conditions or mental illnesses, it can be difficult for them to recognize or even remember that they have loved ones who care about their wellbeing. This is why immediate intervention is critical.

If you have loved ones who are experiencing serious challenges or showing signs of depression, say something even if it’s not perfect. What matters most is expressing that you care about your loved ones and that there are many options available to them.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7 “free and confidential support for people in distress” through both text and phone. Moreover, at MCR Health, our Behavioral Health Services are here to help individuals with their mental health.

By taking a collaborative approach to mental health, our experts have been able to help patients climb from the dark places of this pandemic. To learn more about our Behavioral Health Care services, CLICK HERE.