You may have seen Vas J Morgan with the glitterati, such as Rita Ora and Paris Hilton. With Vas’s new brand recently launched, from the outside, it appears as if he has it all.
However, following his admission of considering killing himself Melissa Day, Celebrity Inner Child therapist and speaker at the Celebrating Strengths – Men’s Retreat, outlines nine potential signs that someone may be considering suicide.
As a champion of the importance of mental health support, she urges you to be aware of friends, family and work colleagues. She asks you to check on them and to have meaningful conversations because most people thinking about suicide do not want to end their lives; they want their (emotional, physical) pain to stop. Listening is a powerful intervention.
Giving possessions and final arrangements
You may notice that someone is giving away their treasured possessions. This behaviour can indicate that a person may be contemplating suicide. They are doing this to make certain things are organised and dealt with before they go. They may give these items away through nostalgia or as a symbolic keepsake.
Those thinking about suicide may make final arrangements unexpectedly. For example, writing or adding a change to a will or investigating life insurance. Behaviour could include saying goodbye to that close and finalising unfinished business, such as making amends with anyone they’ve had disagreements.
To execute suicide, a great deal of energy is required to plan it. It’s very common for those in contact with the person just before they died to feel as if the suicide came out of the blue, as they recall them as being calm and happy – and that they came across as having a sense of relief and relaxation and even euphoric.
This is due to the person’s plan being finalised, and they feel they can escape their pain. Importantly, no emotion can be disqualified from someone thinking about suicide. It’s, therefore, important to observe changes and fluctuations in mood and behavioural patterns.
If someone becomes uncontactable, whether by phone, email or social media, this may indicate that someone is considering suicide. Some common phrases that can be heard by someone wishing to die by suicide: “I don’t want to be here”, “no one cares”, “I’m a burden”, “everyone’s better off without me”, “no one would notice if I go”, “I don’t belong here”, “I don’t know what my purpose or contribution to this world is” and “I’m a waste of a life”.
When someone feels this way, becoming uncontactable may reflect how they perceive their connection to others and the world at large, so they are symbolically severing that tie. It can make them feel one step closer to executing their plan.
Increased drug or alcohol misuse
An increase in alcohol or drugs does not necessarily mean someone is planning suicide. Still, there can be heightened risk, as the likelihood to act impulsively increases, with impaired judgement and lack of clarity of mind. Many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis, with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.
Personality and presentation
The planning of suicide can have a considerable impact on the core aspects of who we are and how we show up to the world. Someone known for being the life of the party may become completely withdrawn, unreachable by usual means and isolated, or they may come across as being relaxed, calm and quiet.
Although some may seem like positive traits, these out-of-character changes could indicate that someone is consumed by thoughts of suicide and actioning their plans.
In addition, you may notice a change in how they present themselves; for example, someone who always wore makeup and dressed well could suddenly take little notice of their appearance or hygiene.
Studies have shown that people with suicidal thoughts take more risks and have less care for their safety. As mentioned, this could be increased alcohol or drug use. Risks could include such behaviour as not safely crossing the road, unsafe sex, erratic and reckless driving and getting into fights. This self-destruction communicates that the person has no value for themselves or their life. They may say how they’re feeling, with words such as: “I feel like driving off the road”.
Self-harm and repeated suicide attempts
Self-harm is a sign someone might be suicidal. Examples include cutting, poisoning and burning oneself. Also, repeated suicide attempts mean that someone has suicidal tendencies. A prior suicide attempt is the most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.
Language and listening
Meet someone where they are in their pain. Saying something like “you’re not going to do anything…” may be interpreted as judging them and saying they’re stupid. Rather, we must meet people with direct, clear, kind and compassionate communication. They need to feel heard and understood. Listening is a powerful intervention.
Most people thinking about suicide let others know, consciously or unconsciously. People contemplating suicide may say the following or similar phrases and questions: Have you ever thought about ending your life? What are your thoughts on suicide? How would you take your own life? What do you think is the best way to kill yourself?
These questions are raised due to wanting someone’s advice and opinion on ending their life by suicide while not directly admitting that this information is for them. This can also be someone trying to give you signals and signs that they want your help. Listen out for the use of language such as: “I’m struggling”, “I don’t have any value here”, “I have no one”, and “I feel worthless”.
Unusual sleep patterns can be seen in suicidal people. A sleep disorder, such as insomnia, does not cause suicide; it’s restless thoughts and stress from personal problems, causing disrupted sleep. The inability to sleep may indicate that someone is suffering from suicidal ideation.
Depleting rest and recovery results in low energy levels, and people lack motivation to do the most basic tasks and activities. Additionally, activities that someone loves will be avoided, and they’ll have no interest in them.
Melissa Day, Celebrity Inner Child therapist and speaker at the Celebrating Strengths – Men’s Retreat concluded: “Most people who are thinking about suicide don’t get an opportunity to talk about it openly, and so it is of utmost importance, for us to erase the stigma. With more than one in 20 people making a suicide attempt at some point in their lives (Samaritans), we must open up the conversation about this perceived taboo subject.”
Celebrating Strengths – Men’s Retreat
Melissa is one of several experts sharing her expertise at the Celebrating Strengths – Men’s Retreat.
The all-male retreat focuses on enabling self-insight and empowerment. Learning points will cover the psychology of self-development and personality, including strengths psychology. The retreat will combine Inner Child Therapy and Shadow Work.
Learning how to reconnect with your inner child and re-parent yourself is a powerful and quick technique to free you from emotional and mental issues not serving your highest good and purpose. We’ll also explore what healthy masculinity means and spotlight the masculine and feminine energies that reside in us all to tap into the innate power of both. This will help you lead an even more fulfilling and authentic expression of yourself.
This retreat is designed to empower you with greater knowledge of the “psychology of the mind” and focus on the importance of spiritual health. Combining both is the bridge that forms optimum health and well-being.
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