Talking about suicide can be a means of prevention

Nine out of 10 people show previous signs of harming themselves or making an attempt on their lives. Specialists in psychology provide suggestions to face them.

Talking about suicide can be a means of prevention
It can be a means of prevention to talk about suicide. Photo by engin akyurt / Unsplash

Some myths that persist in Mexican society about suicide are: that those who wish to commit an act of self-injury are determined to lose their lives or do not warn or give previous signs of this situation, said Liliana Guzmán Álvarez, an expert in the clinical intervention of the Faculty of Psychology (FP) of the UNAM, Liliana Guzmán Álvarez.

"Who wants to commit suicide is determined to die? Not so, sometimes it is just another way of asking for help. Nor do people who self-injure wish to do so, even though it may be a risk factor for suicidal behavior. Therefore, the first thing to do is not to invalidate those emotions, because many times they are told: 'why do you do it, if you have everything in life", she indicated.

When taking part in the Conservatory Night of Emotions: "Self-injury and Suicide", convened by the House of Humanities, the Museum of the Constitutions, and the FP, the university specialist mentioned: Physical or cutaneous affectations are linked to causing bodily pain, which is used "as a regulation strategy to be able to feel less inner discomfort". However, a deeper analysis of the elements in each case should be undertaken.

According to Daniela Esquivel González, Master in Psychology, nine out of 10 people show previous signs of harming themselves or making an attempt on their lives. "The causes of the behaviors must be analyzed, which can range from a loss, an illness, and from there the approach will depend on providing strategies to manage their emotions," she added at the meeting.

For Oscar Hernandez Aguirre, a graduate of the FP, potential suicidal people are in an ambivalent position because they want to end a state of suffering, but they also seek help; "it is like wearing a blindfold". Among the behaviors that can occur on the eve of a self-attack are changes in behavior, for example in their hygiene, feeding; irregularities in the sleep cycle, they do not sleep well, or they do it for a long time; in addition, they give away or transfer valuable objects, including letters or farewell texts.

The most important thing, assured Nimsy Rufino Zavaleta, also from the Faculty, is to share the state or situation being experienced, dialogue. "Talking helps us to make us feel so that the person affected does not feel alone; even addressing the subject of suicide can be a means of prevention." Several factors must be taken into account, what happens inside our home and how it affects behavior, there may even be a perception that the person affected lacks support networks.

Eduardo Matamoros Mendoza, a graduate of the university, said: "I can face fear and give myself a sense of control. For that I have to look for tools to help me, and face the frustration I have". The expert pointed out that it is necessary to take into account that after a self-injury or suicide attempt, people feel shame, guilt, and even regret. "The important thing is to approach them, to ask how we can help, but not to make them invisible, to give them space, to validate the emotion".