B General Observations About Suicide

(1) The overwhelming majority of suicidal people do not want to die. They are generally seeking relief from an "intolerable" situation involving more stress or pain than they can bear.

(2) The "typically" suicidal person wants to be rescued. These persons have difficulty asking for help, are not certain to whom to turn for help, and do not know what they specifically want done.

(3) Most persons experience a suicidal episode only once in their lives, and are acutely suicidal for an extremely brief period. If one can stop them from committing suicide during this "crisis period," the chances for future attempts are greatly reduced.

(4) Suicidal feelings tend to be episodic.

(5) Three "H" words associated with suicidal thoughts and actions:

(a) Hopelessness: people only kill themselves when their lives are devoid of hope.

(b) Helplessness: suicidal persons often see themselves as unable to meaningfully alter their situation.

(c) Haplessness (unhappy): may involve presence of personality disorders, poor stress tolerance/coping skills, or no resources to help in times of crisis.

NOTE: Suicidal persons are generally experiencing multiple problems, which are impacting simultaneously, and thus cannot concentrate on dealing with any one of them.

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