Stories, skills, and positivity- to anxiety sufferers from anxiety sufferers.
Exploring the link between mental disorders and suicide may help you or someone you know prevent
harm. While the bulk of people living with mental disorders do not always die by self-harm, almost all of
the people who have died by suicide were suffering from some form of mental illness at the time.
How Mental Health Disorders Can Lead to Suicide
Some of the top diagnosed mental disorders include depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder,
schizophrenia and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Variations include multiple disorders or mental
illness combined with substance abuse. Any of these scenarios can bring the sufferer ongoing bouts of
hopelessness, self-doubt, frustration, self-bullying, low self-esteem, anger, and loneliness. These
symptoms can become so intense that the sufferer feels that the only relief is to take his or her own life.
Other Risk Factors for Suicidal Actions:
● Genetics or Family History: The risk of developing a mental health disorder greatly increases if
someone was born into a family with a history of that same illness, much more so than a person
born into a family with no such disorder.
● Traumatic Event: A person who has just been through a traumatic life event such as
disfigurement due to an accident, diagnoses of a terminal illness or death of a loved one may
start to develop suicidal ideations.
● Prescription Drugs: Certain drugs prescribed for dissimilar conditions can cause negative side
effects such as mood swings, depression, and feelings of hopelessness, which in turn can lead to
suicidal thoughts or actions.
● Loss of interest in things that once brought joy
● Dramatic change in mood and reckless behavior
● Unprovoked spells of anger
● Comments about killing oneself or feelings of hopelessness
● Poor self-care – sleeping more and lacking concern about showering or other personal care
● Sudden social isolation
● Increased use of medication, drugs or alcohol
Long-Term Prevention Strategies:
● Seek Council: Most at-risk people try to hide their feelings and emotions. They may feel
ashamed of their own thoughts and feelings. However, talking to a professional is one of the
best methods of prevention and recovery. The suicide prevention hotline provides emotional
support 24/7/365 and can connect sufferers with local mental health providers. Additionally,
talking to one’s family, pastor, and close friends can be helpful.
● Make Positive Changes: Depression can set in when people are not happy with their current life
situations. It is therefore recommended to make positive changes, such as a move in the case of
an unhappy home, a new job when job satisfaction, and moving on from a harmful relationship.
Joining a gym to boost those happy chemicals (dopamine) is another positive change that can
● Go to Rehab: If you are suffering from substance abuse or addiction, a quality rehabilitation
center in your area is a great step toward mental clarity.
● Self-love Affirmations: You are what you say you are! While self-bullying can lead to suicidal
thoughts and actions, self-loving can lead to feelings of high self-worth, confidence, and self-
esteem. Even if you do not believe it at the time, look at yourself in the mirror several times a
day and repeat these affirmations, “I am enough”, “I am worth it”, “I am strong”, “I am
valuable”, “I am confident”, and “I am loved”. If you find that chanting affirmations is difficult to
do on your own, seek help via a meditation class.
● Release Healthy Endorphins: Once released, good-mood endorphins can help alleviate feelings
of anxiety, anger, and stress. Eating dark chocolate and spicy food can help release these
chemicals. Exercising, laughing, and smelling soothing scents such as vanilla, lavender, and
chamomile can also release healthy endorphins.
Suicide is preventable. In fact, the majority of people who resort to suicide don’t actually want to die;
their actions are typically an attempt to rid themselves of overwhelming distress. Making positive
changes will help to reset and retrain the mind, which works like any other muscle, and feelings of
hopelessness can begin to gradually subside.
Katie McLean holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and bases her anxiety aid in personal experience, as well as techniques that have been passed on to her by counsellors, friends, and fellow anxiety sufferers.