The psychology of suicide attempt.
Despite mental health awareness, suicide attempt remains a threat. For some reasons, people even commit suicide in many parts of the world.
It is a common belief that people attempt to commit suicide due to financial, health, and relationship problems.
But one study found that suicide attempt is not the result of the said problems. The researchers found two main reasons not commonly known: hopelessness and emotional pain.
Hopelessness may be the result of being unable to untangle oneself from painful experience.
The conclusion was drawn from more than 100 people who attempted to commit suicide. The researchers used a unique research approach.
Professor David Klonsky, one of the study’s authors shared how they conducted the study.
“It may be surprising to some, but focusing on motivations is a new approach in the field of suicide research and urgently needed,” said Klonsky.
Most studies on suicide attempt have focused mainly on the demographics and genetic factors of suicide. “Until now, the focus has been largely on the types of people attempting suicide – their demographics, their genetics – without actually exploring the motivations,” argued Klonsky.
By tweaking the research approach, researchers were able to uncover hidden reasons for a suicide attempt.
Aside from hopelessness and emotional pain, some participants mentioned the avoidance of disturbing others. That is, they do not want to share their pain with their friends or loved ones.
This may be the reason why some people feel hopeless. In the absence of help, it is hard for a person to stay motivated in life.
In fact, some participants actually divulged their sense of belongingness – and it was low.
The researchers conducted the study not just to understand suicide attempt but also to develop an instrument to assess why people do so.
“Knowing why someone attempted suicide is crucial – it tells us how to best help them recover,” said Klonsky.
By looking the problem in different angles, you will understand it deeply.
Can we help someone who has suicidal thoughts?
Yes. But there’s no single way to do that. This is a serious problem that any wrong move can be detrimental to the person.
In other words, you need to be extra careful. In some instances, what a helpless person needs is someone whom s/he can confide.
Listening to their stories can be a great help for them. But if you think the problem is getting worse, seeking professional help is always the best decision. Don’t pretend to be an expert.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.