Seeking Attention, Not Relief?

What are the odds that those who try committing suicide are only crying for help and have no real intentions of ending their lives? Gambling with one’s life should not merely be perceived as a “call for attention,” it should instead set the alarm bells ringing.

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Every year, over 800,000 people die by committing suicide and there are many more who attempt doing so but only very few acknowledge the fine line between an attempt and an execution. Those who choose to take their own life do not usually express their plan to do the latter. They show a sudden shift in mood from being depressed and complaining to being calm and grateful. They usually thank everyone around them and start saying their goodbyes in an indirect manner and these are the ones who actually die.

However, those who self-harm or have planned unsuccessful suicide attempts adopt different behavioural patterns. In fact, they do reveal their suicidal idealizations and expect others to respond accordingly with care.

Individuals who really wanted to end their lives would have already done it. In other words, many times, those who attempt committing suicide display their intention of ending their own lives just to find a helping hand. Yet, this does not make them frauds, it rather makes the people around them ignorant. Instead of pointing fingers and calling such a behavior as an attention-seeking one, we should ask why would they want to seek attention in such an extreme manner?

Indeed, many of those who self-harm without the intention of suicide feel insecure and lack self-confidence. This means that even though they may want to die, they do not feel confident enough to take the decision of ending their lives. Therefore, assuming that these individuals are seeking attention and reacting based on that assumption can be extremely dangerous especially if the individual is looking for assurance that they should kill themselves.

There are many people who have confided into self-harm at a point in their lives and they reported hearing feedback such as “stop being dramatic” and “next time try harder”. Giving someone who is suicidal such comments can be detrimental because once they feel assured that they are not worth caring for and that they are so cheap to the extent that their friend or partner does not care if they die, they will kill themselves.

In conclusion, self-harm or a suicide attempt should be perceived and treated as an red flag that these individuals need help in coping and relieving their pain and not as a medium to seek attention.

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